In this guitar lesson we'll be expanding upon what we covered in the last string skipping lesson. (So if you haven't gone
through that lesson yet, I highly recommend doing it now).
What we're going to do now is look at two rhythmic variations of String Skipping
Why? Because playing string skipping exercises with different subdivisions and rhythms is a fantastic way of
developing your string skipping technique. It allows you to become a better musician and a more versatile
And, if I'm being totally honest here, it also stops the exercises from becoming too boring. (Because you
are learning to play them in different ways, rather than playing the same way all the time).
Let's take a look at the first variation…
String Skipping Exercise
1: Played Using Eighth-Note Triplets
For this variation of the exercise you need to play it using eighth-note
triplet subdivisions. In case you don't know, this is when you have to play
three evenly-spaced notes per beat.
Using this timing for the exercise is actually a little bit trickier to do than you might think..
One reason why it can be challenging for some guitarists is that we are playing four-note
mechanics but we have to play those mechanics three-notes-per-click. This
creates a bit of rhythmic tension because it takes three repetitions of the mechanic
before you get back to the same place rhythmically again.
Another reason why some might find it challenging is that you have to change mechanics in a weird
place rhythmically. If you check out the second measure of the exercise, you'll notice that you
have to change to String Skipping Mechanic 2 on the second eighth-note triplet of the second beat.
Don't panic if you didn't totally understand what I said above. (If you don't have a really good grasp of
rhythm theory it might have been a bit like reading a foreign language!). But just know this. If you find the
timing hard, there's a good reason for it.
Let's now take a look at the second rhythmic variation…
String Skipping Exercise
1: Played Using Sixteenth Notes
For this variation we have to use sixteenth notes. This is when you play four
evenly-spaced notes per beat.
From a rhythmic perspective this variation is MUCH easier to play. Every repetition of both the four note
mechanics start conveniently on a metronome click. This will make your job of locking in with the metronome a
heck of a lot easier. Yay!
One last thing before I forget. You probably noticed that I modified the very end of the exercise a little
bit from the last lesson. I did this so that each variation of the exercise ends on a
down-beat. (A down-beat is when your metronome clicks). The main reason for ending the
exercise on a down-beat is that it makes it a little easier at faster speeds to tell whether-or-not you played
the exercise in time…
In other words, the last note of each variation of the exercise should be played exactly when the metronome
clicks. If it isn't played on the click then you know your timing went haywire at some point during the
I really recommend mastering the stuff in this lesson before moving onto new string skipping exercises. To
help you do that, I recommend setting a speed goal for each variation of the exercise.
Although the speed goals you set will depend on your level, here are a couple of suggested goals…
- Practice the eighth-note triplet variation until you can play it at 160
- Practice the sixteenth note variation until you can play it at 120
Once you've done that then you might also consider checking out this shred guitar e-book. It has enough
technical exercises and ideas to keep most guitarists busy for a very long time. (You can read my full review
of this product here: Shred Guitar E-Book
Return To: Free Online Guitar Lessons