String Skipping Technique for Country Music Guitarists

Photo of author

Introduction

Introduction
Learning new guitar techniques can seem daunting, especially when it comes to playing country music. However, mastering different techniques can greatly enhance your playing style and open up new possibilities for your music. In this article, we will explore the string skipping technique for country guitarists. By the end of this guide, you will have a solid understanding of this technique, how to perform it correctly, and how to incorporate it into your country music repertoire. So, let’s dive in and explore the exciting world of string skipping!

What is String Skipping?

String skipping is a guitar technique where a player skips over one or more strings while playing a run of notes, and is a key element in many styles of guitar playing, including country music. This technique can add intricate melodies and dynamic rhythm to a piece, allowing a guitar player to stand out during a solo. It can be difficult to master, but with the right approach, practice and patience, anyone can learn it.

String skipping is similar to alternate picking, but instead of playing one note per string, you skip over one or more strings and play non-adjacent strings. This can create a unique sound that can add variety and complexity to your playing.

In country music, string skipping is especially important, as it allows guitar players to create fast and intricate runs that can mimic fiddle or banjo lines. By incorporating this technique into country solos, guitarists can add a lot of character and flair to their playing.

If you’re interested in learning how to incorporate string skipping into your country guitar playing, then it’s important to focus on proper finger positioning and hand placement. By using the right technique, you can improve your accuracy and minimize the amount of unwanted string noise.

Check out these 10 country songs that feature string skipping to get a better idea of how this technique is used in practice. From classic country to modern hits, these songs demonstrate the versatility of this technique and how it can be used in a variety of contexts.

In the next section, we’ll go over some basic finger placement techniques that you can use to start developing your string skipping ability. We’ll also provide some tips for developing your accuracy and speed, so that you can incorporate this technique more seamlessly into your playing. Additionally, if you’re looking for more advanced techniques that you can use to take your string skipping to the next level, check out our guides on mastering string skipping exercises, tips, and techniques and advanced string skipping country arpeggios.

Why String Skipping is Important in Country Music

String skipping is an essential technique for all guitarists, but it holds a special place in country music. Country music often involves complex arrangements with various instruments playing simultaneously, and guitarists need to find a way to stand out while still complementing the overall sound. This is where string skipping comes in.

String skipping helps guitarists create unique sounds by breaking away from the typical up and down picking motion that can become monotonous. It allows them to jump over certain strings to create a more complex and melodic sound that catches the ear of the listener.

Incorporating string skipping into country solos also allows guitarists to play faster and more fluidly. They don’t have to worry about jumping over strings that they’ve already played, which can slow them down. Instead, they can focus on the strings that matter for the notes they want to play.

But string skipping is not just about speed and melody. It also allows guitarists to explore different ranges on the fretboard. Because it requires jumping over strings, it can force guitarists out of their comfort zones and help them find new frets and notes that they might not have discovered otherwise.

In essence, string skipping is a unique and versatile technique that can bring a lot of value to a country guitarist’s skill set. By mastering it, they can create interesting solos, play faster, and explore new notes on the fretboard.

If you want to develop your string skipping abilities, check out our 5 Essential String Skipping Country Licks article, where you can find some great examples of the technique in action. You can also learn more about incorporating string skipping into country solos and the benefits of string skipping versus alternate picking in our articles Incorporating String Skipping into Country Solos and String Skipping versus Alternate Picking in Country Music.

Finger Placement

Finger Placement
When it comes to mastering string skipping, proper finger placement is crucial to achieving clean and accurate notes. Without the correct hand positioning, executing even the most basic of country music licks can feel like an uphill battle. It’s imperative to understand the importance of finger placement and take the time to master it. In this section, we’ll delve into the key elements of finger placement, including proper finger positioning and how to find the right hand position. So, get ready to elevate your playing to the next level!

Proper Finger Positioning

To achieve proper finger positioning while string skipping, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, you want to make sure that your fingers are perpendicular to the strings, meaning they are straight up and down. This will allow for better accuracy and control while skipping strings.

Secondly, you want to make sure that your fingers are close to the frets, but not touching them. This will allow for clear notes and prevent unwanted buzzing or muting.

Thirdly, you want to use the tips of your fingers, rather than the pads. This will give you more precision and control over the strings.

Here is a list of proper finger positioning techniques:

  • Fingers perpendicular to strings
  • Fingers close to frets, but not touching
  • Use tips of fingers, not pads

Keeping these techniques in mind can be difficult at first, as string skipping can be a challenging technique for guitarists to master. However, with practice and patience, proper finger positioning will become second nature. Additionally, incorporating proper finger positioning into your regular practice routine will not only help with string skipping, but with overall guitar playing technique as well.

How to Find the Right Hand Position

In order to effectively execute the string skipping technique, it is crucial to find the right hand position on the guitar. This will ensure that you can achieve the proper angle and movement for your pick when playing the strings.

Step 1: Start by placing your arm across the guitar body, so that your hand is at a right angle to the strings.

Step 2: Now, shift your hand to the left so that your thumb rests on the top of the guitar neck and your fingers are hovering over the strings.

Step 3: Your fingers should be arched, and your wrist should be slightly bent inwards towards the guitar.

Step 4: Next, position the pick between your thumb and first finger, making sure that only a small portion of the pick is exposed.

Step 5: Experiment with different angles of attack until you find the one that works best for you. Some guitarists prefer to angle their pick downwards towards the floor, while others prefer to angle it upwards towards the ceiling.

Step Description
1 Place arm across the guitar body
2 Shift hand to the left with arched fingers and slightly bent wrist
3 Thumb rests on top of the guitar neck
4 Position pick between thumb and first finger with only a small portion exposed
5 Experiment with different angles of attack

Finding the right hand position for string skipping may take some practice, but it is important to give it the attention it deserves. By mastering your hand positioning, you will be able to achieve the perfect angle and movement for your pick, resulting in clean, crisp notes and a smooth playing style.

Discover Top 3 Guitar Bestsellers

No products found.

Start Slow and Gradual

Start Slow And Gradual
When it comes to learning something new, it’s always important to start slow and be patient with yourself. This is especially true for guitarists who are learning the string skipping technique. One of the most important things to remember is to start slow and gradual as you begin practicing this technique.

If you try to rush through it and play too quickly, you’ll likely experience frustration and won’t make much progress. Instead, try to play at a slow and steady pace. Focus on your finger placement and maintaining a consistent rhythm. This will help train your muscle memory and build the foundation for playing more complex licks and melodies down the road.

It’s also important to remember that practicing for short periods of time throughout the day is more effective than one long practice session. Try practicing for 10-15 minutes at a time, several times throughout the day rather than sitting down for an hour-long session. This will help keep your mind and fingers fresh and focused, and prevent burnout.

Another great way to start slow and gradual is to work on perfecting your single-string licks before moving onto more complex string skipping patterns. Take the time to master the basics before moving on to the next level. This will help build your confidence and set you up for success in the future.

It’s important to be patient and kind to yourself as you embark on this new learning journey. Becoming an expert in string skipping takes time and practice, so be sure to give yourself plenty of both!

Basic Country Music Licks

Basic Country Music Licks
Now that we’ve discussed the fundamentals of string skipping and proper finger positioning, it’s time to put these skills into practice with some basic country music licks. By incorporating these licks into your playing, you’ll develop an understanding of the essential techniques and skills needed to play country music. These licks are designed with beginners in mind, so don’t be intimidated if you’re just starting out. With some practice and determination, you’ll be playing like a pro in no time. Let’s take a look at some essential country guitar licks.

Single String Lick Examples

When practicing the string skipping technique, starting with single string lick examples is a great way to build a foundation. Here are some single string lick examples that you can practice:

  • The Hammer-On: Start by picking an open string, then hammering on a higher fret with your finger. For example, on the high E string, pick the open string, then hammer-on to the 5th fret and pull-off back to the open string.
  • The Pull-Off: This lick is similar to the hammer-on, but instead of hammering-on, you pull-off to a lower fret. For example, on the high E string, pick the 5th fret, then pull-off to the open string and repeat.
  • The Slide: Start by picking an open string, then slide up to a higher fret with your finger. For example, on the high E string, pick the open string, then slide up to the 7th fret and back down to the open string.
  • The Bend: This lick involves bending a string to a higher pitch. For example, on the high E string, play the 7th fret, then bend the string up to make it sound like the 9th fret.

It’s important to practice these licks with proper finger positioning and hand placement. As you get more comfortable, try incorporating string skipping into these licks for an added challenge.

String Skipping Lick Examples

For this section, we will be discussing some examples of string skipping licks that are commonly used in country music. These licks incorporate both traditional and modern country music techniques and will allow you to add some serious flair to your playing.

Lick Description
1 This lick involves skipping from the G string to the high E string in one quick motion. Start by playing the third fret on the G string followed by the fifth fret on the high E string. Then, skip over the B string and immediately play the eighth fret on the high E string with your pinky finger. This lick adds some great flavor to your playing when executed with speed and precision.
2 This lick is commonly used in bluegrass music but can also be incorporated into country playing. Start by playing the second fret on the D string with your index finger, and then skip over the G and B strings. Next, press down on the second fret on the high E string with your middle finger, followed by playing the open G string. Finally, use your pinky finger to play the fifth fret on the high E string. This combination of skipping and alternate picking will help you add some depth to your playing.
3 This is a great lick to use in more upbeat country songs. Start by playing the fifth fret on the A string with your index finger, followed by skipping over the D and G strings. Then, play the seventh fret on the high E string with your middle finger and skip back down to play the fifth fret on the A string. This lick can be repeated multiple times to create a catchy and memorable riff.
4 This lick involves skipping multiple strings to create a fast and intricate sound. Start by playing the fifth fret on the low E string with your index finger, followed by skipping over the A and D strings. Then, use your middle finger to play the seventh fret on the G string and your pinky finger to play the ninth fret on the high E string. This lick requires accuracy and speed to be executed properly, but once mastered, it will add a ton of depth to your playing.

Remember to start slowly and gradually build up speed when incorporating these string skipping licks into your playing. With some practice and dedication, you’ll be able to execute these licks seamlessly and elevate your country guitar playing to the next level.

Advanced Techniques

Advanced Techniques
As you progress in your guitar journey, it’s natural to want to challenge yourself and explore advanced techniques. In the world of country music, mastering string skipping can take your skills to the next level. With more complex fingering patterns and unique sounds, advanced string skipping techniques require diligent practice and patience. But fear not, with the right mindset and a willingness to learn, you can elevate your playing to new heights. Let’s dive into some of the advanced string skipping techniques that will help you achieve that distinctive country music sound.

Two-String Skipping Examples

String skipping can also be done using two strings, which adds a new layer of complexity to your playing. Here are some examples of two-string skipping exercises to try out:

  1. The Diagonal: This exercise involves skipping back and forth between two strings in a diagonal pattern. Start by placing your fingers on the 5th fret of the G string and the 7th fret of the D string. Play the G string with an upstroke and then skip over to the D string, playing it with a downstroke. Then, skip back to the G string and play it with a downstroke before going back to the D string with an upstroke. Repeat this pattern as many times as you want before moving up or down the fretboard.
  2. The Triplet: This exercise involves playing a series of triplets with string skipping. Begin by placing your fingers on the 7th fret of the G string and the 9th fret of the B string. Play the G string with an upstroke, then skip over to the B string and play it with a downstroke. Next, skip back to the G string but play it with a downstroke this time, before returning to the B string and playing it with an upstroke. Repeat this pattern as many times as you want before moving up or down the fretboard.
  3. The Wide Skip: This exercise involves skipping between two strings that are farther apart than usual. Start by placing your fingers on the 5th fret of the A string and the 12th fret of the high E string. Play the A string with a downstroke and then skip over to the high E string, playing it with an upstroke. Then, skip back to the A string and play it with an upstroke before going back to the high E string with a downstroke. Repeat this pattern as many times as you want before moving up or down the fretboard.

Remember to start slow and gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable with these exercises. As with any new technique, it’s important to focus on accuracy and proper finger positioning before attempting to play at faster speeds. And don’t forget to mix these exercises with your favorite country music licks to create your own unique style!

Alternate Picking and String Skipping

When it comes to mastering string skipping technique, it’s important not to neglect alternate picking. Alternate picking is the act of consistently switching between downstrokes and upstrokes while picking each string. Combining this technique with string skipping adds another layer of complexity to your guitar playing, but it’s worth the effort to learn.

To start incorporating alternate picking and string skipping, try the following exercises:

Exercise Instructions
Single String Alternate Picking Pick each note using alternate downstrokes and upstrokes, with a metronome set at a slow speed. Once you have the fundamentals down, start gradually increasing the speed and moving between different strings.
Two-String Alternate Picking and Skipping Choose two non-adjacent strings and play every other note, alternating between picking and skipping strings. For example, start by playing the 5th fret on the low E string, skip the A string, play the 7th fret on the D string, skip the G string, and so on.
Alternate Picking and Skipping Lick Create a lick that involves both alternate picking and string skipping, using a combination of single and two-string skipping. Practice at a slow tempo and gradually work your way up to faster speeds.

By mixing up alternate picking with string skipping, you’ll be able to add more intricate licks and melodies into your country music playing. Remember to practice these exercises slowly and patiently, gradually increasing your speed and accuracy over time. As you become more comfortable with these techniques, experiment with incorporating them into your own original compositions.

Tips for Developing Your String Skipping

So you’ve been practicing the string skipping technique for a while, and you want to take your skills to the next level. Maybe you’re struggling with accuracy, or you feel like your progress has plateaued. Don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered with some expert tips for developing your string skipping, that will help you go from good to great in no time. These tips will not only help you improve your accuracy, but also develop a deeper understanding of the technique, so you can apply it more effectively in your country music playing. Let’s dive in!

Focus on Accuracy

It’s important to emphasize the significance of accuracy when it comes to developing your string skipping technique. While it may be tempting to focus solely on speed, accuracy is key in mastering this technique, especially for country music guitarists.

One way to improve accuracy is by practicing with a metronome. By using a metronome, you’ll be able to keep a consistent tempo and focus on hitting each note cleanly and precisely. Start practicing at a slow tempo and gradually increase it as you become more comfortable with the technique.

Another tip to improve accuracy is to pay attention to your finger placement on the fretboard. Proper finger positioning will help you hit each note clearly and minimize the chance of accidentally muting a string. Take the time to make sure your fingers are in the correct position before playing each lick.

It’s also important to note that practicing with a guitar pick that you feel comfortable with can significantly improve your accuracy. Experiment with different picks until you find one that works best for you.

Table: Tips for Improving Accuracy

Tip Description
Practice with a metronome Keep a consistent tempo and focus on hitting each note cleanly and precisely.
Pay attention to finger placement Ensure your fingers are in the correct position on the fretboard to hit each note clearly and minimize the chance of muting a string accidentally.
Experiment with guitar picks Try different guitar picks to find one that you feel comfortable with.

By focusing on accuracy, you’ll be able to play each lick with precision and clean sound. This is especially important for country music guitarists, who often rely on intricate picking patterns and precise finger movements to create their signature sound. Don’t rush the learning process – take your time to develop your accuracy and you’ll see improvement in your playing.

Learn Your Scales

As a country guitar player, learning your scales is essential when it comes to mastering the string skipping technique. Scales are a set of notes ordered by pitch and are the foundation for creating melodies and solos. In this section, we’ll discuss the importance of learning your scales and how it can improve your string skipping ability.

Why Learning Your Scales is Important

When you know your scales, you can easily identify where the notes are on the fretboard, making it easier to create your own licks and solos. Scales are often used as a guide to help you navigate the fretboard when string skipping. By knowing the intervals between the notes in a scale, you can easily move across strings and frets without missing a beat.

The Different Types of Scales

There are different types of scales in music, including the major, minor, pentatonic, and blues scales. Each scale has a unique sequence of notes that create a different mood or feel.

To get started with learning your scales, we suggest beginning with the pentatonic scale. It’s one of the most popular scales used in country music and is relatively easy to learn. Here’s a table that shows the pattern for a G major pentatonic scale:

Note Fret
G 3
A 5
B 2
D 5
E 3
G 3

How to Practice Your Scales

Practicing your scales doesn’t have to be boring. You can make it more exciting by incorporating string skipping into your practice routine. For example, you can start by playing the scale using alternate picking on each individual string, then gradually skipping strings as you become more comfortable.

Additionally, try playing your scales in different patterns. For example, instead of playing the scale from beginning to end, try playing it in reverse or by starting from the fourth note.

Conclusion

Learning your scales is an important aspect of improving your string skipping ability as a country guitarist. With practice, you’ll be able to easily identify where the notes are on the fretboard and move across strings and frets with ease. Don’t forget to make practice fun, and experiment with different patterns and techniques to keep things interesting.

Conclusion

After learning about the string skipping technique for country music guitarists, there are a few key takeaways to keep in mind. First and foremost, string skipping can add a unique sound and flavor to your playing that sets you apart from other guitarists. By using string skipping, you can create intricate and complex patterns that are sure to impress your audience.

When it comes to finger placement, it’s important to remember to keep your fingers close to the frets and to practice finding the right hand position. It may take some time to get used to the technique, but with patience and practice, you’ll start to see improvement.

Starting slow and gradually working your way up can help you master the basics of the string skipping technique. Don’t rush yourself – take the time to truly understand each step and how it fits into the bigger picture.

For those looking to take their playing to the next level, advanced techniques like two-string skipping and alternate picking can add even more complexity and nuance to your playing. However, it’s important to focus on accuracy and learning your scales before attempting these harder techniques.

Overall, string skipping is an exciting and unique technique that can take your country music guitar playing to the next level. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of string skipping and impressing your audience with your skill and expertise. So grab your guitar and get ready to start skipping those strings!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between regular guitar playing and string skipping technique?

Regular guitar playing involves playing notes in a consecutive order on the six strings, while string skipping involves jumping over certain strings to create a unique sound.

Is string skipping technique difficult to learn?

Like any new technique, it may take some time and practice to master string skipping, but with patience and persistence, it can be learned by guitarists of any skill level.

Can string skipping be used in other genres besides country music?

Yes, string skipping is a versatile technique that can be applied to various genres of music, including rock, metal, and blues.

What are the benefits of incorporating string skipping into your guitar playing?

String skipping can add complexity and variety to your playing, and help develop your finger coordination and accuracy.

What are some common mistakes beginners make when learning string skipping?

Common mistakes include not using the proper finger positioning, starting too quickly without building up to it, and not focusing on accuracy.

Do you need a specific type of guitar to play string skipping?

No, any six-string guitar can be used to play string skipping, whether it’s acoustic or electric.

Can string skipping be used in both rhythm and lead guitar playing?

Yes, string skipping can be used in both rhythm and lead playing to add variety and complexity to your playing.

Can string skipping be incorporated into fingerstyle guitar playing?

Yes, string skipping can be incorporated into fingerstyle guitar playing by using a thumb pick and using fingerpicking patterns that involve skipping strings.

What is the best way to practice string skipping technique?

The best way to practice string skipping is to start slow and gradually increase speed, focus on accuracy, and incorporate basic and advanced exercises into your practice routine.

What are some popular country songs that feature string skipping?

Some popular country songs that feature string skipping include “Boys ‘Round Here” by Blake Shelton, “Cruise” by Florida Georgia Line, and “Famous in a Small Town” by Miranda Lambert.

References

About the author

Hi there! I’m Jack Little – an avid country music fan with tons of live country performances in the past. I used to play banjo in a country band with my best friend John Peters, who’s a true country harmonica master. Those were great years and I’m still mastering new banjo playing techniques, writing my own country songs and lyrics, and collecting banjos!

Leave a Comment