Mike Zatezalo

My specialties lean towards rock, blues/R&B/soul and metal with maybe a little jazz and country thrown in for...

String-Skipping Exercise

This is a short exercise that can be used as a "musical" way to work on string-skipping picking technique.   It's a classically-inspired lick that might remind some of something Steve Morse might play.

Essentially, this exercise cycles through some diatonic triads in the key of G.   However, instead of just playing the triads within the same octave, the intervals are broken up such that they span two octaves, which is where the "string skipping" aspect comes in.    For example, the first triad in this lick is G Major (G - I, B - major 3rd, D - perfect 5th), starting on the "G" on the 5th fret of the D string.   The next note is the 5th interval (D) on the 7th fret of the G string.  The third note is the major 3rd (B), played an octave higher on the 7th fret of the high E string.

Though this is a simple major triad, by spreading the voicing of the intervals, we achieve a different and (in my opinion) more exciting sound than just playing a standard major triad within one octave. Here we see the G major triad at the fifth fret.

The second triad in the exercise is the A minor triad shown here starting on the 7th fret "A" on the D string. "A" is the second degree of the G Major scale. Building a triad, starting on A, using only the notes in scale/key of G major, yields the A minor triad (A, C, E). Because of the "octave displacement", the C note is one octave higher, on the high E string (8th fret).

Here we see the F# diminished triad starting on the 4th fret of the D string.

Here we see the E minor triad at the second fret of the D string.

Here we see the A minor triad at the fifth fret on the low E string

And lastly we see the D major triad at the fifth fret, starting on the A string

Here is the whole exercise. Click the tab below to play the exercise. [ilink-tab-1] [ilink-tab-2]