String Skipping Through Minor Pentatonic

In this exercise I will get you started down the path of string skipping by showing you how the technique can be applied to the Pentatonic Minor scale.

With string skipping, you have to start somewhere. There is no way for me to show you easy string skipping exercises, because the technique is inherently difficult. I say that freely because I know you aren't one of those guitarists who did a google search on "how to master guitar in 30 days." But I guarantee there are guitarists who have done that google search.

This exercise is all about gradually getting your fingers used to what at first will seem very unnatural.

String Skipping Through Minor Pentatonic fretboard diagram The shape shown in the fretboard diagram should be familiar - here is the classic Minor Pentatonic shape.

The guitar is not like the piano, where the movement of one finger accomplishes the setting of the note and its sounding. With guitar, when playing with a pick, skipping strings becomes especially difficult because of the intervening strings that you have to deal with. So perhaps more so than with any other technique - in my opinion anyway - string skipping will truly require a ton of practice time.

So to get you started, in this first exercise in the introductory string skipping guitar lesson, I will have you enter the unfamiliar territory of string skipping by having you grounded in the familiar world of Minor Pentatonic. In the case of this exercise - D Minor Pentatonic.

String Skipping Through Minor Pentatonic Guitar Pro tablature
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Note: To download and view exercise tab you need Guitar Pro

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Guitar Lesson Exercise Performance Tips

Performance Tips

Like I said above, you can perform string skipping without a pick, using finger picking or hybrid picking, but in my string skipping guitar lessons I will often be showing you the technique using alternate picking. In fact, I highly recommend you go through some of my Alternate Picking guitar lessons before moving on to string skipping.

The benefit of using the pentatonic scale for this exercise is that it possesses that certain symmetry that we guitarists love. So if you are already very familiar with minor pentatonic then this exercise won't be a big stretch for you.

I won't repeat what I already said about the trouble you can get into when moving pick from one string to the next. So just be very careful, start off slow using eighth notes as shown in the tab, and be sure you are playing the exercise cleanly! I don't want to learn that people are becoming sloppy string skippers through my site!

Once you are playing cleanly at low tempo, try playing as 16th notes.

Criteria for Mastery: Clean execution as 16th notes at 130 BPM or faster.