Using String Skipping to See Scales Differently...

When you first learn the three-note-per-string and/or single position seven-note scale, you learn the patterns starting on the low E string and work your way up to the high E and back.

You do this for each of the seven patterns up the neck, practicing and perfecting your scales.

This is great! The only problem is, this is how you are training your hands and brain to approach them.

Rather than viewing the scales as the available notes you have to choose from in a given key/mode, the order of the notes sometimes becomes how you rely on playing them in an improvising and/or composing situation.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this; it has worked fine and beautifully for hundreds of years. The melody for “Joy to the World” is simply a descending major scale. Learning to approach your scales in a different way will shake things up and hopefully change your habits of approaching scales in only an A-to-Z fashion.

String skipping is mostly associated with being a shred technique, covering a lot of ground quickly on the guitar by skipping over adjacent strings. The approach I am presenting is not so much a shred thing, but more of a way to know the scale on only two strings at a time, rather than all six, as most people generally learn them. 

If anything, this will force you to know the notes of the scale better, rather than relying on muscle memory to get through them.

Remember the most important thing when playing music is to consciously create, rather than go through the motions of learned patterns that are embedded in our brains from constant repetition.


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