String skipping is one of those techniques that is quite difficult for a lot of people to do at first. On a technical side and the creative side. I won’t go deep into how to handle it on a technical level, but more about how to get creative with string skipping.
A lot of people focus a lot of time on the technique of string skipping but they never work on being creative using this technique. This is why many guitarists find they can’t use the technique they have mastered in a musical context, mix it with their other skills or use it creatively. Because they never work on it! The idea that you can’t learn creativity is simply not true at all, but it is true that you can’t learn creativity or become creative if you never work on doing just that!
I will tell you some examples of what you can do to be creative with this, and what you should do after that is come up with your own.
1) Use skipping using a scale to come up with ideas
This might sound obvious but some people do not think to do this. If you have an e minor chord and you are playing in the key of e minor, what you want to do is create a short little phrase (no more than 8 notes) that skips at least one string at some point. You can do this with major or minor scales, modal scales, harmonic minor or melodic minor, exotic scales, you can even do this with pentatonic and blue scales!
2) Add other notes to the scale while using string skipping
This will add a little colour to your phrases. This is an extension to step 1 in a way, but this is fine because the flavour you will get from doing this is different from what you would get from just using in key notes!
Telling you this alone will give you the ability to come up with ideas that you would have never thought of before.
3) Use string skipping in an arpeggio to come up with ideas
Do not underestimate the use of arpeggios for creating ideas! Scales are useful but arpeggios are also useful in ways that is different from scales. This is something that can be done in many many ways. But to give you a starting point, if you take the e minor arpeggio root position 5 strings. You can start on any note and skip any string at any point to come up with melodies, phrases and ideas.
4) Skipping a vast number of strings at various times
A lot of people start with skipping only 1 string. While this is okay in the very beginning, you will not want to only be able to do this forever. This will be difficult to do at first, but if you try to come up with an idea using a scale or an arpeggio, come up with a short to medium length phrase that skips more than on string at some points.
This will be quite difficult to do at first, but this is okay for now. You will work on the technique also, but you need to expand your mind to think of skipping not just one string all the time.
5) Any combination of the above steps!
I could tell you many other ways in which you could be creative with string skipping, but that would take a long time. These ideas are enough to get you started. A way to be creative here is to mix these concepts together in different combinations.
For example mix skipping various numbers of strings with adding notes into the scale. Or mx the use or an arpeggio with a scale and other techniques. This should keep you busy for quite some time.
About the author: Of all the guitar techniques Jake likes to use on the guitar, string skipping is high on the list as well as 8 finger legato and tapping. Did I tell you that Jake offers guitar lessons in Exmouth? Well he does and let me tell you this, if you take guitar lessons with him you will be able to impress your friends with your guitar playing skills quicker than he did!