Thread: Third string skipping for wherewolf1967 | Forums

  1. #1
    Gold_Jim's Avatar Senior Member
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    Third string skipping for wherewolf1967

    Welcome wherewolf (Where wolf? There wolf) to another string skipping exercise. We're going to to talk this week about a string skipping technique called chicken pickin'. This is a slightly more advanced technique as it requires the use of a pick and fingers. For simplicity, let's use a song that is DLC in Rocksmith called "Wanted Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi. We'll refer to it as WDA for short.

    WDA begins with 3 notes played as harmonics spelling out a D power chord (DAD) on the 5th fret of the A string, the 12th fret of the A string and the 12th fret of the D string. This is followed by a string skipping riff played from the 14th to the 2nd fret on the G and 13th to 1st fret on the E as follows:

    G E
    14 13
    12 12
    10 10
    9 8
    5 5
    4 3
    2 1

    The "rhythm" guitar transcription includes a D under each of these, so an open D string is plucked each time you pluck the G string. This is also known as a "pedal" tone or droning note.

    Those notes are (in order played) A F G E F D E C C A B G A F which is a C major scale (C D E F G A B C). Since the D string is played each time, the riff implies D and D minor, which means we're using the Dorian mode of C over D. The song also uses the chords D, Dsus4, C, G, and F/C (F with a C bass).

    To learn the mechanics of the exercise, slow the lead transcription of the song down in riff repeater and play this descending line with a pick on the G string and pluck the E string with either your ring or pinkie finger. Fight the urge to pick both notes with the pick. Be mindful not to speed up until you have a steady rhythm and you're not letting notes ring that should be muted. Keep a light touch throughout as you fret, because as people learn a knew riff, they often tend to squeeze a little tighter and tense up. Stay loose.

    Once you have that riff where you can play it at speed, go to the more difficult rhythm riff. This is even more fun! Usually, the rhythm guitar is relegated to strumming chords, but here, we've got a 3 note riff that is the same as the one previously, only you play an open D each time before playing the other two notes. Now play the D string with your pick then the G string, then the E string with a finger. You can also practice playing the D string with the pick, the G string with your ring or middle finger and the E string with your ring or pinkie finger. The idea is to play each string cleanly, but make sure you mute it as you play the next string. This can be tricky, but you can get the hang of it with practice.

    This string skipping technique is used by many musicians. Think Mark Knopfler "Sultans of Swing", Elliot Easton (the Cars) "My Best Friend's Girl", just about any Brad Paisley song, and Brian Setzer (Stray Cats) as examples. When you get good at this, arpeggios will come much quicker and easier to you.
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  2. #2
    Rockbottom by UFO is a nice string skipping song, with a great solo.
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    Gold_Jim's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by ThePresident777 Go to original post
    Rockbottom by UFO is a nice string skipping song, with a great solo.
    I was trying to give him something that he could find in RS. I'm sure there are many others. I used what came first to my mind.
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    They should almost give you your own forum for lessons Gold_Jim. These are fantastic.
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    Gold_Jim's Avatar Senior Member
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    Originally Posted by Out_of_tune Go to original post
    They should almost give you your own forum for lessons Gold_Jim. These are fantastic.
    Thanks, Out_of_Tune. I've considered doing short videos that would go with them, but I wonder if these exist already. Regardless, it might add another level. I'm almost done with anything I can say about string skipping. I hope that by explaining how they can be used in musical context (such as octaves, the minor 6ths, and this last relationship to the D scale) it doesn't just look like something one would do when a guitar teacher says, "because I said so".
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