# String Skipping Groove Exercises?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by wishface, Aug 13, 2012.

1. ### wishface

Jan 27, 2012
does anyone know any good exercises for dealing with string skipping and alternate picking - ie helping with the weaker finger playing octaves and the like. If you take a line such as Friday by Sly and Robbie, which is quite a simple line, because the octave lick falls on my weaker finger I struggle to keep it in time. How to correct this?

2. ### funkybass

Oct 19, 2006
Indiana
Practice octaves and r-5-8 patterns chromatically. Or just take licks from songs and slow em down.

3. ### jmattbassplayaLooking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

Jan 13, 2008
Lots of old disco.

4. ### GeoffT

Aug 1, 2011
Michigan
It sounds like you have identified something you have trouble with technique-wise. Isolate it, just mute the strings with your left hand, slow way down and practice that particular pattern. Then build up speed.

I'll assume that you are using 2 fingers to pluck the strings, there aren't that many ways you can move between 2 strings. Since you mentioned octaves you're talking about pairs of strings, E-D or A-G, or a low and a high one. Figure out and write down all the 4 note combinations for switching between those 2 strings. There will be 16 of them. For example, LLLL, HHHH, LHLH, HLHL, etc. where H=the higher string and L=the lower string. Some will be easy like 4 notes on a single string, others won't be so easy, practice the ones that are difficult until they are all easy. If you always alternate fingers, once you can get all of them to easy mode you will be able to move between the two strings in every possible way just by using the different variations of those patterns in different orders.

5. ### wishface

Jan 27, 2012

Specifically the issue is where the lower string is played with the middle finger and the higher is played with the index. That feels unnatural. It's a lot easier the other way around, ergonomically. This is the problem with the line I mentioned above: it's not a complex line, but when you play it (or approximate it, which is more or less what I'm doing, and where the issues arises) with alternate fingers every other time around you will lead with the middle finger on the lower string. My hand rebels against that.

6. ### GeoffT

Aug 1, 2011
Michigan
You've found the trouble spot. Isolate it and practice it until it no longer feels unnatural.

7. ### Jay2UNot as bad as he lóòks

Dec 7, 2010
22 ft below sea level
I practised quick riffs using alternating finger technique. First I started with the index finger, then with the middle finger, just to make them equally skillful. It helped a lot. Nowadays I don't even know which finger does what. It just happens. I'm not always alternating, sometimes a little raking is going on, if I go from a higher pitched string to a lower pitched one. As said: It just happens. Don't force anything, just practise a few minutes a day. Before you know your problem's gone.