I'm looking to see if there's a special word for a type of alternate picking commonly heard in metal that involves playing a series of notes on a lower string while also playing notes on a higher string in between.

Something like this:

The technique I'm looking for starts at around 25 seconds. I've noticed a lot of heavier metal guitar players utilize this technique, and I have a hard time playing any of these songs. I'm trying to find a good way to search for this type of playing to find relevant practice exercises.

  • 4
    Maybe you are looking for string-skipping exercises?
    – user39614
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 4:05
  • Am I correctly assuming that Bullet for my Valentine - Suffocating under Words of Sorrow is another example of the picking style you mean?
    – Ian
    Commented Aug 17, 2018 at 12:29
  • @Ian Yes the main riff for this song is exactly what I'm looking for.
    – newbiedev
    Commented Aug 18, 2018 at 4:19

1 Answer 1


It sounds like string skipping which. There is no special technique other than practice string skipping exercises slowly with a metronome until you can play clean. As for alternate versus other picking methods that is up to you. Mal Bay Grade 2 has some string skipping exercises near the end that are pretty tough to get fast and are worth the effort to work on. I am sure you can find similar exercises in a book on shred guitar techniques. But don't search for "alternate picking" search on "string skipping".

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