Best exercise to get rid of stringhopping

Hi, guys. I would like to know what is the best exercise to get rid of stringhopping. I know that this is a technique like any other, but what i mean is to get rid of it when trying to play fast. Does anyone have some kind of method that help with that? Does pickslanting primer teach any kind of approach to do that?


Copying one of the forms below (find one that works best for you) here is the way to go. You’re looking for a smooth tremolo on one string (at first) to know you motion is efficient (therefore not ‘stringhopping’).

Ok. But when i find out the best form, do i “learn” to use it slowly?

No… but also yes?

‘It’s complicated’

Basically what you’re looking to do is determine if the fast efficient motion you’ve landed on leans towards USX, DSX or DBXing lines or licks. The reason you do this part as fast as you can (think North of 160bpm 16th notes) is it will help guide you innately away from ‘combined’ movements where you’re doing all sorts of things and escaping the strings both above and below or string hopping. Usually this happens naturally, sometimes it takes some iterating, but one way or another, you can get there with a bit of help and suggestions from the forum. They’re great for that.

Once you’ve figured THAT out then you’ll want to search out licks that lend themselves to the type of motion you’ve hit upon.

You want to be able to translate the fast tremolo you discovered in step1 into playing licks. The best way to do that is to keep the speed above 160bpm 16th notes and at least get yourself in the ballpark. You probably won’t nail the fretting dead on like SOME people around here can first try… the bastards… but the thing you’re going for at first is knowing what fast/easy/speed feels like. Both as an experience to play, but also visually and physically feel in your arm/hand/fingers.

Dial it back ever so slightly so that you can work on syncing your two hands by chunking out the lick you picked out from Step3. A few notes at a time only, preferably in ‘chunks’ that coincide with your motion so, like small even numbers if you’re someone who leans towards USX or small odd numbers if you lean DSX.



1 Like

Keep it fast, don’t be afraid to be sloppy…this cleans up with time. The ‘keep it fast, let it be sloppy’ has been the most counterintuitive advice that I have adopted and seen the benefits of. Pay attention to how it feels and go for it!


All this is new to me too. I am just following Troy’s examples from the videos and doing it as it is presented. If you start from scratch, following the examples, you will naturally abandon stringhopping as you get more comfortable with your new fast picking motion.

Here is what I have done so far, maybe this will help making your own plan:

  1. I Did the tabletop tests to prove to myself I am not unable to be fast. Took my bpm and it was all at or above 200 for all the tests. Which was shocking and awesome.

  2. Then applied the motion to my guitar and shockingly it was very near 200bpm on the first try tremolo picking. I kept at it over several days, practicing it about 15 minutes a few times a day (separated by a few hours). In each of the practices, I would tweak things to see if the felt better (faster) or worse (slower).

  3. After finding what I feel works for me and is consistently close or over 200bpm, I started tremolo with the metronome, trying to get a feel for 16ths with the new motion. Of course, I slowed it down to about 130bpm at first, but still doing the same relaxed motion (for me 16ths at 130 before last week was impossible). It took me a while to get a feel for 16ths at this speed but I think I started to naturally chunk them after a couple of practices and suddenly I was able to lock in on the beat and nail the timing consistently. Speed has improved greatly in the last week. I can top out around 180 for a couple of measures before I lose the timing.

  4. I have just added this week the single string sixes exercise to get my fret hand used to the speeds. It is not easy. My fret hand has NEVER had to move that fast - not even close, so I feel like it’s the first week I ever picked up a guitar. All brand new stuff.

So that is where I am right now. I just decided to start with the easiest motions and force myself to do them consistently, every practice until they improve, and when they do, add more.

Good luck and let us know what you come up with for your practice.


I’m in (almost EXACTLY the same boat as you) so yeah, this absolutely works. What you just described is almost word for word what I did/am currently doing.

I first confirmed I could do fast motions in excess of 190 bpm (check!)

I applied that to a tremolo motion on 1 string, pausing to change strings to get a better feel for how it’d feel on all parts of the guitar, but again, staying relaxed and maintaining tempo (check!)

To be clear, the string changes were tremolo - stop - pick a different string - start tremolo again - repeat

After a couple days I’ve been able to pretty much lock in a tremolo motion that I can repeat as necessary for minutes++ at a time well in excess of 160bpm (check!)

I’ve analyzed the type of motion I’m making for my current tremolo (it appears Downstroke Escaping) so I came up with a (dumb but simple) ‘riff’ that always changes strings after a downstroke and is a 3 finger per string exercise that just repeats the fingering patterns twice on every string after playing 5,7,9 one time on the low E.

Anyway, it turns out I can blaze through it picking, but my fretting is HILARIOUSLY slow because, like @michael_s said, my fretting hand has NEVER had to do anything like this before. It’s honestly comical. But if nothing else, it’s proving to me where the issue is now.