Even within complex solos, most guitarists play several notes on one string, and then move up or down to the next string. This creates melodically linear patterns.
But more importantly, it’s the path of least resistance. It’s comparatively easy to go from one string to an adjacent string. Easy as compared to what, you ask? To skipping the adjacent string (or strings) to hit your next note, more commonly referred to as “string skipping.”
So why string skipping? Because it allows you greater range and dynamics. When you skip strings, you can suddenly play wider intervals than you hear in common guitar solos. There are a few famous guitar players who have employed this style, including Paul Gilbert, Eric Johnson and even Slash on his intro to Guns N' Roses' “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”
But more often than not, even good guitar players shy away from this technique. It’s not that easy. Imagine you’re playing a blues progression in E. You’ve just hit that high E (12th fret) on the high E (first) string and stretched it long enough to make the sky cry. But now it’s time to play an A note, and you want to go low instead of high.
OPTION 1: Stay on that E string and slide down to the fifth fret.
OPTION 2: Hit the (same) A on the 10th fret of the B string (one string down).
These are both pretty standard options, and you can hear them in the solos of innumerable blues songs. But what if you want a wider leap? What if instead of going to the predictable A note that's closest to the E, you want a much lower A note, the one that’s a full octave below what the listener expects to