902 Help Needed

Okay I want to practice some Andy wood style crosspicking with the 902 method. I’ve watched some videos and perused some threads, but I don’t really understand the clock analogy. I understand the Molly Tuttle dart throw motion, but the 902 or 10-3 is not clicking for some reason. Would anyone be able to take a chance at clarifying this for me?

Watch this again for a couple of minutes from the time stamp (about 6 minutes in).

Hold your arm stretched out in front of you, level to the floor. Your hand in-line with your arm. This is your neutral (0 o’clock) position. Mover your hand up from the wrist, that’s 12 o’clock. Move it down, that’s 6 o’clock. Move it to the left, that’s 9 o’clock. To the right, that’s 3 o’clock.


What I always read people getting confused about the clock face stuff is them not understanding how the clock rotates with your hand no matter what position you are in. Your palm always points to 6. If you hold your arm straight in front of you with your palm facing the ground it is pointing to 6. If you supinate so that you are in a karate chop (now your palm is facing the left direction) it is still facing 6 because the clock rotated with your hand.

In a normal guitar playing position if your palm is pretty neutral (flat on the bridge) a down stroke that is slightly dsx would hit about 2 o’clock. An upstroke of pure deviation will be about 9 o’clock. Confusingly, though we would think it will trap, this upstroke will also escape so the whole motion is slightly curved.

I think this is almost best just to understand what actually happens in this particular dbx motion. Not something to actively or purposely trying to do. I have had some recent success with crosspicking and what worked for me was just playing phrases that require an escape in both directions and letting my hands figure it out on their own, constantly being aware of the motion feeling either effortless ot cumbersome and adjusting accordingly. If it feels hard, it is wrong. Try something else until it feels easy :wink:

Any particular phrases you can point me in the direction of? Not hellbent on becoming expert crosspicker just want to have some fun and practice something different since I’ve recently found some Anton videos hahaha

So basically just moving the wrist side to side ? I get it’s not perfectly side to side but that’s the gist?

I will say when it started to click for me, it felt very much like side-to-side. I was going to make a whole post on my experience with this because I feel like for different phrases, my motion changes. So I’ll leave it at that for now. But yes, the 902 thing is like a ‘tweak’ to deviation.

I had fun doing a progression I ripped off from Rainbow’s “Man On the Silver Mountain”. I soundsliced it for you.

The important thing for me was doing it on clean channel or acoustic, at least starting out. BECAUSE…
If you want the notes to sound totally separate, that requires either palm muting or careful fret hand release/dampening. That’s way too much to think about if you’re trying to learn a new picking motion. Plus doing a palm mute might lock you into a position that makes the technique hard. That’s not to say you can’t eventually do it, it just wasn’t step 1 for me :slight_smile: So let those notes ring, allowing all your focus on your picking. Also I have pretty specific fret hand fingerings in that slice and they will allow switching between the chords with minimal fret hand effort. So again, one less thing to focus on :slight_smile:

Other important stuff would be to not just play one pattern. Troy has said about this stuff that “every thing helps everything”. Playing 3nps scales helps, because you could use a DBX motion on that.

@Fossegrim had a nice post where he made a little etude that encourages DBX.

In that same thread I linked a video that Troy made that I thought was super helpful in all this:

For me the big thing was how he gently extended the wrist and where he “anchored”. If you do that, there aren’t too many ways to do this technique, other than string hopping. So be sure to do some reps at a speed where you are sure it isn’t string hopping. It should feel pretty effortless.

Good luck!

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Yes side to side would be 903, that would mean the downstroke is trapped (you have a slightly supinated/tilted position on the guitar so the upstroke escapes). 902 would be both the upstroke and downstroke escaping.

(Mind you I can’t do it!)

Plenty of help in here already, I’ll just drop this in case you need a better visualization of the clock face:

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Etude? I think you give me way too much credit. More like a lick that repeats like a grind organ. Anyway I meant to expand in that topic more, but I have had to do too many stupid pain in the ass domestic things lately, like change the water pump in my car. I feel bad for leaving those guys hanging though.


Lot to unpack here. Crosspicking is something I def want to get efficient in since I feel limited by it. The hardest part for me is if I do 3 nps and need to change strings after a down stroke, it just feels so hard for my hand/pick to get over the next string and upstroke it. Which is why I always did economy or went Up Down Up, because after the last upstroke, I could just basically roll my pick for the next downstroke. I’m gonna try to get some better videos of my progress when my semester ends next week. Would love to see that video of your playing you mentioned!

Yeah I saw this, it’s helpful but still haven’t fully grasped it

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Oh yeah I thought this would a relevant thread for you to peruse too.

Norm Blake crosspicking technique?

Particularly one of the later posts from Troy about “not trying to do crosspicking”. Instead focus on a motion that escapes in both directions. Yes, crosspicking requires that but other stuff does too and it will all become synergistic.

Sure, I’ll get over my red light syndrome and get something up. I’ve done tons of recording in my ‘career’ but that’s all studio. Something about a camera right up on me always makes my playing worse lol

Trying to grasp complicated technical descriptions of picking motions is not a good way to learn those motions. All the really good teaching advice we’ve come up with, like our table tapping tests, focuses on doing stuff and not thinking too much. We just used our technical knowledge to come up with those simple things, if that makes any sense.

First things first. When you want to learn additional things, it really helps to be good at something first. Are you square on whatever your current technique is? Do you have a fast tremolo, can you synchornize the hands on simple repeating single-string phrases? Can you play any type of multi-string phrase fast and smooth, with synchronized hands and clean string changes?

This sounds like a lot but it’s really just the foundation. Knowing what fast, smooth, and accurate feels like is an incredibly powerful advantage for learning other things that will need to feel equally fast, smooth, and accurate, so I wouldn’t skip that.

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No one (besides Yngwie lol) likes to toot their own horn so I’ll do it for him.

@carranoj25 is a great player. He submitted a critique a while back.

Tommo’s response:

Dude thank you ! I was looking for that and couldnt find it! Made my day thanks bro! I def need to get some better videos going

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See below thread with video joebgly linked. I can play pretty well already but i def struggle with double escape and it’s something i want to revisit and get better at just for something new

Thanks @joebegly!

Your technique looks like it’s primarily wrist-oriented already and your form is more or less what Andy uses so you’re not wrong in thinking about Andy-style wrist motions. But I still wouldn’t worry about that too much. Your form looks pretty settled, and your motions are fast, smooth and relaxed. So just play how you play.

You just need to assemble a variety of phrases you want to work on and then try to do them fast to make sure the motion is still smooth. Andy’s interviews are a great source of this kind of material, particularly the first one since there’s a bunch of electric in there. If you can more or less approximate the lines at the target speed then you can slow down a little and see what needs more accuracy.

In the other thread, the clips there are helpful for understanding your overall form, but not super helpful in seeing or hearing what’s going on with accuracy. Video is dark, far away, not slow motion, etc. Not a knock, I mean this in a positive way. When you get to the point that you’re at, where things are relaxed and fast, it’s hard to improve accuracy if you don’t know precisely what to fix. This is true for some of the examples in the other thread, where things sound a little off but it’s not obvious in what way, if it’s all the time or just some of the time, etc. And it will definitely be true as you try to play unfamiliar lines fast.

This is where the camera can be helpful. Get up close to the neck, pointing down the strings, film in 120, and get near a nice light source like an open window. Here are some other tips:

That’s the basic outline, i.e. go fast, then slow down a little, check for accuracy, see what the problem is, make many attempts to see if you can “stick the landing” at all. Any updates we’re happy to take a look!

I think I’m echoing what @Troy already said, but I’d suggest playing lines that you know “need” DBX (or come up with some simple ones yourself) and experiment with different motions / angles until you find something that works. You seem to already have an overall great grasp on picking, so even something as minor as implementing a secondary motion might solve it.

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This is a technical detail that I’m not sure is super practical for most people to think about. When you look at real-world examples like Andy, you sometimes see other joints doing stuff, sometimes not. And even when it’s just one joint, like the wrist, you can sometimes classify certain movements as the “main” ones and others as the helpers. It’s very complicated to even describe. Even if you can delve to that level of nerdery, I don’t know that you’re actually thinking about that while trying to play the lines.

That type of knowledge is helpful for us in evaluating what people are doing, or guessing what they’re going to have success with. It’s less useful for people trying to learn on their own. Some knowledge of the big picture, the overall form that players use, and which ones they themselves are using, can definitely help clarify the confusion of flip flopping between different things without being aware of it, for sure.