So here’s my more detailed response. I hope you don’t find this nitpicking or insulting because I think you’re an excellent player. When anyone is viewed under a microscope, even the best players, we’re going to notice flaws. If I uploaded a video of my own playing, I’d expect similar criticism. But hopefully these observations help us key in on how to maximize your strengths, which I think is DSX.
Chromatic Exercise comments:
In general, any time you need to escape on an upstroke, your motion changes slightly. You’re either turning your wrist/forearm a little and/or flexing the pick grip (thumb/index) to facilitate the change. If this were a “continuous” USX motion, you wouldn’t need to change anything on the upstrokes since all upstrokes would break free from the plane of the strings. That’s not what’s happening though. Your pickstrokes all actually have a trajectory where they travel away from the body on downstrokes. Your brain is aware it needs to do “something different” to clear the string. This supports my analysis of your primary motion being DSX, not USX. Plenty of great players do this, but I can’t think of any who do this and successfully play EJ licks with the same pick stroke and fingering scheme he does them. The “helper motions” just happen too frequently for 2nps and causes issues with the core motion.
Other things that may cause some issues (unless you’re already acutely aware of this and it’s intentional)
In your first lick, around the 0:09 mark, that’s where I can tell you’ve switched to starting each lick with an ‘upstroke’. This happens because there’s an economy upstroke and it “offsets” things. You can confirm this by noticing that you strongly end the lick on a down beat, but that happens with an upstroke.
On your next rep, the same thing happens again around 0:16. Interestingly, there’s a little “accident” where your pick gets caught on the A string and I think that gets things back on track so you do finish with a downstoke (I think!!!). Biggest thing to call out is in relatively the same place both times you had an “economy” stroke that temporarily flip things so that the beats start on upstrokes. That tells me it’s a “learned” thing that you’re doing consistently.
If this is not intentional, it’s going to give you a fit in terms of hand sync and could in general throw off your tempo. In strict single escape playing, this isn’t usually a problem because the pick moves back and forth in a straight line like a motor and that action itself is actually how we keep time. If it changes haphazardly, our nervous system is likely to get confused.
Scalar lick that starts around 0:22 seconds:
Similar to the chromatic lick, once you start descending you use economy picking. The difference here is that since it doesn’t have an even number of notes per string, the economy picking continues. Again, if this is intentional, all good. I’m assuming your going for strict alternate picking but maybe I shouldn’t assume that
Second rep through this is similar. I even see economy picking prior to ascending in places.
I know you said you thought ascending was the worse take but the descending one had more issues for me. On the majority of the thinner strings I don’t hear the second note. It’s possibly getting choked by something in the fretting hand but another issue is that the upstrokes aren’t escaping and that’s the real problem. The downstrokes are going away from the body and the upstrokes are getting “stuck”. Interestingly, I think something changes when you get to the “wound” strings. It’s cleaner sounding and I think you may get a few clean escapes. We should possibly come back to this mostly because, if something’s working, we need to do more of that thing.
Scalar lick at 1:04
For me, this had the cleanest string switches. I notice you’re using quite a bit of the “grip motion” (thumb and index moving the pick). It was present in most of your other licks but it seems more integral to the string switches here. I’m not sure what to say about it, because there’s a mixed bag of advice on that technique in general. It’s not hugely covered in the Primer like the wrist is. In some players, it’s a great assistant to their escapes. In other players, it’s more of an idiosyncratic artifact that may or may not do anything. I’ve seen Troy advise people in certain situations to try to park it for a while mainly because it introduces another set of variables and distracts from most people’s issue - which is complete control of their “core” motion. Again, nothing’s wrong with it, in some players. For you it seems to be more of a “garnishment” like it is in most players who use it, but it’s possible that it’s aiding you in what I think were the cleanest switches. My gut reaction when something works is to say “do more of that!!!”
Anyway, again, you’re a great player. If you’re not tired of my advice yet (I totally understand if you are), I’ll tell you where I think maybe we should go from here to get to your EJ goals.