Advancing from "Tremelo Picking"

I’m a bit confused as to the next steps & I’ve watched a lot of the video content… I feel like I must have missed something or it’s inferred in some other way.

In the early videos where Troy does demos/tests to explain different ways to test your BPM… I have my alternate picking going really quick up to 210 bpm on one string BUT…

The next step seems to be about escape zones and all of that material - I’m wondering… how do I take this rapid fire thing I’ve got going and start bridging it with my fretting hand so I can actually start playing at the rate that my picking hand is doing relatively easily now.

Is it a matter of just slowing it all down and then building them up together so your hands are sync’d? Are there preferred exercises or is it just chromatic runs?

Thanks for any tips!

I think we might be a the same stage here. For many reasons I didn’t do this once I developed a tremolo. @Troy told me to do this:

Have a look at his video.

I guess once you have spent time there, then find the lesson on whatever picking motion you have in the Video lessons here (USX/DSX), and try thos lines. You might need to slow it down from 210bpm to allow your left hand to sync. There is a good lesson on hand sync from Uncle Ben here:

You might take some lines you want to learn and mod them to your picking escape motion by adding hammer ons, pull offs or adding/taking away notes on a string so that you escape with your motion before moving to the next string, although in the beginning I think it’s better to just play lines that alternate pick and utilize only your escape motion in order to build fluency with it. Adding hammer ons/pull offs can break your flow of picking

Hope that helps and is the right advice for you


I agree with @superslip103 that hand sync is really key. That should happen before you even worry about escape and switching strings.

Other than als of Ben Eller’s good advice, I’d say to in general practice some licks (again, that stay on one string) that you are good at and enjoy and really focus on making sure the notes all line up. Make it fun too. We live in an age where you can find backing tracks in various tempos in just about any genre. You’ll probably do better noodling these licks along with the backing track than you will doing it the ‘traditional’ metronome way.

I’d say to get a variety of patterns too, mainly to find out what’s easiest for you. There are going to be finger combinations you’re strongest at and you should capitalize on these so you can really get your speed going and use this as a reference for the other stuff you do.

Along the way, do some sanity checks to make sure the motion you’re picking with is the same one you were fast at. I’ve gotten ‘ok’ at a couple different motion mechanics now and one thing I noticed when I didn’t quite have them down yet is that I’d do the motion when playing a tremolo, but as soon as I introduced fret hand movement, the picking motion would change.


Bernth has a good exercise for hand synchronization. It doesn’t go to very fast Tremelo (goes from 50 BPM to 140 BPM). It’s still challenging though.

Bernth Hand synchronization.