Advice on picking technique

Hey everyone i am new to the forum. I will try and keep this as short as possible. I have been playing for a few years now and most recently have been trying to play fast. I have watched troys videos and thought it would be a good idea to ask for advice. Hopefully these videos help. If i need to i can try getting some other angles.

I recently just changed my technique a couple weeks ago based on my recommendation from my guitar teacher. I am now using more of an angle on the pick. I seem to be getting tripped up when changing strings and also just feel like a cant play 16th notes past 130bpm smoothly. The other issue i am having is that every now and then my shoulder will start to burn. Any all advice would be much appreciated. Im getting extremely frustrated with my playing and just want to try and work it how with all the great advice on here. Thanks

I tried to get a better shot. I suck at this and at alternate picking.

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Honestly looks pretty good to me, at least from what I can tell. You probably just need to get used to it, since if you just recently changed technique, it’ll feel pretty awkward for a bit.

Ok so for just a few years of playing it sounds like you got quite far already. Good work!

In the videos you are playing a few quite complicated licks that require a lot of picking finesse. If picking speed is what you want, you need to really get down to basics. First of all, you need to find a good fast tremolo picking motion playing on one string. It’s first when you’ve got a good fast picking motion that you can expect your licks to get fast as well.

Please post a video where you are really going for it and not worry about playing to a metronome. What would that look and sound like?

Actually check this other thread out where this exact problem is resolved. It’s not a long thread and I think you would really benefit from reading it. I can hear that I sound like a car sales man but anyway… :slight_smile: Help! My Right Hand is Becoming Confused - #8 by qwertygitarr


Lots of good advice already! I like @qwertygitarr’s suggestion of showing us your fastest tremolo on one string, that can be quite revealing!

Why did you change it? What did your previous technique look like?

Also, it’s a common misconception in the guitar world that “you can only have one technique”. Not true, you can have as many as you want! So if your “old” technique was good for something, keep using it for that! If the “new” one is good for something else, use it as well for that something else!

And just like that you have 2 useful techniques instead of one.


Thanks everyone for your input. Here is the tremolo picking.

I switched my technique because my hand was parallel to the bridge/strings. It feels great for rhythm playing so i will use it for that. Also the way i was holding the pick i wasn’t getting any pick edging, it was pretty much straight on. This new technique i feel i am able to slice through the strings with ease.

Also i have been watching my picking hand alot and my downstrokes are trapped and my upstrokes escape. This is happening quite naturally.

Moving forward I am logging my metronome times and also concentrating on plying fast on one string.

Any advice is much appreciated thanks again

Are you sure? Your tremolo looks like a mix of wrist and some elbow, which would imply a DSX motion. Unfortunately we can’t tell because of the head on shot!

If you do shoot another video with a down-the-strings angle, take care to get the lighting right, and perhaps use a different colour pick. Black pick against black pickups in shadow makes it impossible to tell what’s happening!

Apart from that, I agree with what others are saying: there doesn’t seem to be any real problems to adress. Some of the things you are playing require DBX, which is what you’re using in the first video, but you also seem to have single escape motion going. In general: what happens if you try to speed things up? And, are you aware of the different picking motions and the rules for string changes that go with them?

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Thanks Johannes for your input. So after watching it the downstrokes are escaping but maybe a bit more shallow?? To me the upstrokes look like they pop out more.

So I am a bit confused. Am I dwps and downward escape?

So I have been watching troys videos and researching picking on the website so i have a good understanding. The upward pick slanting motion feel completely akward and almost impossible.

Let me know if these are good shots and also my slowmo wasn’t working but i have just been slowing it down on youtube.


I see at least two different motions.

The first is your tremolo motion, which actually does not really seem to escape at all. Perhaps a hint of DSX. (What happens if you try to make a bigger motion?) Now, we don’t see your arm in these new videos, but we have plenty of footage of that in the other videos. Re-watching the tremolo video I think it is almost exclusively a wrist motion.

The second motion is the one you use when playing the five- and six-note patterns or scale fragments. It looks like a wrist motion as well but you seem to escape on both up- and downstrokes most of the time, which is of course required to clear the strings on string changes. Do you feel the difference between these two motions?

It is entirely possible to use a DSX motion with a downward pickslant, and vice versa.

So, the question is – what happens if you try and go for a significantly higher tempo when playing these patterns? Does it fall apart? My suspicion is that the motion you’re using will not work at the higher tempos, but perhaps your body finds a way. But you will have to try at speed! I recommend taking a look at the Starting with speed and How naturals learn technique videos if you haven’t watched them already!

Just for fun, I would try some single escape licks as well, using your tremolo technique. Yngwie sixes, or something similar. Try starting on an upstroke, or a downstroke. In general, if something doesn’t work, don’t keep doing the same thing! Try a different pick, a different arm position, a different grip, and so on, until something clicks. You need to try something that feels different.



Its all so frustrating…this technique seems to be smoother but its all new. It feels quite natural but at the same time im not shredding.

So…I have been working really hard on my picking and I wanted to post some videos to get some advice.
Its gotten faster for sure but Im stuck at around 90BPM 16th note triplets 3nps patterns. I can usually get the pentatonic patterns faster. I think I’m an upward pickslanter??

Tremolo picking feels very easy and almost effortless and is fast in my opinion. obviously the problem occurs on string changes. I can’t take the tremolo picking across multiple strings. 3nps string changes sometimes feel smooth and other times it takes me a while to settle in. ex d=D U D U DU (B AND E) strings.

pentatonic patterns feel comfortable and I can usually get them pretty fast and smooth.

Just want some feedback and thoughts on my technique. Thanks everybody,…much appreciated.

@Rdog2326 I think you need to embed enable in the video preferences!

I just checked and they are all embed enabled. Are you unable to see them?

Says ” this video is unavailable", is it set to private?

They work for me. Could be a region location thing ?

Well they sound good to me. This is just a suggestion but have you tried tremolo picking slowly across the strings to analyse your escape motions more closely ? That’s what I tend to do if I’m having problems changing strings.

Try tremoloing 2 notes per string in a pattern like maybe a pentatonic that is comfortable for you and try to pick 2, 3 or 4 or 6 on each note consistently. Start slow and get it consistent then speed up.

So something like



and so on.

Edit : of course of you are a DSXer (upwards pick slant) you can start on an upstroke or adjust the number of pick strokes so you escape on the downstroke. And of course you can ascend instead of descend if that’s where a problem exists.

It’s a little difficult to see what’s happening due to the camera angle. Could you possibly post some clips with the camera pointing down the neck so we can see what’s happening during string changes and what escape motions you are using?
Some folk with better eyes and knowledge than me here might be able to give advice based on these clips, but it can be very difficult to spot the details from this perspective