Always wanted to have a picking hand


I stumbled across @Troy while googling “Picking technique” because I knew I was doing something wrong and was tired of working around it.

I’ve been playing for 34 years and I’m still at it. I’ve always loved Vai, Satriani, Gilbert, Wylde and the like but I’ve never come close to anything like that. I realized recently in an improv setting that my picking was really holding me back. I have a decent legato and dabble in hybrid picking, but I fear I’ve been inadvertently practicing the exact opposite of the DWPS. I’ve been practically resting the back/top of the base of my thumb on the strings when I’m not being careful while trying pick pick quickly. That ill-advised achor is leaving me feeling like my arm/wrist is floating when I try to utilize the DWPS approach.

Anyone have a similar experience or a hint at how to reinvent my approach without feeling like I’ve lost 34 years of time? :slight_smile:



Hi and welcome! :grinning:

When I get you right your downsttrokes escape and the upstrokes are trapped?
If so that’s UWPS (upward pickslanting).
That’s pretty common, especially for 3nps players.
If I’m right and you feel comfortable with that, I would think about these options before I change the motion:

  • start even note groupings with an upstroke (one needs to get used to that, but then it’s the same as DWPS just mirrored)
  • play an oddd numbers on first string and even numbers on the following (starting with a downstroke)

If you want to play around with different motions the best entry-point so far is this:

34 years playing are never lost, in worst case neighbours and family had a chance to get used to it :wink:


You summed it up perfectly. Yes, I started my quest for speed with 3nps! It’s a relief to know it’s somewhat common.

I’ll be digging into that intro video more closely now. I have a one month subscription and the content is mid boggling!


Haha glad if I helped you.
If you don’t want to feel alone with UWPS have a look on the Michael Angelo (MAB) interview.
He’s an UWPS’er and switches when he needs to, no need to start with his arsenal of motions, just wanted to name one of the famous UWPS players.


I’m in a similar boat. I have been playing 40 years. went “on the road” with a band at 18 and have been playing steady ever since. I never really got my picking together. I’m hoping to find my way by joining. Ive got the time to put in. I need to figure how and on what. I’ve been the solo guitar player for the better part of 20 years so I’m getting the job done band wise but still not happy with my limits.


Right on. More power to you on your journey as well!:metal:


Thanks for signing up!

It appears @theGuyFromGermany got there before me and posted the link he knows I was going to post - thanks man!

Again, the fundamental picking motion is where you should start:

The movements come in two general flavors - the upward pickslanting motions and the downward pickslanting ones. They have two basic forearm setups on the guitar, i.e. how you hold the guitar and where you contact it. This is a simplification but it will get you started with concrete pointers. For the time being, assume that any grip will work. It will influence the movements and make them look slightly different - but they will all still work, for the most part.

Try to replicate all the movements, and whichever one works best, start working on that one first. Just make sure to work on phrases that match the movement you have chosen. So if your best movement is one of the upward pickslanting movements, work on those phrases in the Pickslanting Primer. Do not start with three note per string scale playing - that requires compound movements. Start with one-way pickslanting phrases first, since those movements are simpler.

This probably sounds like Klingon to you right now. It will make more sense when you get into it!


Thanks, @Troy. I’ll keep everyone posted.