Are double-escaped strokes "reversible?"

Let’s look at double-escaped wrist-only strokes, and let’s look at a downstroke, say 9-0-2 (the clock face model, where 0 is in the middle). The stroke STARTS at 9 with deviation, and then when the pick is going towards 0 the stroke STARTS with extension (going up), and it will end up at 2, and then, in parallel, both motions STOP. So, look at it in time: there is a START (deviation), a delay, a START (extension), and then two STOPs. (Note that both cannot start at once because otherwise a line would result, and not a curve.) Now, I think the problem comes up going backwards.

My first question: Does going backwards go from 2-0-9? If so, I believe it’s a string-hopping movement, in the sense that both would START, and one (flexion) would STOP around the 0 in order for the pick to return to 9. (Unless one turns the forearm to reorient the hand, but I don’t think this is going on.)

Going forwards isn’t so bad because the stopping can be sloppy (the pick is above the string plane), but going back 2-0-9 seems precarious.

Is there something that I am missing?

CtC observes, “Andy Wood’s crosspicking motion? 9-0-2. Molly Tuttle’s crosspicking motion? 10-0-3. Steve Morse’s groundbreaking crosspicking technique that stumped everyone? 7-0-12.”

I’m not going to pretend to be a CTC wizard, but isn’t the 9 through to 0 and 2 a blended movement? Rather than 2 seperate movements?

Yes, you are right, it is a “blended” movement between two pairs at 90°.

Totally not following this at all, but I’m dense sometimes and fully admit that! The reason 902, 1003, and 7012 are not stringhopping is because the muscles used for the downstroke are different than the muscles used for the upstroke. That’s our technical definition of stringhopping, i.e. muscle reuse.

Another even simpler way you can look at it is that stringhopping is when a pair of antagonists are used for a single pickstroke. For example, if you make a downstroke that uses both flexion and extension, then you are stringhopping. A downstroke that uses flexion and an upstroke that uses extension: not stringhopping, because that’s two pickstrokes, not one.

9-0-2 is fine, but going backwards, 2-0-9, is not, because the wrist starts 2-0-9 attempting flexion and immediately fights that attempting extension as it goes towards the 0; the deviation is consistent, no problem there.

Does that make sense?

There’s no extension on the upstroke, only flexion. The 902 downstroke is ulnar deviation + a little extension, the upstroke is radial deviation + a little flexion.

I like that we’re getting to the bottom of what I consider fundamental questions about how picking motion works, and I think this is stuff is important in that respect. But if your goal is to learn these motions, honestly, you can do it without nerding out on the mechanics.

All these players are basically making a “flat feeling” motion that goes past the string they are trying to play. If you put 100 people in a room and showed the right arm position and anchor points and told them to try go past the string, and try not to make a motion that looks or feels like bouncing (i.e. stringhopping), a certain number of them would figure it out by feel. To your point in the other thread where you were asking about this, I think this is why when you look at even not-so-famous people who play mandolin, you see this motion a lot more than you do in rock where they just don’t teach that way.

I’m not a expert in physiology, but If it feels ok on the downstroke, but akward on the upstroke… I think you could probably just ‘iron’ that out with a bit of practicing… maybe just doing tremolos until it feels smooth in both directions.