Attempting TWPS, advice appreciated


For this lick I try to use downward slanting as I ascend, and then switch to upward slanting as I descend. It plays once normal speed and the the same lick again slowmo.
I want to achieve decent pickslanting technique before I drill it into my brain with hours of practice. My main concern is when I watch this back it looks like im not downward slanting at all. My string crossings feel pretty good but Im not sure how.
Any advice or opinions are welcome, thank you!


it does look like you have a slight natural tendency towards uwps. That being said, when you crossed towards the skinnier strings I can see that you do indeed do a small ‘rotation’ to give it at least some downward slant.

the angle is a little deceptive because its that somewhat lower angle and you have a good amount of “edge picking” so it disguises the exact amount of slanting

maybe another angle a little more straight down the neck would help us see it better

but to me, like I said, it looks like you naturally favor the uwps and when you do the rotation to dwps maybe its not the most efficient at this point. Like maybe the rotation starts sort of late and makes it look like you are going the “long way around”. In other words it almost looks like you do “upward pick, THEN rotate” so that by then you are already sort of going the wrong way and have to rotate all the way around the string

instead the rotation to dwps needs to sort of happen ON the last pickstroke. it needs to be incorporated INTO the stroke as opposed to being a separate event.

string tracking comes into play too. so that last pick as u cross might be more of a “rotation WITH string tracking” moreso than a normal pickstroke

others will comment so wait and see what they say

Welcome aboard!

Peace, JJ

1 Like

Thanks for checking it out man I appreciate it.
I agree the recording angle isn’t ideal so that may be obscuring it slightly, I just made a janky LEGO thing to hold my phone and record.
Do you mean that when I get to the highest string and start to reverse and descend that the pickslant change and pickstroke should happen in one motion? I defitnely am not doing that if that’s what you mean.
I think you kinda confirmed my suspicion that I wasn’t downward slanting hardly at all though, I just don’t get how it feels like I’m changing strings smoothly. I guess I’m not playing fast enough to really know how fluid it is yet.
I wish I could have a more comprehensive reply but I’m on mobile right now so it’s kinda a pain, thanks again for looking and sharing your thoughts on it though.

1 Like

first off, for clarity. “higher” string = thinner string lol. “lower” = thicker

well you ARE changing strings fairly smoothly…especially as u descend back down.

Im just saying you seem to favor a slightly uwps angle overall. nothing wrong with that btw but u just have to understand the mechanical stuff that goes along with it.

doing that 6 note pattern that u r doing, the descending portion is already lined up correctly with the slant. The ascending portion though, is backwards lol. If you are going to start on a downstroke and pick 6 notes then go to the next higher string, u deffo want to be doing some dwps.

With your sort of natural uwps, when u slightly change to “dwps”, you may feel you change a lot but since u started off slanted upwards, the change only sort of brings u back to close to neutral.

I guess my basic advice would be, since you appear to be comfy with uwps…and you want to do twps…then also get comfy with dwps lol. That way it wont feel foreign to you and u wont favor this way over that way etc.

Like I said earlier, that 6 note ascending pattern starting on a downstroke shouldnt even BE a 2 way lick lol. Its really just a one way DOWNward lick. If u do the whole pattern up and back down, there really should just 2 slant changes, one for each change of asc/desc direction

If I were u i think id practice at least some on a slight dwps. of course it will feel weird at first but at least your hand will then be exposed to BOTH sides of the twps equation.

and for me personally, as a twps guy, I try to stay pretty neutral generally. That way I only have to slightly change to either uwps or dwps and after a while u dont even have to think much about it.

one thing u might experiment with is retracting the thumb slightly for your dwps angle. That straight thumb u have is good for uwps but not too great for dwps. try a little thumb retraction and see how it changes the slant a bit and then try it on the ascending half of your lick

and I dont want to overwhelm you with info…so dont try to absorb all of this at once. Your ascending pickstroke looks slightly different to me than your descending. Are you aware of a “double escape” stroke? To my eyes, your ascending motion looks to be “double escaped” whereas your descending seems to be closer to a standard 1way slant type motion.

So if we look at your ascending motion. if you have an uwps and u do an upstroke…what is supposed to happen? The pick is generally going to become buried or stuck in between the string. It goes in towards the body of the guitar due to the slanted pick angle. Then on the downstroke the pick “escapes” the strings. This is why Troy doesnt use the term ‘uwps’ but now uses “downward escape”. If the pick is slanted upwards, then the downstroke “escapes”

Well if we look at your ascending vibe, even though u have an uwps, when u do your upstroke, your pick still “escapes” lol. Whats that mean? it means you are doing a separate lifting motion along with the upstroke

a regular uwps or dwps pickstroke will be pretty flat. It will be sort of diagonal to the guitar body but the stroke itself will be pretty flat. No separate “lifting” needs to occur because the slant itself takes care of that as long as the stroke sort of follows the slant. A “double escaped” (formerly called “crosspicking”) is not a flat stroke but rather is curved sort of like a smile. see the vid I posted below

when u descend I still see a tiny lift on the upstroke but it seems smaller to me. When u descend I generally see your upstrokes becoming buried into the strings while your downstrokes indeed escape

Im assuming this is due to what i said earlier. The uwps does not match the 6 note ascending pattern starting on a downstroke. So im assuming that you are intuitively aware of this and are sort of sub-consciously compensating for it. You dont want to be stuck on the wrong side of the string so you are adding a little lift on each upstroke so you dont go down between the string on the upstrokes

whats it all mean? well, its all just mechanical gibberish really lol. Some people WANT to develop a "double escape’ motion whereas some people have one by nature or by accident.

others can chime in and correct me if they want, but if you are going to use a double escape motion, then there is no real need to then sort of adopt an default uwps angle. Id think that if you are going to use a double escape motion then youd just want to keep the pick angle pretty neutral.

I think this is why you have some questions overall. You can probably intuitively feel that your pickstroke mechanic might not be exactly matching your uwps angle

watch this vid a few times

hope I didnt confuse u too much.

peace, JJ

1 Like

Exactly. Try not to look for the pickslant. There is no meaningful “pickslanting” happening in this clip, at least in the sense that I don’t think that looking at the way the pick is oriented is going to tell you what’s really going on here.

Instead, if you want to look for something, look at the way the pick moves in slow motion. Specifically, for any string you are playing, look at the path the pick travels when it’s above the string compared it to when it’s below the string. For a pickslanting or “single escape” type phrase, that motion should appear to be a straight line, where the direction of motion is the same both above and below the string. In your case, it looks like the two directions are different, i.e. you’re making a shallow semicircle. The orientation of the semicircle is a bit different at different points in this clip, but it still looks like a semicircle to me.

There’s nothing wrong with this if you can do it quickly and smoothly. But the pick attack in this clip sounds a little staccato, and combined with the moderate tempo, that makes me think you’re not powering through the string as cleanly as you can. Can you do this faster, with a smoother attack? If so, great! I wouldn’t worry about mechanics any more than that.

If you can’t go faster and smoother than this, can you simplify the phrase to just a single note on a single string, and does that allow you to go faster?

If not, then I would try to smooth out the motion itself. Single-escape phrases like the two you are using here are really designed for speed. When you do them with the wrist, the motion will look like a straight line when viewed from this perspective. For simplicity, choose only one of these phrases when you experiment with this. If you can’t do that with hand synch as you speed up, then just use a single note - again, that’s fine too. It’s the motion that matters.

If it helps, some players like to visualize making a rest stroke on the trapped portion of the pickstroke - either upstroke or downstroke, depending on which motion you’re going for. The upstroke-escape (aka “dwps”) motion style uses a trapped downstroke, so you’d try to hit the next higher string with your pickstroke. Downstroke-escape “uwps” motion uses a trapped upstroke, so you would visualize hitting the upper string on your upstroke. Again, don’t worry about the pickslant - what matters is having one end of the motion be trapped and other end being esacaped. The idea is to use the rest stroke to achieve this path of motion, and to help straighten out the motion at the same time, allowing you to go faster.

When you get this happening, you should be able to go faster than this and the attack should sound smooth because the pick isn’t leaning up against the string any longer than it has to. If you have to use slightly more grip pressure, that’s fine too. You can experiment with grip as well.

Thanks again for posting, and let us know how you make out.


Thank you both so much for the super comprehensive replies. That definitely is a ton of information to take in but I think i need to work on each single-escape motion just on one note for a while to get them down. I’ve been trying and recording myself but they both always just turns into that semi-circle double-escape motion if i try and speed it up


Thanks for sharing!

After reading the responses and studying the video this has helped me get a better understanding of the pick mechanics!