Benefits of crosspicking practice?


For those who have spent a lot of time practicing crosspicking, did you notice a lot of major overall improvements to your general playing?

I am curious about this because it is a very demanding technique which involves high emphasis on both the right hand and the left hand, as well as the overall coordination between both, dexterity, string skipping, etc. It seems like a great all-encompassing workout.

If I put the time in to work on it, don’t feel like I will use crosspicking a lot in my playing. BUT - if it will enable me to make big gains with my dexterity, my overall string switching/escapes, coordination etc, then it seems like a highly worthwhile plunge.

Thanks for any insight.

Crosspicking seemed to help me develop different escape strokes. What other people call “two way pick slanting” feels like less busy crosspicking to me.


My 0.02 :slight_smile:

First: crosspicking is a bit of a vague term because different players use it to indicate slightly different concepts. For this discussion, let’s define it as:

“alternate picking phrases which include several 1-note-per string passages” (e.g. the Tumeni Notes riff).

Then, my answer to the opening question would be something along the lines of:

  1. if you work on this stuff with efficient motions, it will be useful.
  2. If you just string-hop your way out of these phrases, getting stuck at 100-ish bpm 16th notes for months, and hoping to miraculously get faster at some point, then it won’t help (quite the opposite).

Hope that does not sound too harsh :sweat_smile:

PS: of course, finding the efficient motions for this can be difficult (as in: the hit rate seems low so far even amongst great players). Rather than getting stuck on option 2, it may be better to just find workarounds including sweeping, hybrid, legato etc.


you’ll always have something that can intimidate people at guitar shops who didn’t even know alternate picking of arpeggios was a thing


902 picking helped a lot with my playing of intricate intermediate speeds - for me, string skipping also cleaned up, but I’m not sure that’s built in benefit for everyone.

In my specific case - I think working intensively on 902 picking has been helping in general, but largely because I hadn’t put in a ton of time on any picking system - I’ve always been pretty good with legato, tapping and sweeping and really honed in on bringing my sweeping to the level I wanted it to be early this year. So working on 902 has meant addressing a lot of other small details in my picking that I’ve overlooked down to pick grip, anchoring, overall posture, tension in different joints, handling thicker gauge strings etc.


For me, the primary benefits of strict alternate picking with a DBX movement were how it facilitated developing time and rhythm.


To add to that point - there are a lot of moderate/medium tempo runs I would have had to sweep pick prior to working on DBX, which I intended to be essentially rhythm parts of a song - and they would always be just a bit inconsistent or just not quite the sound I wanted. I now alternate pick these and it definitely helps with timing and evenness, and the only time I’m sweeping is if I particularly want a smoother sound, or if it’s prohibitively fast for what I’m able to accomplish with DBX - which makes playing and writing feel much more intensional, and allows you to consider dynamics more where you might have been previously limited.


That is great to hear - very exciting to hear that it did have a benefit on more “common” (for lack of a better term) string changes for you.

Like most people, I will find myself in a progression rut at times, so it may be something I start utilizing to break through.

Gotcha, makes sense thanks!

If I posted a video showing my current technique in these situations, would you (or anyone here) be able to tell if it appears if I am doing more of a string hopping motion or a more efficient one?

(Before I go down this path, I just want to make sure I won’t be wasting many hours)

I’ll also refresh myself with the videos here about the technique. I just always remembered being a bit confused by the efficient motion after watching the vids, but it may just need to sink in.

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Good to know, thanks. I believe the last time I watched vids about string-crossing, the term “902 picking” was not around yet (or I just missed the vids), so it sounds like I really need to catch up on this.

This is always the best course of action here.