Critique my USX!

I recently got really into Eric Johnson’s playing and I decided to develop nice USX wrist motion.
Before discovering that my primary motion was DSX elbow i’ve been playing with weird form of USX for solid half a year or even more probably. My motion at the time consisted of doing downstrokes with wrist and upstrokes with forearm. Even though the escape was great it didn’t really have much capability in speed. So it’s pretty natural for me to play licks that use upstroke escape since i have them memorized.
Now that I have acces to the primer I wanted to give it a go and played a little bit with wrist USX for a few days before posting this.
Here are some of my results:

The hardest thing for me now is playing pentatonic fives up to speed but I belive practicing it and practicing restrokes will help.
What do you think about my form?

All of the non-fives picking looked like DSX to me, and the fives portion looked like DBX. Not to say it didn’t look good (it did).

Thanks for your reply!
Well that is not what I am going for unfortunately and now that you pointed it out I can clearly see elbow motion during tremolo :sweat_smile:.
I didin’t play fives at the end beacause I still struggle with the sweep on them, I just think it needs more work so I didn’t post that. It was pentatonic sixtuplets (When you play 2nps on 3 strings and then repeat).
I will try to get my motion to reliably escape on upstrokes and then post update.

1 Like

Sorry, I heard the pattern and my brain just assumed fives for some reason!

1 Like

It looks like a really nice DSX motion :slight_smile:

Here is a little update after trying to figure out how to do fast tremolo using wirst:

What do you think?

1 Like

Maybe in the beginning it had a shallow upstorke escape but it looks like you were reverting to DSX in the end again.

1 Like

You’re right.
I guess I need to experiment more with various setups and motions.

I’d recommend maybe playing things that require USX to develop and showcase it instead of just one note. It’s easy to revert to whatever you’re most comfortable with as you start picking a single note close to your speed limit.

1 Like

That’s what happens when I Noodle some pentatonic licks that change strings only after upstroke (or sweep):

I took a few videos of myself because of lightning and I actually had a small revelation. I can’t even precisely tell what has changed and I don’t see it either but it just feels a little better.
What do you think?


This looks like very subtle DBX to me, reminds me of how I do DBX. As I said before, it looks good to me, just a matter of getting it engrained into your playing and seeing how fast you can push the speed with it.


Looks like a nice DBX motion for me too. Maybe @tommo could correct us?

Looks and sounds pretty great @YngwieFan45!

But I must say the clip called “USX” does not really look like USX to me - I would say it looks fully trapped. In fact I would guess that this is more like a DSX trajectory that does not quite make the downstroke escape. Maybe this is because you are tilting the arm to try and achieve USX.

The “EJ sixes” lick is looks like DSX + occasional “secondary motion” to generate a single DBX pickstroke escape with the up (i.e. what @gabrielthorn and @Pepepicks66 said :smiley: )

The results are sonically good, but since this is not really a USX form / motion it might explain why you are finding the “EJ fives” difficult: I assume you are struggling with the downstroke sweeps in particular?

True, I watched at 0.25 speed on YT and the motion does look a bit curvy, and there seems to be just a little wiggle of the forearm for the upstroke string changes.

The obvious test to do, to check if indeed this works as a double escape motion, is to try some double escape licks! E.g. the classic banjo roll:


But again, since this is not truly a USX motion, you may find that it is not optimal for EJ / YJM / gipsy-style licks. Use it for what it is good for :smiley:


Thanks for your responses!
@tommo I tried playing banjo roll with that motion but it feels really bad. I already have cross picking motion that totally suits my needs so far, so I don’t really want another atm :sweat_smile:.
Thank you all for pointing out that it has DBX tendencies. I wouldn’t have seen it by myself.
For a solid amount of time I have been experimenting with different grips and hand positions so that i could avoid that DBX movement. Here is what i have so far:

I am not 100% satisfied with feel of the motion, at times it feels kind of awkward. If it’s proper USX I will probably just stick with it and hope that it gets more comfortable over time.

1 Like

Just as an experiment, can you try one with full on gipsy form?

1 Like

Some noodles trying out the motion:

I think that I have the motion figured out now? @tommo
take a look:

I was experimenting with different grips and turns out the trigger grip was off putting for me here (I grabbed the pick that way naturally when trying to do this motion). Angle pad is the way to go for me.
I’ve been trying to avoid the “bouncy” motion while working on this movement and to me it finally looks like USX.
what do you think?

I am still struggling with fives tho. I need to lurk the forum for that or maybe create a new post :thinking:? Something there just isn’t smooth for me yet.

What do you think?

1 Like

Hey @YngwieFan45 sorry for the delay, busy weekend! I haven’t forgotten about you but I need to set aside some time to watch your videos properly.

First quick impressions is that the gypsy form is far away enough from your usual and that it encourages you to do “true USX”. So it could be a good exercise to get a feel for it and then try to apply to your other position which allows for palm muting.

Again, I gotta watch the videos properly so I’ll reply better later!

1 Like

Hey @YngwieFan45! apologies again that it took me a while to get back to you — my other job can be very distracting at times :laughing:

I think I’m seeing a tendency to do downstroke escape, or perhaps double escape(?) in almost all your attempts. This happens a bit less with the gypsy form, so I’d try to do more of that.

The “flatter” form is very similar to your standard motion. For example I watched your “Getting USX down” video several times in slow motion, and I’m pretty sure I saw a good amount of clearly escaped downstrokes. Do you see it too when you watch yourself in slow motion?
Nothing wrong with that, in fact it seems a very usable DBX motion, particularly if it feels easy.

I’d try the 5s pattern with the gypsy form, among other things!

1 Like

Thanks for your time!
I will definitely work on that and post an update later.

1 Like