I’m have a few questions about crosspicking (CP) vs. two-way pickslanting (TWPS) and some related questions about tone. I noticed there was some discussion orbiting this topic in relation to a person who submitted a video of his technique for review. See:
Nonetheless, after watching Troy’s analysis and comments, I remain unclear about whether these in fact are different techniques. My first question is: are two-way pick slanting and cross picking equivalent? Relatedly, upon apply the two-way pickslanting technique is the crosspicking the natural evolution of two-way pickslanting. Another way to ask this question is: is crosspicking just an example of two-way pickslanting or vice versa? Does one subsume the other?
Or, are the techniques apples and oranges? While I recognize, some of this is semantics, I think perhaps clarification regarding precisely what characterizes TWPS and CP and the relative advantages/disadvantages of each would be clarifying. Another way to ask the question is whether there is simply a continuum between the two approaches in which one evolves into the other by continuously varying some parameter in your technique such as a particular motion.
While CP technique may naturally require TWPS as part of carrying out the technique, I am wondering if there is something more. In particular, Troy notes that CP involves a curved pick trajectory (more about this later). Does this define the difference? If so, does vanilla TWPS typically involve a linear picking trajectory in each direction?
I have always associated the CP technique with bluegrass players (while I recognize that many may use it) such as Tony Rice, Doc Watson, David Grier, Molly Tuttle, Carl Miner etc. I also noticed at Andy Wood seems to employ it at times but as based on the interview with Troy, he also utilizes TWPS. I noticed in particular, Molly Tuttle’s and David Grier’s hand/wrist motions appear rather complex at high level.
A related question is how CP vs. TWPS may affect the tone one can achieve with the instrument. My hypothesis which has not been verified is that the trajectory of the pick striking the string will have a demonstrable impact on the resulting excitation motion of the string, which will naturally be coupled to the resonant vibrations of other parts of the guitar such as the body, neck, etc. Whether there is an appreciable difference when using a more linear vs. curved trajectory in the generated waveform is not clear, but it seems plausible. With a curved pick trajectory, the acceleration and force of the pick will be perpendicular to the radius of the trajectory. With a linear trajectory, the acceleration will be along the trajectory.
I do know string vibrations are highly non-linear due to the varying tension and length of the string as it vibrates. Also, the curvature of the trajectory may likely set up different polarization modes of the string (circular, elliptical or linear), which one might naturally expect to affect the harmonic structure of the the final guitar timbre. Amplitude of the pick strike itself can control the natural resonant frequency. So there are a lot of very interesting effects regarding picking trajectory and tone.
Eric Johnson’s noted that he felt better tone was achieved by pulling the guitar string away (perpendicular) to the body, which led to his discussion of the bounce technique. I believe Troy picked up on this in his answer to the original question about CP vs. TWPS in relation to his discussion of string hopping.
In any case, it would be great to illuminate this topic in more detail.
Thank you for a really cool site and exploration!