I ve been working on the Deal Country etude for the past few weeks. Something just dawned on me. I ve been doing it using a mix of crosspicking and DWPS, i.e. only crosspicking when called for by the note per string arrangement. But I m starting to suspect everything is crosspicked. Silly me, my subscription just expired so I can’t re-watch the clip in slow motion, only have access to it on Instagram. Can anyone enlighten me?
Hi! Sorry for missing this one. I’m just using wrist motion in that one, and I don’t have a strong sense of which pickstroke type I’m making at any given moment, so it’s probably a mishmash of whatever I have learned. When you’re looking at 2nps lines that go DU on each string, I’d put money that I’m probably doing upstroke escape at those moments, just because that’s how I always do that.
Note also that I don’t use the term “crosspicking” to describing a type of pickstroke which escapes at both ends — we just say “double escape” now. It’s much clearer in the sense that it refers to a kind of pickstroke, and not a whole style of picking including only double escape pickstrokes, which is how I personally used to use the term prior when talking about players like Martin Miller, Carl Miner, and so on. So it was muddy — hopefully this is clearer. Apologies for the confusion. We now return you to the expected “bluegrass arpeggio sequence” sense of the term!
For a better look at this type of playing I’d direct you to this lesson we put up recently:
Just as an example, the opening arpeggios are simpy one note per string descending — typical maj7 type fingering. The first two notes are done entirely with wrist motion. Then there’s a tiny bit of forearm in the third note, and then the fourth note is back to wrist motion again, and the pattern repeats. Why the small arm adjustment? I don’t really know but I think it has to do with moving to the lower strings without having to slide the arm lower and back again. Moreover you’ll see these kinds of combinations of motions all the time in the Andy Wood clips we have here on the platform.
Note that these are all double escape pickstrokes in this phrase — they have to be, it’s only one note per string. But they’re not all being done the same way. This is why the “is it double escape” or “is it something else” question doesn’t really give you enough to go on when trying to learn how to do the motions themselves.
Hi Troy! Thanks for clarifying. Some doubts arose when I got to watch the Albert Lee interview and saw he was double escaping everything. Same with Martin for many things or so it seemed. I’ve been a perpetual intermediate and strict picking discipline is still fairly new to me so some motions are still not ingrained enough and playing Deal Country I was still having to consciously make decisions to switch between USX and double escape which I felt was slowing me down and had me wondering if I wasn’t complicating things needlessly. With hindsight of using exclusive Double Escape (DUSX? UDSX? 2SX?) for a week I’m starting to miss USX. It took me time to master an ideal minimal friction / tone clarity balance, getting the pick tip to roll and switch to the next string like a small ball bearing almost, which I find quite satisfying and would hate to give up on. OTOH I haven’t explored forearm motion much yet.
Albert doesn’t double escape everything — has a single escape mode as well, which you can see in phrases like this one:
This is a more classic “downward pickslanting” approach here, and the path of the pickstroke is different when he does this. It’s more vertical and actually rest strokes on the downstroke, which you can see if you watch this in slow motion. Albert’s technique flip flops between these two motions, the more vertical USX one, and the flatter double escape motion as he’s moving along. I’m 100% sure he is not aware of this and can’t feel that he’s doing it.
This is why I wouldn’t worry too much about trying to make decisions about which motion you’re using at a note-by-note level. I don’t even really think you can do that at anything approaching normal playing speeds — even slow ones. Just choose your grip and arm position, get your motion going at least medium speeds or better to start with, and try to be as smooth as you can, mistakes be damned. If you can’t do a thing at least moderately quickly with a feeling of smoothness and some degree of accuracy, it could mean something is wrong with the motion. Don’t worry about hitting all the notes totally correctly at first. Just worry about getting things in the ballpark. You can always slow down a little and clean things up by feel once you’ve got a handle on something that’s working.
Edit: And here’s a cool clip we put together for teh Instagramz illustrating the intertwining of these two pickstrokes in Albert’s Technique!
Amazing Albert clip w/ your analysis!