Double Escape Thingy

Dude! You just made my day! Thanks so much! ,lol Now is the rest of my stuff gonna live up to that? hahaha Hard to say. Here’s a few more!

My Facebook page A repository of whatever guitar type crap I feel like sharing. So terrible it will make you laugh! hahah

And here are some older tunes of mine I redid for fun last year, I used a Boss GT1000 which I really WANTED to like, but as it turns out the Strymon Iridium destroys it as does the L6 HX Stomp
Anyways, I hope you dig it, man! Thanks so much for the kind words!

Trial By Mustard

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@Scottulus one thing I noticed in some of the vids you posted is that you have a tendency to bury your pick under the plane of the strings after each pick stroke. It is string hoping, but even worse since you are essentially digging a trench after each hop that you then again have no choice but to hop to get out of. You also seem to pick with a lot of the pick which isn’t bad per se, but it’s often nice to be able to choose.

When you use the pick grip that leaves a fair amount of the pick exposed, do you find that you hit that middle pickup, or sometimes catch the pick on the poles of it? Have you tried a hand position close to this picture?:

It’s pretty close to what you do, but it rotates the wrist slightly up.

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Messing with a more open grip now, it clears the strings better, but feels really umm, awkward. It’s as if I have to really “think” to make the movement I want happen. As I am playing around with it, it’s really swishy and I am definitely missing some notes here and there. Maybe it just needs more time to bake? Bigger variety of licks with different entrance/exit points?

EDIT - I do notice one “different” thing; my pick always used to go from roughly top horn to volume knob in a sort of arc, but it’s kind of reversed today -Kind of middle pickup to bottom horn. Well, that’s how it feels, once I get it under the scrutiny of the camera it may not look like that at all I suppose… Currently, the pick is evading the middle pickup, no problems there - BUT I am also trying to make a conscious effort to use less depth. lol This stuff isn’t easy!

Yeah that pick gets jammed under there, doesn’t it? heheh What a mess. Even worse than “trenching” (Is that a CTC term? If not then you should claim it hahaha) is that I have reinforced it for probably 40 years.

Okay, practice practice. I think I will try to make up a riff that sounds like music that uses this stuff and take it from there…

Thanks so much for the points and observations. Working on it now!

Any difference you make after 40 years is going to feel awkward at first.


Also I found trial by mustard and micronaut particularly good.


Love it, great melodies and again so catchy! I’m gonna give them a proper listen once I’m back home, but definitely keep writing!

I had the same boss gt1000 and although I found it handy for jamming, since I bought a kemper I haven’t really looked back.

I took a look at the last video you made up there with the open grip, and it looks like you are using more motions in places than you really need to, almost like you are trying to anticipate where you need to be. Your also picking much harder than you need to, and I think this is more likely because you are trying project what you are playing because you are turned down so low. This tends to have a big effect on playing, because it’s very interactive on what you hear and if you can’t hear it, everyone tends to pick louder so they can. It also looked like you aren’t fully planted on the strings and sort of lifting off of them which is partly enabling the bouncing around. If you plant a little more firmly it may give you a little more stability. I think some of these really small changes will get you where you need to be but it may feel weird at first. If I get a chance maybe I’ll try playing that first Lydian part and have a look it to see if it can be of any help.

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Awesome, thanks man - this really helps. lol I will take whatever and any help I can get! I will try to implement these suggestions and see where I end up at the end of the day. I will say this, the other stuff that I normally play is sure a lot easier and cleaner with this grip. Except… Upstroke sweeping! lol I can come back to that later hahah

I actually created a sort of “etude” for myself and pretty much played it all day yesterday. Initially getting to 110 was a huge endeavor. lol The motion felt so alien. I kept at it, and once i could do a sloppy 120 I kind of approached it like this; 90-80 89-81 88-82 87-83 86-84 85. It’s an 8 measure piece with a lot of 1nps stuff in it. After spending all day with it, I was able to do a trully tragically bad 140bpm but a comfortable and pretty clean 110. This morning, I went “up” from 120 and “down” from 130, probably 5 reps each and then 10 or so reps at the middle tempo; 125. I am still not 100% sure that I am doing it “right” but I am making headway and steadily improving tempo-wise so I will take that as a win I guess. There’s definitely going to be a lot of refining to be done. hahaha (Holy cow, made it to a VERY messy 170!! Please god let 130 be cleaner.,… hahaha)

I am going shopping today for some clamps and stuff as my kids are sick of holding my phone hahah I should have some more (and different) footage later today/tonight.

I think you’ve gotten some good feedback from Tom (and will probably get more when he’s on) so I will defer, but I coincidentally was just on Guitar World lurking around and found that Molly Tuttle has a bunch of columns and videos on this subject with clearly notated tabs.

I think writing an actual etude like you have is the way to go, and to that end there are some short ones in the above columns that borrow from bluegrass standards. Both Andy Wood and Molly are on record saying they built their chops from standards rather than mindless exercises over and over. Also, I just got a copy of Guitar Techniques magazine and this past month’s issue has a column and video on crosspicking with Molly. Might be able to find it when you’re out shopping.


As I’ve said, this is the start of something good. You’re are very close to a solid wrist/forearm compound crosspicking movement. You’re achieving a very nice arc at certain points in this clip.

The wrist/forearm blend is very capable movement. It’s the core movement in my “Mode 1” style of picking which I discussed in the video I linked to above. A few mroe clips of that mode in practice for reference

Crosspicking Pattern:

Gilbert Lick:

There is a slight, subconscious finger/thumb component which comes in to this method at speed, but the core of the movement is the forearm/wrist combination I discussed in the video above. This method of picking allowed me to play pieces by Paul Gilbert and Steve Morse cleanly and up to tempo as a teenager.

Troy also taught a lecture about these kinds of crosspicking movements:

You’re having issues with accuracy and string tracking, this is to be expected. The basic movement pattern is good.

Yes, I think it’s just a matter of becoming more familiar with this movement. You can overcome the problems with tracking and accuracy with practice. It might also be helpful to make light contact at the bridge or lower strings with the pisiform bone of your hand as I do in Mode 1 to give you a tactile point of reference.

Ahh guys, lots of really great input here! Thanks SO much for checking this out.

I did create a sort of “etude” with a bunch of pingponging around between some different 1nps type ideas. Some of 'em I feel are really tough to pick, so it really exposes any deficiencies pretty quickly. I do find that at about 110-20bpm I think the picking is still true to form, but if I hit it “cold” and try for 130 right off the bat I default to elbow. I have that take, but I am not sure I want to share it hahaha

One really annoying thing is that the little phone holder I got kind of sucks and was in the way - it kind of interferes a bit with being able to play in a relaxed way. I have some go-pro stuff I am going to hack apart and I will 3d print a part and hopefully the damn thing will be a bit more secure. lol What a pain, I’ll buy a Magnet for sure once they are ready.

The biggest worry for me right now is whether I am going “back” to a more comfortable movement; ie elbow. This means that I likely need to get a lot better at wrist deviation, and I need to pay attention to ensuring I am still “true” to the form, as opposed to just “elbow thrashing” and swiping. It feels like a pretty delicate balance/juggle of keeping the picking form happening while trying to get accurate notes. Tricky.

What In Tardisnation .gp (10.5 KB)
And of course here’s the playing… 110bpm hahaha

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Just to clear a couple of things up mostly because I’m curious. I sat down a bit today and watched the videos to pick out the notes, and most of it can be played on two strings at a time. Are you purposely playing it using three strings because you want to master crosspicking 1nps arpeggios? Most people would likely just stick to playing most of it on two because that would be the easiest way to play it.

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I could play it on 2 strings, yes. I could also hybrid pick it or fingerstyle with a muted legato as required for the scalar runs; so yes, I want to better learn how to cross strings, and in particular 1 nps.

Okay, so I noticed a couple of things after practicing today;

  1. There’s a definite “cut-off” point at 117bpm (16ths) where I wasn’t aware of it, but I get really rigid and revert to elbow, lol tempo’s not a problem, but stuff becomes a mess and the form goes out the window.
    Is that normal?

  2. I need to practice wrist deviation in a way that maintains a kind of relaxed umm looseness I think… I think I am still really “overworking” hitting each note.

So much to do…

Here’s something that might possibly help.

Since you’re using a supinated forearm position, are you able to play upstroke escape 8th notes with a side-to-side, 9 to 3 movement? Strictly wrist deviation. If so, that’s a good place to start.

Then, while maintaining the same supinated forearm position, can you perform downstroke escape 8th notes with an up and down, 7 to 2 movement? Strictly flexion and extension.

From there, it’s a matter of blending those two motions together smoothly, although it’s worth noting that for scalar playing or a tremolo you can use just one of those motions as your main motion and introduce the other as needed. At the moment, I’m working on flexion-extension based downstroke escape stuff because it can be extremely fast.

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I think really you have to decide whether it’s worth it, or if it’s just a fools errand in the long run. Meaning what’s really more important to you. Playing the riff as cleanly and fast as you want and being to make music from it as soon as possible, or mastering the particular technique of being able to alternate pick arpeggios across multiple strings like that.

At this point in my playing I tend to view things transactional from a profit/loss perspective. Do I want to fumble around for another 1-2yrs perfecting a hard technique just to say I can do it, or do I want to play the damn thing to make music out of it? I ask myself what the benefits of both are, and if taking that time, however long it may be, is worth it in the long run, and will I get all the use out it all my hard work and time bought? Do the ends justify the means?

All of that said. Here are the biggest points of hardness in playing phrases like that. The biggest is that you have a huge multiple string jump that you have to do after the third note to restart the pattern again. This isn’t the same as just cross picking an arpeggio up and down the triad stack. This is quite a bit more difficult because it requires a huge jump from the last to first note in order to restart the pattern again, and not only that, if you are set on strict alternate picking, you are alternating between starting in an up and down every other time, which is another thing you have to keep track of. After playing around with your lick a little last night night, There are two ways to attack this, and really depends on wether you use pick slanting at all in your natural playing. The first way, is that you have to rotate your slant between a downward one and an upward one on every down beat of the triplet. If you look at Toms video, this is what he’s doing in that arpeggios example, although he is just playing an arpeggios up and down and not doing any drastic jump between low and high notes. The second way is to hold your pick in a trapped neutral position and work on a more shallow scoop double escape, which may be more conducive to how you actually play. But again keep in mind which ever you do is going to take time and be hard because of the larger string jump you have between the first and last note to restart the pattern. It’s the constant tracking of the strings and where you are in the pattern that’s going to be the killer because you have to put more conscious effort into this aspect, than just letting your hands take control.

@Fossegrim It’s a good point that you bring up, and indeed I am at a point in my playing where I can “get it done” by using different note arrangement, legato escape hatches, hybrid picking, tapping and even no pick at all. BUT… this covid thing has lowed gigging and playing out to a crawl indefinitely so I have a bit of time, and I practice daily anyways. I am not starting from scratch, and practicing this stuff doesn’t make what I can already do worse; hopefully if anything, it refines it somewhat. It’s fun learning new stuff, especially if it’s stuff I had previously given up on.

I will try it, since I am practicing anyways hahaha - your posts have a lot of great information in them so thank you very much! I am trying out each and every suggestion…

@ShadowoftheSun Hey thanks for the info - those are some great suggestions I hadn’t thought of or considered; on it now to see what happens…

Hmmn, 110-120 seems to be the cutoff point depending on how warmed up I am for cleanly playing this sort of thing; Is it possible that perhaps some people are just physiologically incapable of doing certain movements at certain tempos? I mean… We can all sprint to some degree but certainly not all of us are going to be able to contend at an olympic level. I’ll keep working at it, but it does seem to have plateau’d pretty consistently this week.

Might just be part of the process, hey?

I would be willing to bet most people can’t alternate pick arpeggios fast with huge jumps like that. It’s the reason most guitar players really don’t opt to.

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I’m no expert on double escape but to me I think of it like using a strumming motion, which is a double escape motion, but on individual strings. This sure feels very different from other styles of picking but the the speed limit is much higher than for string hopping. I haven’t really worked much on it much and in the beginning it felt like I had no control at all. With time the control comes slowly and I can play three note rolls, although not completely clean, at a much faster tempo than with any other motion.

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