DSX escape progress


Hey all,
I feel like I have made some big progress here. Here is a pentatonic lick all with DSX escape motion.

It’s not totally clean or warp speed, but it feels smooth, no tension in my picking hand, and I have NEVER in 19 years of owning a guitar been able to play a lick up and down all 6 strings at this tempo, around 130! I feel like this is a pop tarts moment for me!

Any feedback on it? Any tips on cleaning it up? I can play smaller chunks of this at 160, but my brain can’t handle the whole thing at that speed, any tips on getting better at that?

I even solved the problem of the change between ascending and descending with DSX by adding a legato note before the switch to descending. I’m quite pleased about that!

Thanks all!!!


Well if you are making progress, I would say stick with it!

Take the 2 middle strings and try and get the speed up by repeating it, when the speed increases, try it again on all strings. Thats what I tend to do…


Thanks! I’ll try that. I do still feel a bit not secure on the descending part my arm feels nervous and almost too loose, such that I feel like I don’t have the power to pick through the string. Is that a common thing?

ascending I timed some reps at 150 plus and it feels super easy, so I’ve got to be onto something here?


Even with progress, I always seem to find one part of any particular picking mechanic needs more work than others. Its about isolating those bits to make sure that they become more natural. Chances are that if descending is more difficult, you may by accidentally altering your picking motion. Isolate 2 strings and repeat the decending loop, ensuring that your picking motion is the same as the ascending - when that freels good, progress to bigger sets of strings. I’m not very good at analysing mechanics, but the only thing I think I see is that halfway through the decend (bass strings) you turn your hand slightly - palm facing toward you (supinated???) This might be affecting you usual motion. It looks a little more wayward than the rest. Hopefully other code crackers will give their critique and give you better feedback!


yeah not bad.

I agree with the advice given. Break it down to pairs of two strings and work it like that for a while. I mean u can still throw in the 6 string pattern here and there but id never sit and do the whole 6 string thing as an exercise. I think its way better to isolate the challenge to smaller bits

you can also do many variations such as:

D–5--7----------------9–7 loop etc

start with upstroke, 4 notes, move to next position, 4 notes back down start over etc.

I would spend time on each set of 2 strings. Like for me the B and E feel totally different than, say, the A and D etc


Ah, I think on descending it feels like my grip changes slightly and I lose a bit of control of the pick, whereas ascending I feel totally in control of the pick. I may need to work on that so it feels the same for both asc and desc.
Thanks for the advice, and for responding to this, appreciate it loads!!!


Ok very cool, thanks for this. Ok I will try on pairs of strings, thank you for responding encouragingly!


Ok so what left hand fingering would you suggest for something like this?

D–5–7----------------9–7 loop etc

Would you do 1-3 on the D string,
1-2-4-2 on the G string
3-1 back on the D string?


nah usually its just going to be 1-3 fingers. Thats why i said “move to next position”. Its just a piece of a pentatonic box with 1-3 fingers, then move it up 2 frets, then back down 2 frets etc.

Thats a one way lick, so u dont have to do weirdness on a turnaround etc

same thing works when u go to 3nps stuff starting with downstroke (except of course you use 1-3-4 or whatever fingers u like)

D--------------5–7--8 (shift)–10–8--7
A----5–7--8---------------------------------10–8--7 (shift back down start over)


Ok that’s clear thanks! That’s hard, it’s like you slide up but you have to pick the notes without hearing the slide!


well there is also stuff like this if u start on upstroke. 16th notes so u count “1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4 etc”:

D—5–7---------------------- loop until forever

the main idea for me being to find stuff that loops easily without having to stop and reset, then u can loop it endlessly


Ok very cool, thanks. I like this idea of looping. Is the idea to loop it until my right hand is really solid doing the DSX escape motion and build speed, fluidity and accuracy that way rather than short licks that just stop after a few notes?


idea = millions of reps lol


Hi there
just a quick question - I’m actually finding that I need to micromanage my motions a lot LESS, if at all in order to get more speed and fluidity. If I try and micromanage I find that I just stiffen up, miss notes and lose fluidity. But If I just fling my hands and trust the motion, all the right notes get hit at a good tempo and it feels nice to do…

Is this generally a true principle? Just checking so that I know!
I am making good progress I think :slight_smile:


in reality, only YOU can answer that question. you are the one who has to be happy with the results.

I like to do fast practice and slow practice. The main issue i see with just flinging the hands at a lick is that you might indeed get a good sounding lick, but is it the lick you think it is? is it the lick u intend it to be?

in other words you might not be hitting every note etc and u wont be able to tell unless u high speed film it etc. or sometimes the hands will play tricks on you where u intend to work on, say, outside picking, and you get the lick going fast but then u realize that somewhere along the line your hands switched to inside picking lol

this is why its good to practice at various speeds. im scared of licks that only work at high speed. I want it to work at all speeds so I for sure know what im doing lol


Ok, thanks for this.
So what kind of speeds do you think I should be working at? The exercises you suggested earlier I worked them up to about 150. Is that the kind of tempo? Faster?


well like I said, no one can answer it for you. if its smooth and accurate and you are staying fairly relaxed then you are good to go!


one thing about this. when we are playing slow and learning to play faster, we have time to feel and control and think about every note. There is a speed we reach where it sort of goes to autopilot and it gets into just playing a whole pattern or a series of notes we have practiced.

This autopilot thing will happen and its not at our TOP speed yet. We can get used to the autopilot thing but then there are speeds above that where we are even in LESS conscious control over every note etc and the whole thing just becomes a fast blur

I have experienced that a few times lately while learning new licks after I have grooved them at slower speeds a bit to learn the pattern and then I try it fast a few times and then super fast lol.

Im ASSUMING that, with enough practice, even this “blur” speed can eventually feel somewhat “normal” to us, at least on certain patterns that we have fully worked out etc

my personal thinking is that one has to sort of sneak up on these speeds by doing work at somewhat lower speeds. Maybe at first its a micro speed where you work out all of the exact pickstrokes etc. Then a little faster to where its in a nice rhythm. Then after its grooved a bit one can start to try it faster and faster to see if its a nice pattern that will go into the higher speeds. Then our average practice speed of the lick will increase and we get closer and closer to the form of the fastest speeds WHILE STAYING RELAXED. This is the key for me right now

So that speed where we just let go and go into blur mode or whatever, that is the GOAL.

I dont think we can just go straight into that and use it as a practice mode because it will just break down and produce tension and mistakes. Same concept as a lifter not being able to walk into a gym and just do a max bench press. he has to warm up first and work his way up to it and over the course of time he will do MANY hundreds of sub-maximal sets. I think we gradually work our practice speeds closer and closer and we are therefore grooving a closer and closer form to that top speed form. After a while that blur speed form etc starts to become closer to our “normal” form.

This is my current theory anyway lol


Yes I heard this once from a teacher I had 3 lessons from. He said learning to play fast happened in 3 stages:

  1. Learning the lick at slow speed to get it into muscle memory. Once the lick is learned, the muscle memory is there, so it should just work at any speed. Although I think this falls down if you don’t have the correct motions happening yet

  2. Getting it good at a medium speed

  3. Playing it at fast speed

And there was not much in between, i.e not working the metronome up slowly gradually. It just sorta happens at high speeds once it’s learned.

I also can see what you mean about the average speed going up, or your warm up speed going up. I remember a year ago my warm up speed was 16th notes at 60bpm, now it is around 90bpm, and just in the last day I have been working up a couple of licks to 130bpm, and it feels doable.

But yes - it has to be in muscle memory for me before I try these speeds, otherwise it all just falls apart.