DSX Motion, Jake Workman - Blackberry Blossom


Hi there
I found a cool youtube video on playing Blackberry Blossom like Jake Workman here:

I have downloaded the tab from Marcel’s website, and decided to give this a try. Also I have done some analysis on the string changes Jake Workman uses.

Just on the first page, there are 40 string changes.
31 of these are done after a downstroke, and just 9 after an upstroke.

So has Jake just taken Blackberry blossom and rearranged it to suit his DSX playing style? I guess I would need to ask him this. So he has minimized the USX string changes. I’m guessing that there are arrangements of this tune which would suit an USX player.

I’m still getting my head around the fact that to an extent, even virtuoso’s work things around to make it easier for them to play, and as @Troy said, not all bluegrass is created equal. I have seen video’s of Jake using a crosspicking motion, but in this tune, and all of the Carter Vintage video’s he’s done, he’s a predominant DSX player, and when he has to change after an Upstroke, he does the quick hand turny thing, which makes it more of a 2 Way Pickslanting motion.

Would love to hear other people’s thoughts on this - or even to correct my analysis.

If I’m seeing this right - it means that this fast bluegrass stuff is accessible to me with a DSX motion, and I don’t necessarily need a crosspicking motion just yet. I’ve been trying this for the past 2 days, and I’m even starting to change cleanly after up-strokes as well as after down, which means I am starting to get the 2 way pickslanting idea.

I think so anyway, I’ve had so many false dawns so I don’t want to get too excited…!

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It’s almost like Cracking a hidden Code isn’t it?? It’s true but it’s not a conscious choice on their part. Bryan Sutton and David Grier’s fastest playing also work this way. This is a great example:

It’s just a style - the ‘primary up’ picking style as we call it in Antigravity, which we’d probably call ‘primary DSX’ now.

You’ll still need to make the occasional opposite escape as you’ve discovered, but if I were you I’d focus on getting the DSX parts first using phrases which are exclusively that way, or making slight tweaks to the lines to make them that way. And gradually then I’d start attempting the other mixed lines and try not to worry about those string changes or “do” anything specific to make them happen. See if your hands do it on their own and only deal with it if / when they don’t.


Thanks, yes it is so cool to see and figure out!
Actually I have adapted some parts to fit DSX, but in others changing on an Upstroke still works for some reason without me thinking about the motion, it’s really cool.

I’ll post something soon!


Right, so I have been working on this tune with my developing DSX motion, here it is:

Any thoughts from people? It’s at 115bpm, it feels so much smoother, looser and freer than I thought guitar picking should ever feel like. I’m guessing this is on the right track, although my guitar is still moving around a lot, which I don’t know what to do about, but any feedback most welcome please!

I have taken a leaf out of @Tom_h s book and booked a lesson with Jake Workman tomorrow, which I can’t wait for!

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The guitar shaking was fixed when I rested my bicep on the body of the guitar. I’ll post a vid tomorrow but actually that feels smoother and I can play that part at 130bpm now…