Forearm Motion Related Questions


Thanks for the new series re: forearm motion. It’s great and helps clarify certain things.

I do have a number of additional questions related to this technique:

  1. To relate the motion back to your much earlier description of 3 major dimensions of motion: (a) ulnar deviation and radial deviation; (b) supination and pronation; © flexion and extension (door knocking), is it fair to characterize the technique as a combination of (a) and (b), namely ulnar/radial deviation and supination and pronation?

  2. Based upon the videos, it appears that the is a fixed amount of pronation that sets a neutral point for the motion. Is that correct?

  3. Your videos re: DWPS (which I know may soon become an anachronistic term), explicitly show that to achieve the pick slant in first place that the hand gently angles down. You don’t specifically as far as I can tell show how the downward pick slant is achieved with this hybrid technique involving forearm motion. Is it inherent in the pronated neutral position of the hand that you show? Or is there something else.

  4. Aside from the comfort that you describe as being associated with incorporating flexion into this technique, are there any other advantages? I personally had experimented with that mechanic when trying to play a lot of arpeggiate figures on acoustic guitar and found it somehow helped with accuracy and string tracking. Not sure why.

  5. Your suggestion as using the rest stroke as a good litmus test for checking execution of this hybrid technique seems like a valuable suggestion. Although, I am not sure it is 100% determinative that it is being executed correctly?

  6. Finally, what is the status of the magnet production. I wasn’t clear from the threads in the forum. I am debating whether to build it myself or whether it’s worth waiting for a manufactured version. Any timeline on this.



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Hi Jon! I’ll leave the forearm questions to @Troy but to address the Magnet q—

Most recent discussion here, short answer is we don’t have a concrete timeline but our goal is to raise funding for a production run soon (likely via Kickstarter) and aim to get to the manufacturing stage later this year. As yet nothing certain but the earliest possible manufactured version would probably be ~ late 2020. We should have more news in the next couple months.

Hi Jon! I’ll just answer these in order.

There aren’t just three, there are lots. Pronation / supination is forearm joint motion. Deviation and flexion/extension are wrist joint motions. Flexion / extension also happen at the elbow joint, and at various thumb and finger joints too. So the two you are asking about are forearm and wrist joints. The exact blend of motions used in the forearm-wrist motion depends on your arm position, whether you use more or less forearm, and whether you use more or less wrist. Lots of variables. But all four forearm and wrist motions are included. It is not just deviation, because the wrist is moving diagonally and using both deviation and flexion and extension, along with forearm motion.

But that’s all super academic. You shouldn’t need to think about that when doing the motion. You’re mostly thinking about anchor points, where you want the pick to go, and what it feels like.

I don’t know what “neutral” means when it comes to this motion. You have your anchor points and your motion, and again, by varying these, you can get all kinds of slightly different types of this motion. If you look at the slow motion examples in the lesson chapters there is tons of variation there. In magnet view, some of the motions appear more curved, some appear more linear. They all feel slightly different and I don’t know why I sometimes choose one over the other. It’s not conscious. But none of them represent any particular “neutral” version of the motion that I can think of.

Sorry for the confusion! “DWPS” isn’t anachronistic. As long as you’re talking about the orientation of the pick, we’ll definitely keep using the term for that. That’s what it is, and what the term sounds like, so I think that makes sense. We’re just not going to use it to describe the motion. The motion is upstroke escape, or downstroke escape, and it’s done by various joints. The motion doesn’t depend on the “slant” of the pick, it’s just a set of anchor points and joint motions you’re trying to copy.

We tried to! There is no single thing you “do” to “do pickslanting”. It’s the result of how your entire picking arm is positioned, from the shoulder on down to the grip. So in the new lesson chapters, I tried to give you every aspect of my setup to recreate what I’m doing exactly. I know this may not sound as simple as “do XYZ with your hand” but it’s more correct.

Try not to worry about the “pickslant” too much. If you get all the parts oriented the same way I have them, then the pickslant should be correct for the motion you are trying to do. If it’s not, and the pick feels like it’s catching on downstrokes or upstrokes, double check your setup matches mine. If it’s still not, try small adjustments in thumb flex until the attack feels smooth. Only minimal adjustments should be necessary, otherwise something else is wrong in your setup or our instructions.

Doing a rest stroke is not the test for doing forearm-wrist motion correctly. It’s the test for avoiding stringhopping. You can do a rest stroke with elbow motion, forearm motion, wrist motion, and combinations of all of the above. Can you do a rest stroke and still be stringhopping? Probably. If a person is making an inefficient bouncy motion but they happen to hit the next string while they do it, it might look or feel like a rest stroke, but you’ll know it’s wrong because it won’t feel smooth or fast.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if you’re doing this motion exactly the same way I am. It just matters that it’s smooth and fast, and escapes when you want it to. You can film yourself in slow motion and look at it to make sure. A regular tripod positioned close is fine for the mean time. Or you can play USX lines and just make sure you don’t hear any hitting of unwanted strings. If the motion is more wrist than forearm, or more forearm than wrist, but it passes your smoothness test, then don’t sweat it. Sounds good, feels good = is good!

Thanks Troy. Will keep all of this in mind.