Getting the Most Out of DPS/Volcano Seminar

Hey, all!

After looking into the Pickslanting Primer and getting started with the Volcano seminar (so far, I’ve only gotten up to Chapter 5), I’ve noticed I’ve been struggling with maintaining the DPS form or making sure my dynamics are consistent (not robotic, but at least at a consistent volume). At times, I don’t know where I derive my picking from—looking at the clips I recorded and edited in iMovie, I believe I’m using a combination of wrist and forearm(?)—and I believe that is part of what’s hindering me from tackling the exercises at a moderate speed.

If anybody has suggestions (what to focus on/practice to fix my issues, be it exercises, song examples, etc.) or critiques, I’d love to hear from you. I want to make sure I get the most out of my practice sessions (especially during this lockdown).

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Thanks for posting! This looks fine to me, I don’t see anything specifically “wrong”, per se.

This is wrist motion, I see barely any arm motion at all. And also, the path of the pick is straight into the strings and straight out. Here’s how you can tell:

When you involve forearm you get the curved motion path. When it’s just wrist USX, you get more of a straight line motion path from the “down the strings” perspective. That, and you don’t really see any arm motion. For reference, this is what wrist-forearm looks like:

The arm involvement is much more obvious, you can’t miss it. Unless you see that, you’re not really doing wrist/forearm. Or, if you’re doing it, it’s minimal enough that it’s basically just a wrist motion with some minor variation.

As with any motion, speed and smoothness are your tests. This isn’t particularly slow so I don’t really have any concerns with what you’re doing. And as these motions become more memorized they might get a little faster anyway. But if you told me there was some other motion you could do that was much faster, I’d suggest doing more experimentation with this motion, or others, to find out why this one isn’t as fast or smooth. Otherwise it looks fine. Have you always played with this picking motion, or were you using another one previously? If so what motion was that and why did you switch?

Minor comment is that it appears you’re using no edge picking. This makes the attack a little more plucky sounding. To some extent this is a matter of personal taste. However a totally flat attack can sometimes make it harder to move smoothly. So you might try adjusting your thumb position to be straighter. You’re using the “pressed” i.e. hyperextended thumb joint. You don’t have to flex it with a bend in the knuckle to get more edge picking, you can just allow it to be straight. That should introduce a small amount of edge picking if you like.

Finally, I’ll admit I only watched up until about 1:45 of this clip. I like to keep technique critique clips to about 30-45 seconds, maybe a minute on the high end. Just one or two playing examples, no narration. Include any comments in the post body itself. This makes it much easier to find that things that you need feedback on. No biggie this time. If I’m missing something else you need feedback on, that’s fine just give me the time marker in this video and I’ll take a look.

Nice work so far!

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