Getting to work on forearm/USX - two concerns: muting and tracking

I’m jazzed to see the new Test Drive videos, but that’s gonna have to wait until next week (when my kids are home on a midwinter break and we’ll all be screen zombies together;). Meanwhile, I’m getting down to some serious work on what I now know is my preference for forearm/USX.

[Thought about posting this in my recent metronome thread, but I think the following warrants a new one…]

I have two concerns:

  1. If I don’t factor in string muting, I may learn a motion that has to be altered and relearned to account for it later on. Seems you basically get away without muting when doing tremolo on one string, but I’m also working a Sixes exercise that could end up fast but not clean.

  2. Staying on one string (or even, say, two w/the Sixes thing - since as Tommo pointed out, a rookie should start doing Sixes with a short, 3-6 note lick), tracking is a non-issue. But again, I could end up learning an effective, fast motion only to have to tear it down and rebuild it when the exercises get longer and tracking does become an issue.

(btw I’m playing a Strat style guitar, 3 single coils, with a decked bridge, if that impacts the questions somehow.)

Factor this stuff in now? How? Or just floor it and see what happens?

1 Like

I think you know already what I’m going to say… I stalked you enough around the forum :smiley:

So I’ll let others speak!

PS: changed the title to make it more easily searchable by others with similar concerns - hope it’s ok!

for sure ok:)

and lemme guess - just go for it, right? (intuitive, care-free Europeans can’t seem to fathom us linear, horse-sensed midwestern US types;)

Haha I wish I was intuitive, you’d be surprised! I’m talking to older - and present - self as well here. I definitely overthink stuff :slight_smile:

Yep my suggestion is to get started on something achievable in the short-ish term - don’t get bogged down by all the hypotheticals about the future.

You have a great motion that is just waiting to be unleashed on some licks. Go down to a pair of strings or even a single string if necessary, but get to the point where you try to rip some fast patterns with good hand sync… or at the start just make sure that the downbeat note is in sync, then worry about the others :slight_smile:

Go as simple as you have to! E.g. you may find that fingers 1-2-4 and 1-2-3 are easier to use than 1-3-4, then go for these first.

A mantra I’ve been repeating to myself to get motivated and get things done is “better is the enemy of good” - if you know what I mean :slight_smile:

for sure.

i just didn’t want to take for granted that my concerns are things that can and should wait. but i read you.

as always, thanks for the encouragement and direction:)

The forear, motion section of the Primer is super detailed on these subjects. I recommend watching those sections now that you have the beginnings of smooth motion. In general, you should try not to overthink these things. Don’t try to “get out ahead” of problems that don’t exist. Instead, try to get the motion smooth and fast, and worry about issues as they arise.

The one issue we identified was the garage spikes problem. You want the notes to be even and smooth on downstrokes and upstrokes. When you get it smooth, it will both sound and feel smooth, and be easier to perform too. You can work on this in conjunction with simple fretting hand phrases like the Yngwie six-note pattern and others. It doesn’t need to be just a single note all the time.

I actually went through some of my 21 pages of notes on the Primer (stop laughing) this morning, and rewatched the tracking chapter, to refresh those details. (That’s actually where my questions came from.) So on that one I’m “out ahead” of you in a good way - but I hear, with the pick, just go for it and wait to slay any dragons if/when they jump out of the bushes.

I felt like I should probably do some Sixes plus tremolo on one string, but good to know I’m with your thinking on that, too.

Put this up on my office door a while back; finally starting to feel like it belongs there:)…

Just curious, if you’ve been experimenting with your motions, have you also experimented with the way you’re holding the pick and the pick itself? Forearm / USX makes me think of upward pick slanting, with a thick pick (ideally not too sharp).

The most common forms used in forearm motion technique, where the flexed wrist is common, almost always generate a downward pickslant and a USX motion path. This may be what you meant, if so, no worries.

1 Like

EDIT: @troy it seems that I’ve been confusing USX and DSX terminology altogether.

I thought he meant DSX, but you’re right regardless; I tried DSX with upward pick slant and it doesn’t work with elbow!

I think we still may be getting our wires crossed here, sorry for the confusion! The elbow joint creates downstroke escape (DSX) motion, where downstrokes go up in the air. Very often, elbow players will also hold the pick in such a way as to create an upward pickslant. These two things go together, DSX motion and upward pickslanting.

However, because the elbow does not generally create a very vertical motion path compared to the strings, there is no need to orient the pick in a very visible UWPS orientation. Whatever yoru grip normally produces is probably fine. The only time I’d worry about this is if you are getting garage spikes issues, where one of the pickstrokes (either the downstroke or the upstroke) grabs the string and is not smooth. Otherwise, I woudln’t think about the pickslant at all.

1 Like

I think I’m tracking now @troy. Thanks for the follow up clarification!