Hanky Pooh's Picking



I seem to remember you had a thread where you were doing more of a gypsy-style forearm rotational movement and it looked pretty good. Here you’ve dropped the wrist down onto the body of the guitar which is turning it into more of a wrist motion. Did you decide to change it? If it’s more comfortable this way then it’s totally OK, just see if you can get it really fast on one string.


Hank, I know I sound like a broken record here, but you are correct: choose one method and get good at it. It doesn’t matter which one because they all work, they are all good for certain purposes, sometimes interchangeably. I can do them all and I can switch between them now on command, but I didn’t start out that way. I started out doing a random mishmash of things because I wasn’t aware of the movements I was making.

In your case, you have the advantage of hindsight. You already know more about these movements than you did a few weeks ago, and you’re learning to pull them apart and do them on command. That’s awesome! That’s knowledge you and me didn’t have when we both started at this one billion years ago.

For now, as @mcm says, choose the one that’s most comfortable and standardize on it until it starts to become second nature. You want to get to the point where the other movements aren’t constantly trying to take over your hands unpredictably. You can always go back and add more movements later on. And it will get easier to do so, that I can tell you from experience.

The deviation method looks good to me and you want muting so that rules out flexed rotation. And most people don’t do unflexed rotation, so that leaves deviation. Nothing wrong with that.

Keep doing it!


Technique looks good to me! I use wrist deviation all the time. Not a damn thing wrong with it.

I use forearm rotation too, but it depends on what I’m playing. Your playing looks solid from what I could tell.


What John said.

And I’d add to that, try not to get too confused with all the two-way pickslanting examples. Those are slower for you and less natural. Stick to the simple single-string patterns, and multi-string one way pickslanting patterns, until it starts to speed up and get fluid.

It doesn’t have to be the Yngwie pattern all the time either. If you get bored, you can play over chord changes and do interesting stuff too. Even better so you build musical vocabulary at the same time.


Like the others are saying, pick any mechanic you like, and work on getting it nice and fluid, then you can work out adding other mechanics to your toolbox later if you want. The main tradeoff I see with the gypsy style forearm rotation thing is that while I think it may be one of the easier mechanics to get fast and consistent with, it may not lend itself well to 2wps (though 2wps is probably better put off until you’ve built your comfort level with some sort of consistent one-way technique).

But yeah, if you have some kind of wrist mechanic going that you feel good about the speed and consistency of, it should pay dividends for you to focus on that, particularly if you want to work on 2wps eventually. I think many people would struggle to develop the level of speed and fluidity you demonstrate with the wrist in your clip, but since you have it, you might as well use it.

Regarding your comment about gypsy style and muting, I think maybe Nuno Bettencourt could be used as an example of someone who has adapted a gypsy-ish approach to allow muting. Nuno has significant wrist flexion-extension and maybe even some finger movement, but I think there’s definitely a supinated-forearm rotation thing happening in his fast picking as well. See at about 5:30 of the clip below to see what I’m talking about:


sorry if my post came across the wrong way and just made you more confused, I really meant what the others here are saying. We all get frustrated with the guitar sometimes. Good luck and I hope the wrist mechanic works out.


I’ve been trying to force the DWPS thing for a while and run into many of the same road-blocks as you mate. I saw a video recently by Ben Higgins that I’ll link to here:

The most important thing at the lesson is at the very beginning–find your natural tremolo mechanic first. However your body feel comfortable blasting through a single repeated note. Start THERE, leave the theoretical stuff behind for a bit. Figure out what the mechanic is and roll with that. I guarantee that–while the mechanic you’ve landed on may not be what your heroes use or what you wish you had–you will be able to start playing cool fast stuff pretty quick.

I’m a dyed-in-the-wool UWPS guy. I my hand clamps down on the guitar like McLaughlin and Andy Wood. However, I got my virtuoso saliva glands flowing from hearing guys like Al Di Meola, Malmsteen and Michael Romeo etc etc, who don’t do things my way. So I spent a lot of time trying to force their hand motions when I first discovered CTC. A few nights ago I was browsing the dashboard and decided to review the pickslanting primer and had a look at the UWPS stuff for the first time. Instant difference. Within an hour I was breezing through Troy’s variations on Ardeshir licks. In a couple days I had rotating 8’s and 6’s patterns going at a cool ~160 BPM and the 2nps McLaughlin stuff close behind. Not perfect, but definitely a major difference which I was able to incorporate into some solos right away and even my bandmates noticed at rehearsal a couple days later. I’ll probably do my own video for the CTC forum in the near future.

Anyways just wanted to share my experience. Instead of forcing something that you think you should be doing because someone else who inspires you is doing it, maybe spend a bit of time figuring out where the least resistance is and developing that first.

Good luck, buddy!


this looks like UWPS? am I wrong?


owww…that hurt when I read it. I feel like I might be doing this with DWPS, forcing myself on it because in principal it seems like the answer, but I’m not willing to give up on it yet. I had the same question for Troy before this forum started. At what point do you say, “ok this is not for me”. In my case, non-palmuted notes have increased in fluidity and accuracy since learning about DWPS. Palm-muted passages are suffering though. So I plan on keeping at it, because frankly, the old way wasn’t working for me. I gotta get someone to record me while I play and post it in the technique section.


looking forward to it! I watch Teemu’s video quite regularly!


I’m not saying that it won’t ever work for you, but I think that if you start developing skills in the area that you are naturally inclined towards, then you’ll feel much more confident when approaching new techniques that might feel more alien to you


yeah, maybe you are right. Maybe I should have started with UWPS before starting with DWPS. But it really seems like DWPS is a big part of the key and that’s what I wanted to try first.


wow, looks like you barely have a grip on the pick and it never comes loose? sounds good.


…what the heck… vimeo tells me I can’t play this video ((


Looking good to me. First take you had a little bit of elbow flexion/extension creeping in, but there’s nothing wrong with that as long as it’s working for you. Take 3 sounded really smooth to me, as well as a few of the ones after it. Looks like you’ve got a bit of the wrist flexion/extension movement blended in on at least some of these takes, which, as was discussed re: Teemu, is pretty common and not a negative.


These look fine. My recommendation is the same as before: stop flip flopping. It is great that you are learning to sense the difference between movements that look similar on the surface. But it is like trying to learn multiple foreign languages at once which are all really similar. It’s super confusing and it will multiply the amount of time required dramatically.

Choose one or two of these which you need for the kind of lines you want to play and stick with them. Given that you play rock you will probably want at least one main technique with muting capability. Find it and stick with it.


What’s up Fry!!! Here is some 1 take jamming I did yesterday.

Here are my own observations:
0:22 Pentatonic sucks, why do I play that.
0:26 Boring.
0:50 I close my hand on the wounds for some reason.
1:18 Could be tighter.
1:56 Lame scale run.
2:15 Target notes suck.
3:05 Why didn’t I switch to UWPS descending? I do when I practice. :disappointed:
3:15 WTF?
3:17 Tortex snagging the rusty string.
3:20 Lame.


The bits that caught my eye the most were the same ones that you called out in your own comments (at 0:20 and 2:10ish). Looks a lot like something I sometimes do that’s sort of an upward or neutral pickslant from a fairly supinated forearm position. For me, that’s wrist flexion/extension with maybe a tiny amount of wrist deviation and a tiny amount of forearm rotation. For me the finger anchor below the strings is the key to making that work. And while I can do it without anchoring the heel of the hand, I find it works best for me when I anchor the heel (middle-ish of the heel (slightly to the ulnar side) resting on the saddle of the low E string, and maybe extending somewhat onto the other saddles).

There were places where I noticed a lot of the (Yngwie-inspired?) finger movement you and Troy have talked about, though it doesn’t seem to cause anything negative to happen.

Only thing that popped out to me as possibly a problem is there were places where it seems like that heavy purple T3 is “grabbing” on the non-wound strings on your sweeps, not in the sense of “failing to clear the string” but in terms of how the pick attack sounds as the string glides off the shoulder of the pick. Your execution of the sweeps seems fine to me, though I wouldn’t consider myself a sweeping expert, just maybe a different pick would make the sweeps on the non-wound strings sound less “scratchy”? That’s wandering into serious nit-picking territory though, and might just be a personal aestheric hangup of mine, since I think I’ve heard it from guys like Yngwie too.

Ha! Read the rest of your comments and saw what you said about the rusty string. Never mind. LOL

And in terms of advice, if you feel that excited about what you saw/heard/felt at 2:10, spend some time focusing on just trying to recreate that while it’s still relatively fresh in your mind. Let other technique stuff fall to the wayside for a bit so it won’t interfere with wrapping your head around what you’ve stumbled into. Focus on replaying the lick that made it happen, and on doing variations that let you work that same technique. You want to try to develop the ability to recreate the thing that felt right, and repetition of that thing without cluttering your mind with bunch of competing ideas and movements will help you hang onto it, instead of having it fade away on you.

I think an important part of making progress is latching on to things that “feel right” and not letting them get away from you. If something seems to be working, do your best to recreate it as much as you can, and even do little adjustments on it to try to get a feel of the how to do it that way on command. If possible, try to work on recreating it first thing when you wake up and last thing before you go to bed (in addition to whatever other time you spend on it). I found that’s a way to “hold onto” something longer to turn it into something permanent even if I don’t understand it well enough to verbalize how it works at the time. And don’t be afraid to write notes to yourself that you think will help you remember it. Even if you have it on video, the thoughts that occur to you at any given time about how it feels or what your intentions were while you were doing it are things that can evaporate if you don’t write them down (or record them as an audio/video diary, or whatever; point being don’t take for granted that you’ll be able to remember your interpretation and insights from today in the future).


Where I am at is super swamped, but I’m taking time out to watch this and… it’s more flip flopping. If you don’t want my advice, that’s fine. But don’t keep asking for it, ignoring it, and then posting more clips asking for my thoughts. It’s disrespectful.

If you really just want to experiment with all sorts of little hand positions and tweaks, and you don’t actually want to pursue one thing specifically - that is totally fine with me and something I endorse. But that’s also not something I need to get granular updates on. That is work you need to do, using exactly the process that @Frylock expertly outlines, because only you can possibly know what all these microadjustments feel like. If this process leads you to something cool, and you put in time on it, and you can recreate it consistently to the point that you have something concrete to show me, by all means. But not until.