Has anyone here successfully CHANGED their picking technique?


I did. And trust me, my picking technique was garbage for years, I couldn’t even tremolo pick a single note at all. The main problem with my previous picking technique was my picking grip. I was holding my pick extremely close to my palm(it was actually touching my palm) and that way it was impossible for me to make an efficient wrist movement. I could only use my elbow that way and it just didn’t work for me at all, even at moderate tempos my picking was horrible. So one day I was determined to change that once and for all, so I changed my picking grip. Now I hold my pick away from my palm(similar to Paul Gilbert’s grip). At first, it felt really strange, it was a lot of trial and error experimentation for almost a month till the wrist movement finally clicked for me. Now with the addition of pickslanting into my playing, I can finally play some alternate picked stuff like Yngwie’s and Paul Gilbert’s at speeds I couldn’t even imagine playing before.


Thank you all SO MUCH for the detailed replies!!

It really does help encourage me tremendously!

I am sorry I have been absent from my own thread ; I work and have kids, so I’m pretty busy,

I’m very excited to be a part of this community, and I look forward to trying out the things I look forward to learning!



I don’t know where to begin. I’m waiting for the new Pickslanting Primer to see if it can give me a heads up.


I’ve been a UWPS player for many years, without realizing it, of course. When I came across Troy’s stuff, I deliberately tried to get into DWPS motions, and, while it doesn’t feel as natural as UWPS for me, still after some time I became able to play 2nps and 6nps licks at a decent speeds. For me, this was a new technique I was previously unfamiliar with. Also, realizing the fact that in some situations I have to rotate my wrist for easier switching between strings helped me.

I also tried to learn picking motion based on forearm rotation and finger movement, with it seems to be very hard for me, especially forearm. Although there seem to be some progress.

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Still working on it, but yeah, after 35 years, I realized my right hand picking was holding back my left hand fingering, so I set out to fix that., and CtC was key. First off, I mostly dropped the picking from the elbow technique, which was about all I used before, I wanted finer motor control, so I started using the wrist, windshield wiper style. Then DPS, which is fantastic for 2 note per string playing (I never thought I could get my picking to match my hammer-on/pull-off speeds there but I’m closing in), and from there, wrist rotation or pronation/supination. Lastly, I’ve also started using my thumb itself just a little bit too, keeping it more flexible, for the really faster, finer, motor control. Not too much though.
Economy picking is another thing I picked up, but I still find upstrokes more difficult than downstrokes and my speed using EP leaves much to be desired at this stage.
Lastly, hybrid picking is something I’m only beginning to look at.
It’s been about 2 1/2 years since the change-ups, maybe 3. Playing perfectly clean and tight on certain runs is still a challenge for me, as radically changing my picking style after all these years is in some ways like relearning the instrument.
But I don’t regret the changes one bit. It’s been worth it.


I “remodelled” my technique over the space of about a year (2017-2018) because I was forced to. I was picking fast runs from my elbow (somewhat Petrucci style) and after nearly 35 years of doing that it was no longer sustainable. Even short practice sessions were starting to cause severe pain resulting in days of rest to recover.

I decided to try switching to what I thought was “picking more from the wrist” and coincidentally at the same time I was trying to work out Steve Morse’s “Tumeni Notes” and the “Glass Prison” arpeggios. I wasn’t aware of the TWPS/crosspicking thing but in trying to learn those songs it started to dawn on me what was causing my pick to get trapped on all those 1nps lines. More importantly it led to stumbling on alternating the pick angle and to CTC (via the Steve Morse video) so it was like a big technical crossroad for me.

Interestingly I was already aware of using a brief pick angle switch when playing 3nps patterns to cross strings where necessary it just never dawned on me all those years to pendulum back and forth between the two slants until I saw the Steve Morse video.

I think because I was trying to work all these things out at the same time it kind of allowed me to redevelop my picking naturally because everything I was trying to do was different to anything I had tried to do before so my old technique wasn’t really kicking in subconsciously as it didn’t work for any of these new movements and patterns.

I’m not sure how to describe my current technique (I’m not that familiar with CTC terminology :blush: ) but it’s probably more of a forearm rotation thing. If I had to compare it to any of the guitarists interviewed so far I’d say it feels kind of in the “Teemu Mäntysaari” territory (though not as fast!) with some occasional on demand “crosspicking-ish” behaviour whenever it fits naturally. There’s also a little bit of side to side wrist movement sometimes depending on the pattern.

I should note that with Tumeni Notes the fastest I’ve ever been able to play it with minimal sloppiness is about 190bpm but without modifying my technique I’d never have come close to that. There’s still lots of progress to be made but I now feel technically more versatile, I can sustain long periods of fast picking, and my elbow is OK so I’m pretty happy.

I just wished I had figured this out 30 years ago!


Awesome playing… :+1:

Any chance to post some close up video of 2WPS? Your recent RH motions look very airy and interesting.



Through the years I changed my picking technique from strict alternate, to economy. I also stopped anchoring my hand on the pickguard and my pick grip.

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Thanks Groff!

Hehe, there is no 2WPS here. This is a one way DWPS (or UXS) style so I either use legato escapes or swiping (or sweeping i some cases) to go switch strings after downstrokes.


Ah I see. Anyway, hat’s off to you :+1:


I was a mediocre blues lawyer player for a long time, and then I went to a guitar school in my 30s to attempt to get a real education in music. Sadly, I had a teacher who taught his own special scales and completely terrible picking and fretting technique. After about 2 months his training method ended up destroying my hands and caused a bone spur on my left (fretting hand) thumb so I had to stop.

After a short break, I ended up having to spend a few years completely changing my fretting hand usage to undo that teacher’s damage and my inspiration for how I fret was Django Reinhardt. I saw videos and photos of him playing with only two fingers, completely turned down the fretboard, and in a more fluid relaxed way. I started copying him and simply turning my hand while I play completely fixed it and helped a lot. I then started to notice that just about every professional guitarist in the world turns their hand when they really play because…spoiler alert! Hands are supposed to turn and flex and move around.

Now I can play 3 note per string pentatonics on a 30" scale guitar and move freely between any key and scale by just turning my hand. Before I couldn’t play a basic scale on a normal guitar without intense pain.

Troy’s curriculum has been doing the same thing for my picking hand. Again, I was told to always keep my pick flat to the strings, and as Troy shows in his videos that just doesn’t work. Seeing him turn his picking hand similar to how I turn my fretting hand and then practicing the pick slanting techniques has fixed my picking hand as well. My speed and accuracy is increasing but–most importantly–it’s much more ergonomic and causes a lot less stress.

The key is to practice small motions repetitively very slowly and stay relaxed. I didn’t even use a metronome in the beginning since I was going so slow it wouldn’t make a difference and the metronome adds stress which kills the natural relaxed feeling I was trying to have while playing. I get the motion for just 1 or 2 string patterns down very slowly so that it’s fluid and relaxed and I can do it without thinking, then I add a metronome at a low speed. I inch it up and when I start to stress I back it off and hang out there for a while until it’s again fluid and natural, then inch it up some more. It takes time, but constantly relaxing and going slow eventually makes the frustration go away.

Once I got to where I was able to keep up with a basic tempo I then just started practicing jamming to random genres of music. I use a TRIO+ to just goof off, but I’m kind of “road testing” the new technique, trying to keep using it while I play and find the tempos where I can do it successfully. Sometimes I just play a scale over the chords or even just a 2 string riff until I do it in the new style.

I should also add that I’m 45, and really the only thing age does is sets a harder limit on how fast I could possibly go. Doing the actual technique isn’t necessarily age dependent.

I hope that helps.

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