Has there been discussions on the when/why/how of mixing DBX with other picking approaches?

I’m curious just about any and all thoughts regarding switching to/from DBX within the same melodic line, specifically if there are pieces of the line that, for the individual, are easier to perform with other set-ups or motions, yet pieces that clearly require DBX.

I tried doing a forum search but didn’t find anything exactly on those topic.

I’m sure it depends on a lot of factors, and I’m honestly just interested in people’s thoughts about this kind of thing or anything related to it.

Simple examples of what I mean (not necessarily melodic or interesting, but just making the ‘picking point’) :

If we have a line like this, and we want to alternate pick it:

Well, double escape makes the most sense.

If the figure was this, repeating:

Then, being practical, it’s likely we would (or at least I would) use a more familiar motion for the single string 16th triplets portion, then transition into a different movement for those last 8 notes in the loop.

There’s also obviously no need to make sure the pick is escaping on 'both sides for the one string bit there. So for someone like me I would probably wind up doing my more comfortable USX-friendly movement where my palm is turned off the guitar more, then bring it back in for the 8 notes at the end.

Ok I know these are extremely contrived examples, but then when we have something more middle of the road:

In a sense it’s simpler to just have a double escape set up throughout, but there are all these stretches on a single string within that line , so they also could be opportunity to relax and not work as hard? That is, for someone like me, where the double escape thing is still slower than other ways of picking, and takes more concentration.

and here something more conventional, mixed scale run

Again, I don’t really have a very specific question but more so am just curious about folks’ thoughts on when they might stay in a DBX set up throughout, or shift midline, and what kind of factors make the difference, either in theory or practice.


Good question! I think Andy Wood is a good model for this. When he sits on a single string he seems to default to a single escape DSX motion (at least this seems the case beyond a certain speed). However, we all know how terryfing his DBX can be, and how easily he can get in and out of it.

Perhaps if you spend some time painstakingly analysing this video you may get some useful empirical evidence :slight_smile:

I’ve watched all three of these videos multiple times. I can with absolute certainty say that he’s a mutant. A literal alien person. So good luck!


He’s also rad as hell and I could listen to him talk shop forever and ever.

I think I would just use a setup that I know is capable of DBX among other things, and go for it without planning specifically for the single string notes. With time and practice, I’m seeing that the appropriate motions are automatically chosen among USX, DSX and DBX, and it doesn’t take more effort.
And when needed, the hand can economize on its own. I try to push it in the video and in the single string parts it does small movements that don’t even escape I think? Slomo at 0:40.


Wow @spirogyro you are killing it these days!

Also think this may be the prefect answer:


Interesting! And thanks @spirogyro for a nice take on my randomly jotted down example…actually sounds better than I thought it would, hah, I think I wrote it down without listening to it!

Basically seems like it’s not something that’s been explored in a ton fo depth yet - but for a specific strategy or recommendation it probably would require a much more specific context.

One example that I toy with often is the picking for the main figure of Tumeni notes. Just isolating open strings, it’s

If we started the pattern on the fifth note, it’s easier to see that we have 3 notes in a row on the same string:

For me this just feels extremely different than a straight 3 string roll or something.

Anyway, I will keep tooling around!

And we know this approach is ecologically valid because every pre-CTC player with crazy DBX chops developed them with a naive version of this approach. I think Andy Wood is the poster child for this.