HELP! 2 Way Pickslanting 3 Notes per String

Hello everybody!
when I try to use 2 way pickslanting in scales with three notes per string i feel stuck! especially when I switch from the second to the third string and from the forth to the fifth, that is when I do the outside picking.
in the slowed down version of the video I also notice that I miss the strings while picking or touching the upper one when switching…
but when I practice the scale I don’t notice it …
And the first try is ALWAYS the try where I feel more stuck than the next others!
how to improve?

here’s the videos!

[2WPS 3nps original speed]

[2WPS 3NPS Slow Speed]

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Honestly this sounds pretty good to me. I would just keep practicing until the feeling of getting “stuck” diminishes, you’ll also improve on accuracy of non-missed notes.

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Thanks you! And thanks for the advice, but i practice this everyday at least from 3 years… and I think if im practicing this doing the wrong motion when I sped up i’ll never be able to doing this 2WPS nice and smooth!
i noticead during high speed runs I’m so rigid!
And to be honest I don’t know how to do the right motion during high speed because i can’t control it especially for the outside picking part.

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@Angussimone can you record a clip at a speed which you feel you can’t keep up? I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with the original clip technique-wise.

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@Angussimone welcome to the forum! If you include a blank line of space before and after your youtube links, it will embed them right inside the post and we won’t get redirected out of the forum.

Also, “2 Way Pickslanting” has undergone some disambiguation over the years. What you’re doing is more like a primary motion with a helper motion. The whole “slant” thing is now thought of as more of a side effect or consequence of a particular joint motion. So we don’t want to think of changing ‘slants’ to achieve the escape. We concentrate on whatever joint motion is required for the escape we need and don’t even worry about the slant in 3nps stuff like this.

BTW, great playing :slight_smile:


I just wanted to share something funny.

Years ago when I was learning and trying to shred like my heroes I developed (or stumbled across) “slanting” or more accurately “escaping” motions to be able to play the fastest licks. I have a vivid memory of this because it was a trial and error thing that I went through when trying to learn particular licks (like Mr Crowley or For The Love Of God solos).

However I can remember at the time thinking that, although I was getting close to playing the licks well, I was cheating by doing these escape motions !
I didn’t think I was doing it right so I didn’t pursue those techniques.

There was nothing ever written in any magazine about our heroes doing these escape motions and i couldnt slow videos down in my VHS cassette player to see what their technique was.

Even edge picking seemed like cheating.

I just assumed that I wasn’t good enough to play as fast as them. Plus I heard Steve Vai say you need to practice for 10,000 hours to be as good as him (or that’s what I took from that soundbite anyway).

Thank god that now we know that everyone is human after all ! Our heroes developed their own escape and picking techniques to negotiate the laws of physics and it’s not all brute force and godlike ability. It all makes sense after all.

Back then it really did seem like these guys were gods or something !

Anyway as time went on I guess I developed my own escape motions out of necessity and now I understand them and know they’re perfectly ok.
I don’t have to feel guilty or like a sub par guitarist anymore. :sunglasses:

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The best guitarist I personally know is not famous. I’d put him up against any virtuoso though. He can play Yngwie, Vai, Gambale stuff with ease (plus he’s a crazy jazz improvisor). Many moons ago when I jammed with him, being a 17 year old who looked WAY up to him, I noticed him rubbing ‘fast fret’ on his strings to clean them and slick them up, reduce drag etc. I asked him if he felt like that was cheating. He looked me straight in the eye and was not trying be funny at all and he said “there is no such thing as cheating”.

If it sounds good, it is good.

I should look him up. I’m curious how he makes it all work, now that I know something about motion mechanics. I had no clue about any of that. I read about the Vai ridiculous practicing routine too and figured at some point you just get good when you practice a lot. If only CtC were around back then…


I think at one time, or maybe a lot of times, I got very dissuaded because it seemed like I just didn’t have “the gift” of being to play amazingly well.
I had a friend who was the same age as me, we lived on the same street and we even looked alike. He started playing about 4 months before me so it always felt like i was playing catchup. He was, and probably still is, an amazing guitar player, he could play anything. I had to work like hell to even get close to him.

So it seemed like I didn’t have the gift. Even my guitar teacher gave up on me after 6 lessons and said I maybe didn’t have the aptitude for it.

But also Vai’s comment about 10,000 hours of practice sort of gave me hope. So I locked myself in my room and played for 3 years haha.

So some people are definitely naturally gifted. I feel like I’m not but Vai is right, in that the more time you spend playing the better you get, its as simple as that. I too wish I had the insights from Troy and co back then though. Because that time you spend playing is much more effective if you understand the rules and motions.

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Here’s Another example of a 2WPS Not so nice and smooth

And here an USX where I feel nice and smooth

Slowed down version of USX

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Really thanks for the feedback!
I’ll keep practice till I find a smoother escape that work for me on a 2WPS

@Angussimone honestly these sound great to me! I think you have good technique at these speeds, so I would just drill them untill you feel more comfortable and not “stuck” during certain transitions.

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I agree with the others, great playing!

I only have 2 suggestions for things you could try.

  1. Your pick has a visible “DWPS” orientation, which looks more suitable to pure USX stuff. To you have a feeling of the upstrokes being a bit more “sitcky”? Because that may be the cause. So you could experiment with different pick grips that put the pick in a more “neutral” orientation. If you don’t have this sticky feeling with the upstrokes, ignore me :slight_smile:

  2. At this point I would stop practicing these scale runs, and focus on a wider variety of phrases. Sometimes “lick X” stops getting better by pure repetition, so to improve further you have to practice some new (but related) licks Y and Z, and then come back to X some time later to see if anything changed. Alternatively, create some etudes where the scale runs appear only once in a while, in between other phrases

Edit: apologies for the shameless self promotion, but actually this short tune of mine came to mind as a possible device to practice scales mixed with other types of musical phrases:

Edit2: your pure USX form is perfect, no comments there :slight_smile:

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Really thanks! Tomorrow I will post my progress!

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Thanks! Really appreciate it! I’ve started learning your piece!! Nice work :love_you_gesture:t3:

Btw I think my problem is when I’m doing the upstorke and switch the string, I feel stuck…!
it’s a sensation, it dosen’t sound so bad … but don’t sound like a smooth transition (I’m really bad at outside picking… If there is any exercise or a particular motion to do … I would to learn it!!)

Here’s the Pepsi lick, 2WPS

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@Angussimone Can’t see your picking hand and I’m not sure what the “Pepsi lick” is supposed to sound like, but I think this sounds great!

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Agree with @Pepepicks66! nothing to report on this perfect rendition of the pepsi 6s :smiley:

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dude that was great man

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That’s a lick I practice a lot for 2WPS and I can’t do it as well as you. Great playing !