Help with Crosspicking/Two-way Pickslant


Hey everyone,

Long-time player here. Always been terrible at right hand picking and am trying to improve.

I basically have upward slant picking down, as it jells with what I have always done naturally:

I’ve been experimenting with 2WPS. I seem to be able do it fine if I am completing the string shifts while moving up to a lower string (from G to D here):

Shifting to a higher string (from G to B) is much harder. Sometimes I rake, and the movement feels much more exaggerated to me, like I am flicking my wrist…am I crosspicking?

While experimenting, I’ve tried to exaggerate the movement, though it gets messy…is this crosspicking?

Please let me know if I can provide additional info or videos, many thanks!

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I apologize if this is against forum policy, but bump :slight_smile:

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Hi Andrew! Not against policy, and apologies for the delay in getting to this. Short story, this all looks like a pretty good start. In general you have a handle on downstroke escape aka “uwps” wrist motion, and these phrases that are more exclusively uwps in nature look and sound pretty good. There are some note dropouts in there (last note on the G string in clip two on several repetitions) but hold that thought because I think we can address this more holistically.

Re: the scale phrase, as you have guessed, you’re using some forearm motion to supplement what the wrist is doing. This is the classic “two way pickslanting” scenario we originally noticed in players like Batio, DiMeola, etc. However what I’m noticing is perhaps some of that arm motion creeping into the simpler one-way pickslanting phrases. If you look at the first clip for example, the knuckles appear to be turning occasionally even though that phrase technically doesn’t require it, given that all the string changes are downstrokes.

It’s not strictly “wrong” if it sounds good, but it could be a source of some awkwardness as you try to tackle more complex phrases where you feel the arm stepping out on you a little more as it does in the scale phrases. One thing that might help is some of the new wrist material we’ve been putting up recently. You can find that here:

This is a work in progress and we’ll be adding more as the weeks roll on. But what we have now is upstroke escape, which is the complement to the technique you’re using here. The arm position is very similar. It may be slightly more supinated than what you’re doing in these clips — you want both heels of the palm (pinky and thumb) resting lightly on your anchor point, whether that’s bridge/strings or body. The cool part is you should still be able to access your downstroke escape from this orientation, but now you’ll have upstroke as well.

Give this a shot and see if you can do the upstroke version of this. In particular, tool around with it to see if you can get it to where it’s only wrist and feels smooth. That’s the key.

The crosspicking motion, aka, double escape, is extremely similar to both of these and if you can get both of these happening from this centralized arm position, the double escape motion will be right around the corner. We’ll be adding that in this section soon too.

Thanks for posting and let us know how you make out.

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Thanks so much for the response! I had originally tried to start with the upstroke escape motion, but found it too awkward. In general, I seem to be able to do it well on one string, but when shifting, it feels like it requires an extra motion, like a forearm rotation or exaggeration of the wrist. I’ll keep messing with it and try to keep the motion confined to the wrist, thank you.


We’re working on the “downstroke escape” chapter for the wrist motion section right now. It should be up shortly. I always recommend that everyone try everything they can up front. You never really know what’s going to “click” first, and whichever one clicks is just going to make it that much easier to get the next thing.