How does this look?is it string hopping?

Hi everybody, new to the forum, been playing for ages,but wanting to get serious about my picking technique.
Cracking the code was just brilliant Troy,lots of effort gone in to it and it shows.
Hope everybody can see the video ok.
So,i am still string hopping?would love to hear feedback and ways to improve.
can post more vids if it would help


It’s the two note per string stuff I’d like to improve first,feels like I’m very sluggish in this.

Hi! Thanks for the great camera angle!

I’m not sure if this is to be called string hopping or not (probably) but it’s clearly very inefficient. From the looks of how you hold your pick and the choice of picking pattern, it seems like you’re going for a DWPS or USX style. But to me it looks like the motion you’re doing is actually more of a DSX or downward escape motion. So to get the picking up to play the next string on a downstroke your hand needs to do a curved motion (string hopping) which might be why you’re not getting the speed you seek. What you need is more of a straight picking motion. You might get more luck by starting the lick with an upstroke which will make every string change a downstroke string change.

It would be very interesting to see a video of you playing tremolo on a single string. Just as fast as possible.

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Hi,thanks for the reply, here is a bit of single string motion

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Ok so you clearly have more speed on tap with this motion. Could you make another video with the great camera angle of your first video?

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ok, here is a bit more, thanks

Great thanks for doing this! That’s what we would call a “supinated forearm” setup, and it looks to me like the movement is coming from your wrist.

The tremolo here is a good starting point - but I can’t tell if its’ downstroke escape (DSX) or upstroke escape (USX), because the range is so small.

When you start doing the licks however, I suspect you are changing into a less efficient and jumpy motion. Or maybe not jumpy, but certainly not smooth.

Are all these licks you are trying changing strings after an upstroke? if so I’d just do a first experiment and try some licks that change strings exclusively after downstrokes - how do these feel? Can you do them with your “tremolo motion”?

Hi there,I believe it is an upstroke escape I’m going for,definitely on the two note per string stuff(is that dsx or usx?starting on a downstroke.
I’ve been playing on and off for a long time,and fear I have got into such a bad picking motion that it will be difficult to get out of,but this seems like the best place to do it.

Thanks! It seems like the tremolo is a little bit erratic at the moment, going between trapped and both upstroke and downstroke escapes. But it’s hard to see since the light from the window is making the black pick melt into the black bridge. Maybe you could do another one from the other direction and use the daylight as a light source to see the pick a little bit better.

I’ll try and do more at some point,yeah,I too feel the tremolo picking is a little erratic,not very smooth,I think when I go into the string changes they are happening after an upstroke,so yeah,all in all i have a lot to work on!

Thanks, this was perfectly filmed!

My first thought is that it looks like you are trying to consciously make small movements, like staying close to the string. Would you say that is correct?

Other than that I would say that your motion is a combination of different joints and your body is going back and forth between them. Can you feel that your elbow kicks in sometimes?

The result is that when you’re using your wrist, the motion is mostly USX (it’s actually a bit erratic) but when the elbow kicks in, the motion becomes DSX since that’s the only way the elbow can move. You can see when you play omn the G-string that you start out with wrist but at the end the elbow starts to move back and forth with the wrist. The motion of the pick changes. On the high E-string the elbow is active from the start and you can see that the motion clearly is DSX.

When you play with the left hand, you go back to mostly wrist and get more of a USX motion. It is a bit flimsy like your not holding onto the pick as hard or it swings a little bit. It’s actually hard to see but this is probably not the exact same motion as when you tremolo pick. It’s also of course slower but it’s hard to say if it’s because of the different motion or if it is the problems raised in the pursuit of being in sync with the left hand. What would you say yourself?

My suggestion would be to try tremolo again but this time, don’t try to be “play correct”, just go for speed and see what your body will do. It’s also almost good if the motion gets a little bit bigger because this will actually help with string switching.

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Mm,I think you could right on the trying to make small movements comment,I’ve gotta go to work now but I’ll try again tomorrow,some good feedback there to think about,thanks so much.:smiley:

ok, this one feels better to me,think its mainly wrist with a bit of forearm?
and i think i gravitate towards an upward slant, it definitely feels much more comfortable than the previous one.thoughts anybody?

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Here is a bit more,trying for an upward slant,more angle on the pick needed?

Hi! Thanks for posting. This clip looks the smoothest however it’s possibly still slow.

You really should not be concerned with the “slant”. You’re just looking for a joint motion that is fast, you don’t really care which one that is.

Have you taken any of our speed tests and what results did you get?

Hi Troy,thanks for the reply,yeah I’ve done the motion tests,topping about 200-205 until it gets beyond me.This feels like my best tremolo yet, another member replied to an earlier post i did and pointed out that i might be consciously trying to keep my movements as small as possible,staying close to the string, which i tried not to do here?im going for a wrist motion, seems to feel the most comfortable at this point.
As i get toward the end does it look to you like the forearm is coming in a bit?, sometimes that happens when i speed up.

Just done the motion tests again,knocking test was 240,wrist was 205,van Halen wrist was about 210,forearm was 220,elbow was 230,but that does not feel at all comfortable when applied to a guitar!!

Those are good results, and that is your guide. If you can’t get your actual picking motion to within at least 80% of those numbers, then something is probably not right, and you have to keep experimenting until something clicks.

Yes, when you’re in the beginning phases of learning a new skill, it can feel unfamiliar on a guitar. This is true even for experienced players if they’re doing something new. Here’s a hack we came up with to help taking the very fast table tapping motions and translating them to guitar:

Give that a shot and see if that helps. I recommend the laptop orientation because it is similar to the table test and for me at least, very comfortable.

As for elbow, you can check out our Brendon Small interview. He does a very graceful elbow technique and you can see how gentle it is. He’s really not trying very hard: