How would you pick this Cm Pentatonic sequence?

Hi all,

Just starting to get into DWPS after watching Cracking the Code. I wonder how you guys would pick this pattern below. It’s a simple A-shaped Cm pentatonic sequence, but the 1-note on a string always throws me off. Should I downstroke, should I upstroke, should I slant downwards or upwards? Straight alternate picking creates a lot of string hopping. I tried to incorporate downward sweeps, but the single note doesn’t always end in a downstroke. Would appreciate your thoughts. Thank you!

(/) Slide Up  (\) Slide Down  (h) Hammer On  (p) Pull Off  (b) Bend (r) Release (v) Vibrato

Stave 1:


The original video is here:

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A post shared by Mauricio Guitar Licks (@mauricio__murua) on Jul 3, 2020 at 9:13am PDT

Welcome to the forum @rabbid!

Quick clarification needed: we introduced some new terminology that we think is less confusing, and the main buzzwords you’ll see around here are now focusing on the path of the pick, rather than the pickslant:

downstroke escape (DSX)
upstroke escape (USX)
double escape (DBX)

With that out of the way, I guess you are asking if it’s possible to do the sequence above with upstroke escape exclusively? (i.e. downstrokes are buried under the strings, upstrokes go up in the air)/

I think it should be possible by introducing strategic hammer-ons and pull-offs (and perhaps some downstroke sweeps?) but I have not checked every single transition.

PS: here is a good summary of the new terminology and how it relates to the pickslant:

Thank you @tommo for the quick reply, and also thank you for the new terminology as well. Well your interpretation is close, but I think I mean more like how exactly should I escape those single notes? Should I try to force USX on all of them, or DSX on all of them? or DBX? This is what eludes me. In the recording there is not legato except for the first two notes, and one hammer near the end. So I do not think there’s any strategic legato applied by the original artist, although I’m not restricting myself to play exactly as he did. I’m just trying to figure out the best way to play this. Thank you!

The bad (or probably good!) news is that there are many possible answers to this, and they depend on what motions you are currently using! For example, if you do fast tremolo on a single string, are you aware if you are doing USX or DSX (or something else)?

Alternatively, what are the types of licks that you find comfortable when you play fast? Depending on these answers you can start constructing a strategy for the lick that will work for your current technique :slight_smile:

Thanks again for your reply. To be honest I’m quite a newbie and I can’t play “fast” :frowning: In fact that’s gonna be my next new topic here with a video I want to make to get critique on what I’m doing wrong. A simple descending pentatonic that’s just out of sync at even slightly higher speeds. So apologies, I can’t really answer your question right now because the answer is “none” :slight_smile:

Edit: Actually now that I think about it, I do feel more comfortable playing ascending pentatonic rather than descending, not that I can play ascending “fast.” That feels absurd, because why should descending feel more difficult?? It’s just like driving and making a U-turn! It’s quite frustrating…

Troy actually had this exact lick, though in another pentatonic box, as a challenge a few years ago. :slight_smile: As you can see in the video, sometimes you can rearrange the notes on the fretboard to make licks easier to perform.


For those who are interested, the original video is here:

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A post shared by Mauricio Guitar Licks (@mauricio__murua) on Jul 3, 2020 at 9:13am PDT