I have a question! Escape motion VS pickslanting

Ok, I recently got to know Cracking the Code, and I’m learning a lot. I have a question, so I’m going to post it on the forum. What is the difference between Escape Motion (USX, DSX, DBX) and Pick Slanting (UWPS, DWPS, Zero-degree PS)? I understand that Escape Motion is a high-level concept that includes PS, and PS is a way of Escape Motion.

Then it should be able to use the USX without DWPS but…


This GIF form Picking Motion Sector, I think it looks like DWPS

The same thing is in the DSX and UWPS

Am I missing something? I look forward to hearing from you!

From what I understand, dwps / uwps has now been replaced with usx / dsx.

Oh, I didn’t know that. So, could you how the concepts are changed? I still can see Pick Slanting sector. I’m so confused…

Troy’s understanding and insight grew to find out that sometimes people make an upstroke escape motion without downward pickslanting (and a downstroke escape motion without an upward pickslant). And that it’s the motion the hand/wrist/arm is making that determines the escape. So although dwps and usx (and vice versa) often correlate, it isn’t necessarily always the case.

So, in that gif image, the pick is UWPS. Am i right?

In the gif you posted the pick is “DWPS”, and the motion is “upstroke escape=USX”, since the strings are intended from left to right as:


Hope that helps :slight_smile:

Thanks! USX can be able without DWPS? I need some examples…

Let’s say a player has a pronated setup and the pick is upward slanted but only a little, not extremely. The player’s default is to downstroke escape and play lines that downstroke escape using deviation of the wrist. But sometimes this player has a line that needs an upstroke escape somewhere. He uses a different motion of his hand to make it happen, a combinantion of deviation and extension of the wrist and gets an upstroke escape that way while the pick is still slightly upward slanted.

Thanks! I also feel like I’m playing that sort of thing rather than Pick Slanting. I think i should pay for the membership and find out more.

I’d highly recommend going through the picking primer. I’ve gone through it all a few times and learnt so much about my own playing and the reasons I wasn’t getting anywhere.

That and the help from members/mods here has helped so much.

I think you’ll find a good explanation of the interaction between “pickslanting” and “picking motion” in this video :slight_smile:

Good Video! Does that mean that Pick Slanting and Escape Motion are different, and I can use Pickslanting to do Escape Motion?

And, is it possible to do Escape without Pick Slanting?

It means they are two separate things. And pick slanting itself is not responsible for the escape motion. And yes you can escape with out pick slanting because again the slant itself isn’t responsible for the escape.

Then Why Pick Slanting is Important? Is there a situation where I have to use Pick Slanting, or is there any benefit from using it?

There is no one answer to this question as there are many different setups…

Some setups have a pickslant by default. Most usx players interviewed have some degree of downward slant. Many dsx players don’t have much of a slant, if any at all.

1 Like

My $.02 on this is to just not worry about the slant. Focus on the path the pick is making and that it’s either escaping on upstrokes or downstrokes. Once you figure out which you are better at, capitalize on it. Can you play faster and more controlled when your downstrokes escape? Great news! You can play tons of cool phrases. Or maybe you can play faster when your upstrokes escape. Great news! You can also play tons of cool phrases. Don’t worry if some other player you like happens to have a different trajectory. Chances are, one of their favorite players has a different trajectory too :slight_smile: In either case, they probably arrived there by (quickly) finding what worked for them and just rolling with it. Not worrying about some ‘weakness’ they needed to address to be a more well rounded player.

It is unfortunate the the slant wasn’t the silver bullet after all. “Picking Trajectory Primer” doesn’t have the same nice ring to it that “Pickslanting Primer” has. As others have said, the slant, when present, is more of a side effect of a particular setup and trajectory. It’s not what causes the trajectory.

1 Like

Simple answer is that it’s not important, it’s more of an observable side effect to all the other aspects, than it is causation of them.

It’s a situation where, as he looked at more and more players, Troy’s understanding changed a bit, and he decided “pickslanting” wasn’t a good way of describing what was going on.

The operative part of “pickslanting,” even early on, wasn’t actually the “slant” of the pick - it was the fact that the picking motion was at a slant to the horizontal plane of the strings, so a “downward pickslant” would bury the pick on downstrokes, but lift it up above the strings on upstrokes.

Calling this a “downward pickslant” had two problems:

  1. it underplays the importance of the fact that it’s not the slant that’s so important, so much as your upstroke lifting the pick up and allowing effortless string changes, and
  2. As he continued to look at other players, while Yngwie and Eric Johnson had a pronounced “slant” to the way they hold the pick, other players who also buried downstrokes and escaped on upstrokes didn’t have a “downward slant” or in some cases could even hold the pick with an upward slant, but still use a picking motion that buries downstrokes and escapes on upstrokes.

So, dropping reference to the “slant” of the pick and instead talking about the “escape” of the pickstroke makes a lot more sense.

All of the original “pickslanting” material is still extremely useful, you just have to watch it with the mental filter in place that it’s not actually the slant of the pick that matters, it’s the direction of the pickstroke.


These are all great answers!

Pickslanting = the slanted appearance (or not) of the pick. Its purpose it to control the pick attack so it is smooth and the pick doesn’t get caught on the string. Any slant, from positive to negative and even zero, can be the “correct” one, but it depends on the type of picking motion you use:

Escape motion = a type of picking motion where the pick moves away from the guitar at one or both ends of the picking motion. Its purpose is to allow you to change strings:

The pickslant must match the escape motion, they go together. Specifically, the technical “rule” is that for the smoothest attack, the pickslant wants to be perpendicular to the pick’s path of motion. This is a very technical explanation, but it’s the most accurate one.

The good news is that when you choose a type of joint motion for picking, you get pickslant and escape motion automatically. So if you can already pick rapidly and smoothly on a single string, then you are already “doing” some combination of these things. The power is learning which combination you are using, so you know which types of phrases to play to make string changes feel fast and smooth.

The first step in the Primer is playing a tremolo. The second step is identifying which type of joint motion you are using, and using that information to determine which escape you are making. Then you can work on hand synchronization, multi-string phrases, and so on.

Don’t try to “do” an escape motion and don’t try to “do” a pickslant. Try to pick fast, then determine which kind of escape motion / pickslant combination you are using.


Wow thanks a lot! I will sign in membership and should see and identify my motion. THANKS!