Hey all. New to the forums. Been lurking for a while just absorbing. My name is Patrick. I’ve been playing guitar for about 30 years. I’ve had some formal training but my style is mostly self taught. I went to Berklee College of Music but my focus wasn’t performance. I have a strong grasp of theory but have always lacked in the pure chops department. I discovered Troy while trying to learn “Cliffs of Dover” about a year ago and was instantly mesmerized by his insight into speedy alternate picking. It made a lot of sense when I retroactively dissected what he was talking about as it applied to my style and why I could never reach that next level. Anyway, I found that I am most likely a UWPS just by observing and reflecting on my own style. It feels kinesthetically more natural in my attempts to “floor it” on some of these exercises. I know though, that I’ll need to incorporate 2WPS to play efficiently though.

I came to the realization that switching between DWPS and UWPS on 3 NPS scale runs was a bit ahead of my skill level. I stumbled on this cool little exercise by Ben Eller that addresses DWPS and UWPS in a way that’s more digestible for people just starting out(at least for me)by separating the different picking motions into distinct sections of the lick. I feel like my DWPS when played faster is regressing into a smile shaped picking motion and I’m not sure at all when I start the descending part of it that my UWPS is even the correct motion. Sorry for the audio quality and the loud ambient noise burst at the beginning of the video. It’s just the external mic of my iPhone. Thanks for any advice or critiques. Really looking forward to being a part of this great community.




Hey Patrick, welcome to the forum, thanks for signing up :slight_smile:

Nice, yeah Ben Eller has a lot of great videos! Glad this was helpful.

Not sure what all you’ve watched of our stuff, the Pickslanting Primer is a great starting point and we’re working on making it even better. Lots we want to add and improve when it comes to intro tutorial for the various motions, techniques, etc.

When you say “smile shaped picking motion”, you mean a curved double escape motion i.e. what we often talk about here as crosspicking? If so you may want to browse e.g. search results for crosspicking, lots of discussions that may be of interest. Definitely a valid complement (or alternative) to 2WPS, not sure if this may feel easier / more natural to you, but good to be aware of and we always encourage experimenting with this stuff!



Thanks for the response Brendan. I have only watched the YouTube videos but plan on getting into the Pickslanting Primer ASAP. In response to the “smile” motion question. I’m actually not too sure about what’s happening. Since perusing those crosspicking threads it seems that people are TRYING to achieve that motion and for me it’s happening because I’m slipping out of the DWPS motion inadvertently. It may be more of a flattening of the DWPS or reverting to my “natural” picking mechanics due to lack of focus. I’m working on it and I know I’ve made progress. It’s a case of the movement not being engrained yet I’m sure. Just need to keep at it!