Is this Double Escape?

Hey guys! Question depending the very first riff on this one:

Pretty sure Brandon uses Double Escape for the (i think) outside-picking stuff. When I try to do this, I get totally fatigued after the four repetitions of the riff. So is this really a double-escape thing, or should I just work on my endurance?

Awesome stuff, Brandon’s killer! But if you’re getting fatigued easily here, you are probably string hopping - some change to your technique is what you need, not endurance work.

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Yo thanks!
That’s what I thought
You think, he is he using wrist mainly?

Looks mainly wrist though he does switch to wrist/forearm during the tremolo picked section, very cool! I swear he mentioned switching between the two in the snippet of the unreleased interview with Troy but I don’t remember the context, can’t wait for that to come out at some point, Brandon is so good :grin:


Mostly wrist for those 1NPS moments in the beginning, with a little forearm rotation to aid in getting the different escapes - I’m not talking about the major amount of rotation he uses for the tremolo later, just a subtle drop of it.

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That’s the way I do it.
I don’t know how to get to a point where I can comfortably play this…

Here’s also the motion that’s causing problems (pretty sure):

Brandon plays it outside, I would naturally play it inside. Outside feels ultra wierd for me.
I don’t get which motion I should use for Outside/Inside. Is there another possibility than stringhopping/Doubleescape? Two-way pickslant just for one note per string?

Nice playing!

To start, just look at all the possible solutions here - you could use wrist DBX, or some swiping, or hybrid picking, or two way pickslanting. Hybrid would probably be the easiest to implement quickly, but I realize that’s just not as metal as picking it all. haha

DBX has kind of become the “technique du jour” around here lately, but it looks to me like Brandon is incorporating a little of the old two way pickslanting - using a bit of aid from forearm rotation to facilitate those outside upstroke string changes. Your forearm is pretty locked in place - you could be doing DBX like that, but since you say it’s tiring I’d assume it’s likely stringhopping.

So you could experiment with trying to add a tiny bit of rotation during those outside changes, see if it helps. Think of it as a separate motion - your wrist is just picking back and forth the whole time, the rotation aids in getting the escape.

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Yo thanks, dude!

You mean like this?

makes my playing a loooot more sloppy, but I feel, I could last a little longer than with this bouncing motion.

The problematic case now looks like this:

Still not sure what seperates DBX from Stringhopping… Could you recommend a seminar, which brings me forward? :slight_smile:

In Stringhopping you use flexion/extension on both the upstroke escape portion of the motion and the downstroke escape portion of the motion which leads to overuse issues/pain. In DBX this doesn’t happen, for example with wrist DBX you would use deviation for one of your escapes and flexion/extension for the other escape.

In RDT DBX your upstrokes escape with deviation and your downstrokes escape with flexion/extension, with DT DBX it’s the opposite :grin:

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In practice, the likely best thing to think about is trying to pick in as straight (flat) a line as possible, letting your body solve the escape (which in the wrist DBX world would lead to that straight line becoming slightly curved). That combines each pickstroke and escape into one single thing. Stringhopping has them separate - the pickstroke, and then a lifting out of the strings to reposition. But I still think the best 1NPS guys include some bit of rotation in the mix… just stay loose and see what happens.


I get it!
Made some progress over here!
Trying to rotate my arm a little when it comes to the rotation moments of the 1NPS thing. (hope you can see it in the video) It looks like I’m bounceing the arm of at this piece. I can last a lot longer now, problem is after a while I can feel it in my shoulder now. Is this normal, or is there a workaround for it, or maybe another technique?

I think it looks pretty good. The trouble is the tempo in this one is low enough that while it’s probably too fast for “classic stringhopping”…you could still play it with a motion that is not maximally efficient. Ask me how I know :slight_smile:

That’s just an indication that you’re engaging muscles that you shouldn’t be, for this technique. Your setup/motion looks like you’re on the right track so I don’t know that you need to scrap it and find something else, but I’d also encourage you to address it. Don’t just hope it will take care of itself the more comfortable you get with the technique. On the other hand…it might! Give it like another week and concentrate on keeping the motion entirely in your wrist and see where you are.

As someone who got bitten by the 1nps bug about 2 years ago, I’d say you’re at a point where you have to decide what it’s worth your time to pursue. If you’re interested in riffs at/slightly above this tempo then you’re largely good to go. Hypothetically, if you really want to play 1nps at speeds that Steve Morse and Andy Wood do, there might be other considerations. If that were the case, the path is to find a motion that goes at least 120 bpm for solid durations. I’ve heard Troy even say 140 bpm is “too slow” when it comes to measuring a 1nps capable motion. I agree with him 100% because I’ve tricked myself into thinking I’ve found a good motion because it feels “easy” in the 110 - 120ish range, only to find out that if I go any faster with that motion, I’m done. It was efficient enough to avoid classic string hopping but not efficient enough play things that require…more efficiency :slight_smile: The key to success is really devoting all the time you can to figure out how to play something fast. Playing slow and hoping it will speed up is a trap.

Anyway, great playing and progress! Congrats on making a big stride in short time!

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Thank you man for this great advice!
This riff was just a challenge I had with a student of mine. I’m normally not a big fan of this kind of riffs (which is probably a reason, why it was so new to me)
But now I started it, so I’d like to finish it! Also want to try Slaughter of the Soul after it, just to make sure I’m familiar with that technique.
Plan is to try 20 min daily for one week, keep attention on the shoulder and see where it goes! I’ll post an update :slight_smile:

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Yo. This is where I got since then:

I can keep the whole thing up for about 2 repititions. Found out that 110bpm is my speed limit. Still feel something in my shoulder, when I try to reach 120

Also found another cool Riff in this style which is the Intro riff from Alluvial’s Anodyne.

Looks like Wes is using a similar motion to Brandon’s!
I don’t really understand the motion, looks like he don’t uses his arm at all, just wrist, how is this possible?

Here’s my attempt at 110bpm (it’s 125)

Can you do a down the strings shot of your DBX motion on a single string?

I’ve noticed that one of the main problems with my DBX is that it was a lot more consistent on the higher strings and I haven’t got the motion baked in on the lower strings yet and that would mess the whole motion up. I now just try and fire it up on one string and then switch to other strings while maintaining the motion and that seems to be helping me internalise the motion.

If you can get it going on one string before branching onto more and more strings maybe that would help! :slight_smile:

There is it! Hope I did it right
The motion feels very different from the outside picking motion

Is this particularly bad for some reason? I feel my shoulder working any time I do very wide string skipping, which makes sense for my technique since that’s how I track strings.

I caught Alluvial twice (by accident) a year or two ago, super solid!

To be honest, it doesn’t feel so bad. Got it also especially on the string skips

This looks more like USX to me, can anyone else weigh in on this?

I’m not really seeing the smiley face motion I’d expect from DBX, looks a lot more straight :thinking:

Yeah, agreed. Doing a DBX motion on just one string is pretty tough though. Part of what makes DBX work is the tracking aspect and getting our wrist to “do” that while just parked over one string can be challenging.

It can happen though. Immediately I’m reminded of the first iteration of videos Troy put in the Primer on the RDT motion. There was this part where he thought he was demonstrating a fast DSX tremolo and during the editing process he noticed it was in fact DBX! The interesting takeaway for me is that if the single person who’s more in tune with this stuff than anyone else in the world can think they are doing a motion that turns out to be another motion…maybe a tremolo test for DBX is going to mislead the the majority of players :slight_smile:

I’d keep the same recommendation I’ve thrown on here earlier. Bump the speed up past 140, on phrases that change strings requiring DBX, and see what happens. It’s too easy to fool ourselves with DBX at speeds in the 110 range. I can play plenty of things at that speed, endlessly, with a motion that would crap out at even 120. It’s not the garden variety string hopping motion, but it’s just not efficient enough for faster playing either. To confirm efficiency, we’ve got to set the speed higher.