Isn't it difficult to slow down your picking?

I’m still learning USX motion. I can do it at 150 bpm 16th note but isn’t it difficult to slow down, with the same motion, with no string hopping motion? It will be good to pick notes at any speed with same motion, but it seems difficult to do for me.

BTW I’m trying to use forearm motion, like gypsy style.
By “slow” I mean like slower than 100 bpm 16th notes at most, or slower.

Can you walk by doing the exact same thing as running, but slower?

This has been touched on in the forum - I think it’s fair to discuss.

I feel that I do use the same, or at least very very close to the same motion when playing slow, however it didn’t happen for me until I learned to develop my helper motion. Earlier in my development., I had a strictly single escape motion (which dictated the phrases I used) and could feel a bit on my old string-hopping movements when playing ‘slow’ (lets define as per this discussion - 16ths at 100bpm)…which was fine as it worked at that speed. So I don’t feel I could use the same motion(s) slowly at that time.

Once I developed a helper motion - I started to slowly back away from any feeling of string hopping even at slow speed and now I don’t really feel it.

I think at a point you can use the same motion…or perhaps ‘motions’ but it will likely take having a working helper motion since at slower speeds you can play ‘anything at any time’ compared to faster speeds where there tends to be less control in terms of choosing ‘any note at any time’.

Yeah I’ve been thinking about this. I understand the smoothness that happens at the higher speeds and that we need to learn what this feels like. To me it’s not quite the same as running/walking because the joints involved are so minimal, or at least they can be depending on what your mechanic is. I think walking with the same exact motion as running is probably impossible. But picking…I think we could do this at pretty different speeds and maintain the movement. We just need to first make sure we’re clear on the movement, then secondly make sure we don’t get lazy when it’s slowed down and turn to a less efficient movement where we can get away with pretty much anything.

For example, I’m working on an elbow mechanic right now…that joint only does one thing! Once I got the movement down at my fastest speed and became aware of exactly how that felt, I have had to very consciously try to bring that speed down some. Why? Well, it’s a fast movement and my left hand can’t keep up, in sync. I’m still not playing ‘slow’ when I’m working on coordinating everything, and I don’t know why I’d want to play with it at a crawl anyway, but I am in deed striving to use the same movement at around 80% of my max speed.

One thing I’ve been doing a little is the opposite of the old ‘start slow and work your way up 5bpm at a time’ thing. Once loosened up, I go to my max with a tremolo. Then I slow it down ~10bpm at a time, making sure it feels like the same movement at each speed. I do this until I reach the speed I’d like to be working on…whatever it is I’m working on. For me right now that’s hand sync and string changes. So I’d agree that going from 150 16ths to 100 16ths is probably a little jarring. Maybe try the gradual thing, where you start at 150 and come down a little at a time?

Also, if you haven’t already, post a technique critique to get the experts’ confirmation that you are in fact doing the motion properly. If the motion’s wrong, everything else is pretty pointless. I swore what I was doing was right but it wasn’t. The techniqure critique pushed me in a new direction and I’m on a good path now :slight_smile:

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Fast playing slowed down looks like a person playing guitar in slow motion. This is very hard to do deliberately. Real-life slow playing is fast motions with pauses in between the notes. It’s not really the same thing.

Yes, 100%, you can play slowly with no stringhopping. For single escape motion. Single escape motions like Gypsy-style USX are very easy to do with no stringhopping at all. You will just play a downstroke, rest on the string, wait a little, then play an upstroke.

However with double escape motions we have noticed the motions get bouncy looking when performed slowly. This seems to be normal. Andy Wood does this, Olli Soikkeli does this. It doesn’t affect anything so why worry about it? It’s not like it takes more effort to do this, so just ignore it.

The problem is if you can’t play fast with smooth motion. When players learn only stringhopping, they can’t go fast because it’s the only motion they know. Expert double escape players know both motions and transition smoothly from one to the other as they speed up.

In summary, if it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter!