Issues with elbow motion on lower strings

I made a topic a while back about elbow motion and the strain in my arm while I was using it. That strain has mostly dissipated and it seems to have only been a result of going at super-fast speeds. When I slow it down to even just 180 BPM 16ths, I barely feel anything. I still want to move away from it in the future but in the meantime, as per Troy’s advice, I just need to have a fast motion that I can do relatively well so that I can actually learn the other parts of playing fast. You can read the old topic here if you want to get up to speed, no pun intended.

I’ve been practicing on getting the elbow motion under control and I’ve gotten a pretty good handle on it on the higher strings (G, B, high E), but I run into issues when I try and go lower than that. Sometimes I can keep a steady beat on the D string, sometimes I can’t, and it’s difficult for me to keep steady on the A string and impossible on the low E string. From some self-analysis, I’m guessing it’s because on the higher strings, I kind of anchor my palm on the bridge and other strings and shift the pick across them, but on the lower strings, particularly low E, I have nothing to anchor the palm on. I’m aiming to be able to put pick to guitar willy-nilly and play 180 BPM 16ths consistently on any string with any fretted note for about 10 seconds with ease. I’ve reached that mark on the higher strings, but not the lower ones. Below is a video showcasing the typical motions I make for every string:

What am I doing wrong? Is this something that happens a lot with elbow motion?

I think it happens with any motion to some degree, exacerbated when you have a bridge that pushes the strings noticeably away from the body of the guitar. The fix would probably be to develop an anchor point on your palm near the base of the pinky that doesn’t feel too awkward.

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I followed your advice to the best of my understanding and got this weird USX motion that doesn’t go particularly fast. It feels like I’m subconsciously trying to do some form of supinated wrist motion instead of elbow motion.

The motion I make on the higher strings:

The new motion on the lower strings:

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@jwl028 Quick video, hope this gives you some ideas:

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I actually figured something out by the time you sent that video and in my opinion it looks fairly similar to the DSX motion that you showed off later on.

I’ll work on it a bit more. Does the difference in escape angle between the low E string and the other string lead to mix-ups for you when moving between strings or is it fairly quick and easy to make it smooth?

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@jwl028 I think it’s fairly easy to get smooth, but there will always be (at least for me) a little bit of conscious effort to ensure you’re properly anchored when playing the low strings.

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Great advice from @Pepepicks66. I wonder if @Troy has any additional comments RE: contact/acnhor points for wrist/elbow DSX on an archtop guitar (since I think he recently got an archtop for the studio).

I only play strat-style guitars so I usually don’t have as much distance between strings and guitar body.