My attempts at USX and DSX

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My attempts at USX picking and wrist motion

My attempts at DSX motion

I find moving down the strings easier with USX picking motion.
I’ve been told over and over that arm motion will #1 lead to more inaccurate playing especially when playing fast and switching strings, #2 make you tired faster, #3 can cause damage in elbows and shoulders.
However I when using DSX motion, my elbow very natuarally engages and lets me tremelo at the speeds I would like to be able to.
However, Im a very new guitarist, and have no style yet, and am trying everything. A lot of people in this form and Troy himself seem to use USX and and also a lot of people in this forum talk about how it allows for more articulate playing. So I’ve kind of been trying to force myself to use USX.

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Your attempts aren’t currently fast enough to determine whether or not your motion is efficient, so I’d whack the metronome up to at least 115bpm and see if you can play sextuplets comfortably for 20-30 seconds-ish on a single string :slight_smile:

Depends what you mean by arm, forearm rotation, wrist/forearm and playing from the elbow are all valid ways to play.

Elbow can be an extremely fast motion but it does tend to be the one I see most beginners/intermediates get wrong. I could do elbow wrong faster than all my other attempts at picking motions a couple of years ago but I would get a weird feeling behind my elbow joint, personally I’m glad I didn’t pursue it any further but I’m still determined to learn the correct super speedy elbow motion one day!

Haha, this seems to be a common theme I’ve been noticing recently! USX isn’t any more articulate than DSX or DBX, it’s just a different approach. I was USX and made the switch to DSX because it seems to handle Paul Gilbert style mixed escape licks more naturally but Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde and Joscho Stephan all rip with USX just fine :grin: (Also, Troy can do almost everything, his most insane motion he demonstrated in the recent RDT video is actually DSX).

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Okay, with the USX motion, im trying to isolate to wrist and or forearm without elbow, and I dont think I can get any faster than that. But I will try, and then record a new video soon.
The DSX I’ll also record a longer video, but I was hitting about 16ths at 160 bpm.
I only engage my elbow when I start trying to tremelo.

If you can’t get any faster then that is a sign that what your doing if inefficient. 16ths at 160bpm is still too slow, I could comfortably play at that speed with my old inefficient motion and I never felt like I had any real fluency developing over time with that motion, it kinda renders a lot of your practice pointless which isn’t a great feeling!

Aim for at least 175bpm 16ths, you probably won’t be able to play at that speed at first and your motion will instantly want to give out. What you do is keep experimenting with hand position and trying various different things until you stumble on a motion that can maintain that speed comfortably on one string, then you repeat this process as much as possible over a series of weeks until you can instantly play from the fast motion without having spend time trying to work out how to do it again :grin:

I hear ya. I have been doing nothing but trying to get a decent tremelo picking down for few weeks. I have a guitar teacher, and even he has gotten frustrated with me, because I have stopped practicing songs and everything else, and have entirely devoted myself to figuring out the “cracking the code.” unfortunately it continues to elude me, I have tried a bunch of different grips and picking mechanics, and just cant get one that works. I’m starting to think it might be a limitation due to some issues with fine motor skills.

As long as you keep it all experimental and trying out different things at high speed then you should be able to get something going :slight_smile:

I play electric with a crunchy tone as my base into an OD pedal with the level maxed and the gain at 11 o’clock which gives me LOADS of attack and still when I was learning my wrist motion my attack was incredibly weak, it might be worth experimenting with this sort of thing, even if your attack is super weak and small to start with once you are more comfortable you can make it stronger. I think sometimes people pick so hard just to get a sound out that they use unnecessary muscle groups which tire you out quickly. I don’t often recommend this and I don’t see other people recommend it either so I can’t say for sure that it’ll help!

My wrist motion is pretty small but I can get Paul Gilbert levels of attack if I work on it. This is what it looked like when it started clicking for me:

I felt the same, I started when I was 16 and didn’t work out my picking until I was 27 but before then I had the approach of just hammering away at the same thing expecting new results. Unless you struggle with things like knocking quickly on a table or door you should be fine!

I constantly watched this video and tried to copy Troy’s setup as much as possible when working it out:

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