My guide to playing cascading pentatonics with DSX motion

I hope a little bit of self promotion is accepted here. I’ve done a detailed explaination of how to translate EJ type lines to DSX using a downstroke escape motion. 24 tabbed excercises included. Any kind of feedback is welcome!

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Started watching it right now. Would be nice to have the tabs as pdf or Guitar Pro file.

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Wow, great video and awesome playing!

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Really helpful. Super clear explanations and looks very professional.

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Where’s the wig? I want to see the wig!

There we go! Did you abandon the USX for the ej stuff?

Not really, I’m still trying to learn USX. I’ve been doing the DSX version for 10 years or more and I thought such video would be helpful for other DSX players.

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Well part of me thinks the majority of people who innately gravitated towards one or the other, did so as a byproduct of how they muted the strings. I think the chief concern was the muting, the USX, and DSX was just a biproduct and came along for the ride. For example depending on what part of the hand used, if at all, kind of forces one or the other. using more of the side of the hand to mute strings (like a karate chop) almost always forces a natural downward pick slant, while using the fleshier parts closer to the inside results in a more natural neutral to upwards slant.

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Yeah most likely. I am pretty certain this had something to do with my DSX. I played pretty high gain stuff for years and the only way I could play leads without all the noise from the bass strings was to pronate and dampen them with the fleshy part of my thumb/palm region.

That may be true for some people, for me it’s probably something different. I’ve always had problems with anything that involves forearm rotation on the guitar, rotational USX, tremolo, funky strumming, etc. I can kind of do the movement but the window of correctness where every piece falls in place is so small, that even a slightest change in hand position or pickgrip can instantly make the whole thing really awkward. It may be the shape of my fingers or something else, I have no way of knowing what causes this.

It’s tough because I have strong opinions on this, and I really do think that some people tend to exert more strong visual queues than others even if they are doing the same thing on an anatomical level.

Pick grip is a big one for me, where I’m grabbing it and how much of the tip is exposed etc… I have been playing around with it way too much lately, and it’s also another thing that forces how I play. I can’t seem to find one that does all things equally well on all strings.

What about the phrases people play in general? Like, maybe a young EJ worked on all these cascading patterns that he heard “inside his head”, and as his speed and precision increased, other aspects (hand position, muscle/joint movement) just fell into place organically?

Yeah, I agree that’s big too. Like you say, it can dictate some other things. It’s one of the big items we see recommended that people try changing up as they’re searching for “what works”.

There are these slight stupid differences that just drive me nuts with this. I have been messing with it for 12years now and am no closer to normalizing to just one thanI was back then.

@Fossegrim I always felt like the small details in pick strokes and grip are ultimately what dictate overall playing ability. I think that’s the reason I got hyper focused on those aspects and taking notes / pictures / videos.

They absolutely do! The slightest deviation has such a disproportionate effect, and that’s the problem. It’s also not the easiest to normalize this between string sets.

@adamprzezdziecki I was watching this all again and wondering if you could talk a little bit about the level of effort to start phrases with an upstroke. Was this something you already did a fair amount of in your playing or something you had to learn while doing the cascade stuff you’re showing us?

In my own playing, I’ve done very little of this. There have been times where I’ve put a little work into it and it starts to feel natural. I don’t do it regularly enough for it to stick, plus I’ve been more focused on USX lately in general and want to keep my battles focused :slight_smile: Just wondering what your experience has been.

Another thing I wanted to ask you about is your fretting hand and the use of a barre. In your intro clip I thought I noticed a few places where you opted to barre. Is this anything you’ve put a lot of thought into or did you or does it just sort of happen naturally?

P.S.
Great sounding attack, even unplugged!!!

It’s definitely welcome when it contains ideas and teaching of this quality :metal: :sunglasses: :ok_hand:

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To be honest, when it comes to all DSX related stuff, it all came to me very early and organically. The foundation for everything that I can do well now was already there after 3 or 4 years of playing. DSX, hybrid picking, legato, Jason Beckerish sweeps - nobody taught me these. I was aware of what DSX could and couldn’t do (just didn’t know why back then), but I had never really put any effort into stuff like starting on an upstroke. My hands had been doing it before I knew they were. Actually, one of the first things that I understood about my picking was that I preferred to start on upstrokes. I think that the moment I started to realize the rules of DSX was when I was trying to play a harmonic minor lick from Black Star.

It starts with 3 notes on the b string and then goes to the e string so I couldn’t play it when starting on an upstroke. After a little bit of trial and error practice I realized it was easier for me to start it on a down. I was like “What the hell? I thought I should start with upstrokes.” Then I started to observe my picking more carefully and figured out that it was not about starting on upstrokes but switching strings after downstrokes and using descending sweeps.
It really makes me wonder if my forearm is anatomically retarded, because I’ve learned so many complex things entirely by feel and when it comes to USX I have CtC knowledge, I’ve spent countless hours trying to master it and it still sucks.

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Yngwie forearm rotation is subtle at best. He’s also not using those wide strokes you often see with rotational USX that result in an automatic rest stroke. I don’t think your forearm is retarded, you might just be exaggerating the rotation too much.