Need help with my Right Hand. Please Help, its painful!

Total freedom with my right hand to play anything that hear either picked or hybrid or economy picked. I know that’s asking for a lot.

I work so hard at it and the alternate picking fluidity that guys like Andy wood max Ostro and Guthrie govan have his just something I have tried to figure out for so long. I want to gain that in my playing. I practice anywhere from 6-12 hours a day. Guitar is so important to me and this is one puzzle piece I just can’t seem to get or unlock

Aside from the other great points on here (i.e. your playing is already AMAZING!!! and, definitely see a medical professional to confirm there’s nothing harmful going on) I wanted to note a couple things from all the advice I’ve seen on the forum over the years.

I don’t think that’s correct, at least not completely. As @saintelsewhere pointed out, you can be quite flat (looking) and still achieve DBX. Elite players we’ve seen that do this are Andy Wood and Anton Oparin. Broadly, their down strokes escape with a very shallow extension (which you can easily do from a flat-ish position). Since they are lightly supinated (so much that it appears flat), deviation on the radial side allows the upstrokes to also escape.

Stepping back though, I’ve never seen it recommended for people to jump directly into DBX, even if they’re extremely excited about it, and even if they are an advanced player. Troy recommends first getting to a comfortable level with single escape as this will be the basis for all other picking motions we learn after that.

@Linkccr23 I know you are working on getting equipment to show a more close up view of your alternate picking. From all the (Awesome!) clips I’ve seen so far of your playing, I didn’t see anything with lots of successive pick strokes that escaped all in the same direction. So the first thing you’d need to identify is a motion where the pick strokes are escaping the plane of the strings. For this, Troy suggests a fast ( 150 - 180 bpm or higher ) tremolo, just to see what you naturally gravitate towards. If you’d like to try some different motions out, check this section:

Once you get a feel for what smooth, controlled picking feels like, you can then start applying to phrases you know, as long as the phrases change strings on whatever escape trajectory your default fast motion provides. If the phrase doesn’t fit, you can often solve it with the occasional hammer on, pull off, or economy picking.

This will be the basis to reference if you decide you’d like to embark on a DBX motion where all the pick strokes are curved.

Again, all that’s assuming you get the all clear from a medical professional…or, maybe you’ll find during your short tremolo quest that the motion you use to go fast doesn’t even yield any pain/discomfort. That would definitely be great! It’s always possible the pain you are feeling is just the result of brute forcing it. Lots of variables.

Anyway, I’m sure you’ve come to the right place! Welcome to the community, we’re all rooting for you! It would be awesome to see a player of your caliber get even better from Troy’s platform! As others have said, I’m not quite sure what “better” even looks like for a player like you :slight_smile:


You seem to have the knowledge already to do this though. Have you ever looked into gypsy picking technique? It can help give an understanding from another point of view as well. Christiaan van Hemert has some great videos on it on YouTube. It is a tad one sided though, usx from a wrist flexion turning move, since you always switch strings on downstrokes with the occasional double down lick/fragment thrown in. You kinda have to learn many different techniques. Analyze Cesario Filho for awhile, he utilizes a few different manuevers to tackle the impossible.

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I just want to thank all of you!! It amazing the response you have have given me. I really appreciate all of your help. I am about to shoot some video of my right hand so we can slow it down.

Thank you all so much for kind words and I cant tell you how much I appreciate all of this.

Other quick question, I have been thinking about switching to 9 gauge strings. I have played 10’s and 11’s most of my life and I fear that If I don’t switch to a lighter gauge that may also cause some damage,

10’s are my favorite sounding string but I wonder if I could switch to give my hands a break and correct some of the problems I have with the sound with an eq pedal.

Any thoughts on the 9 gauge strings, (I watched the Beato video but I still feel there is a huge feel and tonal difference) I play so much and I fear some of this might just be repetitive strain injuries and a lighter gauge string might really help this too.

Again thank you from the bottom of my heart!! All of your help and supportive has been so amazing!! I feel honored to be a part of such a cool forum and website!!

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I feel bad asking you to watch but this shows my right hand in a bunch of different tunes and how I get around some of the alternate picking

Making a close up video on my right hand now.

Do you use the slowdown feature in the iPhone?

also how do I purchase a magnet from Troy Gradys Site?


I have asked cesario about the shoulder thing before and he says he feels the burn as well the longer he goes with picking endless lines back to back. there is another thread here where i showed someone a video where i had asked cesario to play sextuplets at 152 bpm. watch how his shoulder rolls forward his whole body on his arm side is like gritting into it, he is giving it all he has in the tank to give as much endurance as he can. his shoulder starts rolling forward and up, slight trap flex, cause he is truly going as fast and as long as he can. this guy literally played about 7 yngwie albums live streamed on youtube. he had to remove them cause yngwie threw copyright infringements his way and to prevent losing his channel he took them down. he was chatting to us, and went through every song of the album. i really regret not trying to capture the video, but i think out of respect to cesario i am glad i didnt. it adds to the myth the legend of the experience i was donating this guy alot of cash, it was unreal, even as i talk about it i know people wouldn’t believe me, only me and the rest of the people who was watching know it was real and impossible to fake cause we were chatting to him. but this guy is a cyborg i think. :smiley:

nice content on your channel i subscribed.


This guy is the real deal

Hey thank you for subscribing!!!

dude i am honestly surprised you don’t have a ton of subs. its shocking to me cause you are a really great player! it makes me sad cause i have been getting the feeling over the past few years that it is hard for musicians to get noticed. i played alot about 15-20 years ago, and only recently picked it back up about 2 to 3 years ago. i feel like it is in a drought or just not as popular as it use to be, that is what i sensed when i started going back to the guitar shops. even myself i am more into the bass synth edm side of music these days, but i still love the sound of really good guitar playing and those tasty phrases.

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Thank you brother, really appreciate that!!

It feels really hard to get anywhere in the music business. I do it cause I love it but it does feel like a hopeless venture sometimes:(

Here is the first clip

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This one is longer but this one you can slow down using YouTube.

This is more in the vein of what we need to help you out as it focuses more on alternate picking. Unfortunately, when it comes to critiquing technique, I am wrong about as often as I’m right, so I should tag in @tommo. Usually we like to see what a players tremolo looks like because a common misconception is that “fast picking musical stuff” is one thing, whereas “tremolo picking” is another thing. They should both be the same thing. The motion that feels the easiest and fastest when playing a tremolo should be the exact same motion you use when playing fast in a realistic scenario. So if you could, film just a short clip (10 - 15 seconds) of you picking with your “default” fast motion on just one string. If that’s the same motion you’re using in this clip, great. If you have a couple different movements that yield a fast tremolo, we’d like to see them too.

Before all that though, the first question I’d have - is the playing in this clip the playing that results in pain?



And yes :smiley:

(20 char limit)

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Premise: I haven’t had time to read all replies in detail.

But I wanted to add that the “problem” has been formulated in too vague terms, as far as I can see.

@Linkccr23 Since you are a MIM subscriber I’d recommend that you have a watch of the whole Pickslanting Primer, it may help you to zero in on what elements of picking technique (an enormous subject) are giving you trouble.

If you are a bit short on time I’d recommend starting directly from the “testing your motions” section and go all the way to “identifying your motion”. Then you can take it from there as the various concepts hopefully will become clearer and you will be better able to identify problem areas on your own — which you can of course report on here for more targeted assistance :slight_smile:

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lol! I am pretty good on the whole “what should I do?” thing. Trying to get a better batting average on the “what’s actually going on???” thing. This should be fun though. How often does someone who plays this good show up here looking to get “better”? :wink:

Also, I wanted to flag this quickly:

I would expect anyone who does anything for that long on a regular basis, even with phenomenal technique, to experience some discomfort.

and this:

Couldn’t hurt to try. You obviously have several axes, so why not get one strung a little lighter? I didn’t give enough time, but I did not have a great experience dropping down to to 9’s. I had a lot of intonation problems during bends. Now, I’ve heard if you go light, you may also want to raise action (proper setup required) so maybe that was part of it. For you, I’d say try it out, see what happens. I didn’t get the sense from your other posts that you had any fretting hand/arm discomfort, but who knows. The body is an amazing adaptive thing and extra work on one side can definitely lead to tension on the other side.

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tuning down half a step will allow you to “preview” the feel of going down a gauge

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From a cursory viewing of your picking video, I’m seeing quite a lot of co-contraction in your hybrid picking technique. When you pluck, you’re getting extension at your MCPs (big knuckles) and flexion at the PIPs and DIPs (smaller joints of the fingers). I would imagine this could be problematic.

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This is the Clip of me tremolo picking

Most of the clips here I don’t have any pain its when I alternate pick everything that my arm and hands get so fatigued.

Like in the Steve Morse Tumeni Notes

Ah so maybe we’re getting somewhere! Playing Tumeni notes requires DBX, a picking motion that escapes in both directions. If not done correctly, both the upstrokes and the down strokes will have wrist extension and this is VERY fatiguing. It is “string hopping”. It wouldn’t surprise me if you don’t have this motion (yet). Eric Johnson doesn’t have a DBX motion either :slight_smile: So it has nothing to do with skill level, just a ‘trick’ you need to learn that you haven’t.

I guess to @tommo’s point, we have to make sure we are helping you solve the actual problem. @Tom_Gilroy mentioned a good point about your hybrid picking. Do you feel any discomfort with that? Or is the only pain/discomfort you feel what happens when you play Tumeni Notes, or similar pieces where it’s required you alternate pick everything, as you’ve described above?

If it really is just the DBX required stuff that hurts, we probably need to point you in the direction of how to pick in that style. There’s a good amount of material on here about that.