Hi! Thanks for posting these. I think one of the things that’s throwing you here is partly our fault. You’re looking at the “slant of the pick”, and not the way it’s actually moving.
Pickslanting has two parts. The most important is the motion — the pick needs to move from an escaped position to a trapped position, and back again. In other words, it goes into the strings and then out again, tracing an angled path of motion. That’s where the speed comes from: straight (or gently curved) line into the strings, straight (or gently curved) line back out again. Because the pick only escapes during one of these pickstrokes, either the upstroke or the downstroke, that is the only time you can switch strings.
But in these clips, whenever you’re playing a moderate speed, this is not what’s happening. Set the YouTube player to 25% speed and watch the first few pickstrokes in the first clip. You’re moving from an escaped position to an escaped position. In other words, you’re making what we call a double escape motion, where the pick makes a semicircular path in the air, only dipping down to hit the string and then rising back up again. Not only that, but this doesn’t change when you change your arm position from “dwps” to “uwps” and back again. You’re still making a double escape motion. The “pickslant” change isn’t doing anything, because you’re not really changing the motion you’re making. This is the pitfall of “looking at the slant” instead of “doing the intended motion”.
Once again, this is our fault! If you’ve only watched some of our earlier stuff, and not our newer stuff or the Pickslanting Primer, then this distinction between the pick’s motion and the pick’s appearance is not something we made super clear early on.
So what you’re looking to do here is get any kind of single escape motion happening. That’s going to be either upstroke escape or downstroke escape. You can do this with wrist motion, forearm and wrist, finger motion, combinations of all of the above - lots of options. Of our free videos, we have one for wrist motion which is more recent that comes directly from the Primer and makes these issues super clear:
And here’s a free page from the Primer with a written overview of same:
The other Primer chapters in this section detail how to use slightly different arm positions, grips, and wrist motions to generate these escape pickstrokes. This can be helpful because sometimes, for reasons which are totally arbitrary and random, one particular setup will work before another. And my recommendation is always to try them all and go with whatever works first. That’s the fastest route to getting something happening.
In short, your primary goal here is to learn to make a single-escape motion that goes into and out of the strings in a straight (ish) line, and that works fast. Do this on a single string with simple repeating fretboard patterns, and try as many grips and arm positions to get this to happen as possible until you find one you can do fast. It doesn’t matter whether this motion is upstroke escape or downstroke escape. It just matters that you have one motion you can do that’s fast and comfortable. If you’re gonna climb the wall, you need at least one foothold to start.