New to PickSlanting

I’m going start by saying, I’m not the best at analysing motion mechanics but here we go.

In your post, you didn’t say what pickslanting you are trying to achieve -Downward, upward, 2-way?

To me it looks like you are attempting 2WPS, but the pick movement looks a bit curved like crosspicking as opposed to just wrist deviation with 2WPS.

1 Like

Hmm that’s what i thought … too curvy

Indeed, I’m trying the 2WPS, but I’m really having trouble with my forearm/hand movement

I’m trying to work on 2WPS with wrist and what I felt helped the most was to do some 1-way pick slanting drills on a single string to get the wrist going with no hopping movement. Try doing a single string chromatic loop (fingers 1234) starting with both upward and downward slant, practicing starting on both up and downstrokes. Try and get it relaxed and ensure that you are clearing the adjacent string when the pick escapes from the strings.

After getting those right, I then tried to change the pickslant from down to up ( whilst still on same string). This gives me the feeling of the rotation needed to switch strings. By this point you will hopefully feel a bit more control and can then tackle the scale chunk.

The curve is cool though, crosspicking seems quite difficult for most… some would be jealous!

1 Like

If you’re starting from scratch, I recommend learning DWPS and UWPS separately before trying 2WPS. You have to be able to use each 1WPS smoothly and cleanly before you can combine them into 2WPS.

By the way, 2WPS doesn’t mean that you use both slants on each note. There’s no need to change slants when playing on one string. The benefit of pickslanting happens when you change strings. What you’re doing here looks like some combination of stringhopping and crosspicking. Stringhopping is to be avoided (at least when playing fast). If you have a stringhopping tendency, I recommend learning either DWPS or UWPS first before trying crosspicking because it’s very easy to revert back to stringhopping.

My suggestion: choose DWPS or UWPS, whichever feels more natural, and practice it with rest strokes until it’s burned in and feels easy and smooth. Then you can try more advanced approaches.

Just my $0.02.


I see, thank you for those advices.
So it seems like my wrist motion isnt good at all (because I thought my DWPS or UPWS was rolling, but it seems like not ^^). It’s weird I dont have the feel for that motion, I will have to work a bit more on that :slight_smile:

If you are stating this in response to my post, I agree (I probably should have stated that), but I found that by switching the slant without worrying about actually switching strings allowed me to get used to the sensation of it. @halver, the change of slant is as @induction states is done as part of the string change, just to be clear.

1 Like

I’m ok with the PS theory dont worry :slight_smile: (for even and odd number of note on a string), I juste didnt feel the motion, if it comes from the fingers, from the wrist, from the forearm etc.
I read a lot of stuff on that (and saw troy’s videos) but still dont have the motion. I’m pretty sure it just need to click one time in my brain and it will be good ^^

1 Like

No worries, @PickingApprentice, we were typing at the same time, so I didn’t see your post before I wrote mine.

Just to be clear though, it’s not necessary to change slants when playing on one string, but it doesn’t hurt, as long as the motion is efficient (i.e. not stringhopping).

I recently switched from DWPS to crosspicking for faster runs (after Troy posted this). Crosspicking does change slants on each note, and it works great. I would never have gotten there without going through DWPS first because I was a hardcore stringhopper until I discovered CTC, and I had to work very hard to dehabitualize it.

1 Like

Rest strokes are what worked for me.

Hmmm in fact even with a rest stroke, I still feel my pick movement circular, not like a straight like as it should be.

My schema is aweful but you understand the point right ? ^^ Movement should be green but it’s red

I wouldnt say awful as there are a lot of folks on here that are trying to get the curve for crosspicking!

As per the above posts, try and get DWPS going on one string (dont worry about the left hand, do open string if you want). Stand/sit in front of a mirror and watch your hand - make the the mechanic work how you want it too. Experiment with your hand and finger positions. You will get there… then work on UWPS in the same fashion until you can feel the difference between the 2.

Also, it doesnt have to be perfectly straight. It just needs to escape the strings on an upstroke (for DWPS) and on the downstroke (for UWPS)

I think the key to two way pickslanting is in the rotational part. I’ve been working on this, too, and I have made the best progress by exaggerating the rotates and making them very obvious. As you speed up, they will naturally settle in and be less exaggerated, but the motion will be burned into your muscle memory.

1 Like

Hm in fact, the problem might be somewhere else. When I try to pick straight forward (not DW or PS), my pick is not straight between the strings as it should be, in fact I have a little movement of UPS.

I have the feeling that my “arm”, or to be more precise my foream, position on the guitar may be the solution of my problem. When my forearm is close to a 90° with the strings (let’s say 110°) I cant find that wrist movement to pick straight (and DWPS or UPS), but when my forearm is at 150-160° with the strings, I feel way more confortable.

Does that angle that important ?

If it works…it works!
2WPS is all about achieving the smooth rotation between the up and downward slants. I employ a bit of forarm rotation when doing this. If it is more comfortable and you are achieving the motion that you want, it sounds good to me.
Experiment with it for a bit and post another clip doing dwps and uwps…

Hi! Thanks for posting - we’ve been a little swamped and I’m just seeing this now.

As others have pointed out, what you are doing in your inital clip is not pickslanting - it is either crosspicking, or stringhopping, but not pickslanting. You are also not “changing the pickslant on every note”. You are just lifting the pick out of the strings with your fingers.

As others have also pointed out, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you can do it fast and without strain, then it’s a good thing. This is similar to what Martin Miller does and it works very well for him up to moderately fast speeds, in the range of 170bpm sixteenth notes. This approach allows him to play all kinds of phrases at that speed, as long as he memorizes the pickstroke sequence first. Here’s what Martin’s technique looks like:

Again, nothing wrong with what you are doing if it is working. The definition of “stringhopping” is technical and isn’t as important as the practical definition, which is whether you can move fast and especially whether or not you feel strain. So long as your speed is increasing steadily, and you do not feel any repetitive motion type strain, then your technique is ok and I would keep using it.

If that is not the case, and/or you want to work on pickslanting movements, that’s a little beyond the scope of this post. But as others have pointed out, whether the movement has a curve that you can see when you look down the strings doesn’t matter. What matters is whether it is efficient, and most of the time, this means the movement only escapes half the time (upstroke or downstroke), not all the time. A good example of this are movements that contain forearm rotation. They may appear slightly curved, but they are fast and efficient, and generally only the upstroke escapes on those movements.

Again, a little beyond the scope of this post, but TLDR: If what you are doing is working then keep doing it. If not, try a pickslanting movement.

Thanks for posting!

1 Like

First of all , thank you for taking the time to look at this troy.

Maybe you’re right and I should not focus on developping pickslanting but try more to increase my speed with my sort of crosspicking.

I just dont know how to work on that. I was looking and working on the bariolage of teemu (which is definitly my favorite guitar player by the way :p) on sons of winter and stars, and I just cant figure it out, how can he be so fast on that lick. The left hand is not a problem, but the right is clearly too slow with my current technique.

Your interview with Martin Miller points something important, pickslanting doesnt work (or is not very usefull) with one note per string and crosspicking seems like the solution to this problem (at least for me) but I dont have the fell that it’s what teemu is doing.

Hey guys,
It’s been a while since my first post on this topic and I keep torturing my mind about pickslanting. I tried to work it on but every time I increase the speed a little, that “bounce” movement is getting back, so in the end I’m like “hum ok, maybe pickslanting is not for you” and then I get back to my normal guitar life without pickslanting.

But I 'm still wondering why cant I achieve it ?
So several questions here :

  1. According to this :

    The “regular” picking movement should be only wrist deviation no ? Si if I really want to get into pickslanting , I should try to eliminate wrist extension/flexion first from my movement ?

  2. I know on depends on time dedicated to practice, but how long does it take to be able to perform “regular” pickslanting (I’m not wondering how many hours, but is it a matter of weeks, months, years ? )

  3. For those who saw the interview with Teemu, I dont really understand what is the technique behind his “bariolage sons - tk1”, with my current technique, should I be able to play it (because I’m working on it for a while now and I feel no improvement…) .

Thank you

1 Like

Try rest stroking to get the Pickslanting feel. The movement should be a linear like that goes straight into and out of the string.

DWPS can be done many ways- most common is Wrist Deviation, or Forearm + Wrist from a Supinated Arm Position (possibly with Wrist flexion if you try the Gypsy Jazz Approach)

1 Like

Hey, we updated our “getting started” guide here and I’d suggest checking this out if you haven’t yet done so:

Lots of specific stuff on picking motion; we’d love to hear if you find this helpful.

To be clear the tutorial videos linked in the various pages here are members-only, but I’d say it’s worth trying a month subscription for some more in-depth hands-on instructional stuff on these topics. Even for free though you can read through and get an overview of key concepts / goals, and of course you can also glean a lot from looking at all the discussions and technique critique posts on the forum.

While wrist deviation is one of the most common and fundamental movements, we wouldn’t say that “regular” picking “should” use any particular motion :slight_smile: All the ones in that chart can work, and we often see them in combination. Hopefully the stuff in the Getting Started guide linked above will help clarify.

As far as how long to be able to do pickslanting…it may take some time to figure out which motion works best for you, but the basic technique should be achievable pretty quickly once you understand the concepts and experiment with various mechanical options. Troy has talked about how it will “click”; it’s largely a question of recognizing when it’s working and trying different things til you get to that point.

And as Troy said earlier, if crosspicking works better for you, feels more comfortable, whatever…that’s great too! I think the main takeaway is being able to identify what you’re doing and whether it’s working. Then take whatever seems to work best for you and focus on getting it as efficient and consistent as you can.

1 Like