No escape motion?

Is there any high-level player than doesn’t use USX, DSX, or both?

I’m curious. We can either sweep or swipe any change to an adjacent string. Does anyone know of a player who uses these two solutions rather than an upward or downward escape motion?

Jorge Strunz is a trapped player. And I can’t remember for sure but I think Jimmy Brunu uses economy for everything.

Trapped player? How does THAT work? The pick has to leave the strings at some point doesn’t it?

My understanding is no, the pick doesn’t have to leave the ‘trapped’ position until you set the guitar down and do something else.

The way I got this concept in my head was to ask myself, “What next note is impossible to pick without raising above the plane of the strings?” The answer, as near as I can tell, is none.

If you’re going over the top of a string in order to come back and hit it from the opposite direction (a downstroke on the G string headed toward an upstroke on the B string), you can sweep it instead, without raising the pick up over the B.

If you’ve crossed the B string toward the floor, and you want to get back to the G string, you can swipe instead of raising the pick over the B string.

After thinking about this a while, I thought I’d ask if there was any players out there using this style. Maybe there’s a good reason not to.

He swipes a ton :slight_smile: don’t ask me how he keeps it so clean. I can’t do it on acoustic…

I’m looking these guys up right now. Thanks a bunch!

I’ll bet that there are many such players, but they would presumably play nice and tasty low- to moderate-speed music. I suspect that the CtC techniques are only necessary for high speeds. (I would expect them to explicitly move the pick in/out of the plane of strings when necessary and not swipe, etc.)

I’m just watching the Jorge interview. Great stuff! Thanks for the tip. He swipes, but he doesn’t sweep.

I’m interested in why you think upward/downward escape would be faster.

What do you think is slower about swiping or sweeping? I would think there’s no contest as far as sweeping goes. It’s much faster to go straight to a string than to lift over it, turn around and come back.

Swiping is more interesting to think about. It’s more of a straight line, I think. And it might not require any twisting or lifting of the wrist to get the pick over the string.

However, you have to go through a string, lol. Maybe that slows it down comparatively.

I think a piece of evidence that swiping doesn’t slow you down is that alternate pickers tend to do it when they go fast. I would think if it slowed one down, they wouldn’t have subconsciously landed on a technique that includes it.

On the other hand, why don’t we see lots of players that both swipe and sweep?

Oh, sorry, I mistakenly thought that you were asking, “are there any amazing guitar players that don’t use CtC techniques?” And I thought yes, there would be, but that they’d not be so fast, hence they could afford to use inefficient picking motions.

But I now realize you were asking, “are there any amazingly fast guitarists that don’t use a single- or double-escaped motion?” My guess here would be, “no,” but of course Troy will know.

The problem that I see with swiping is that it’s not general and it is increasingly error-prone as the distance of the swipe increases (at least for me). I swipe, but only as a last resort when I can’t think of something smarter.

I don’t understand what you mean when you say a swipe is not general, but I’d like to. If you mean it’s only applicable to very specific situations, I agree. Escape motions also only come up in specific situations.

The way I see it is that you would swipe, only in cases in which, with alternate picking, you’d have to change something to avoid hitting a string on your way back.

In other words, you just played a B string with a downstroke, and your next note would be on the G string, with an upstroke.

Within those parameters, your choices are to avoid the B string with an escape motion, or plow through the B string with a swipe.

The distance the pick travels doesn’t change much between these two scenarios. If anything, the swiped pick stroke is a little shorter. Of course it has the disadvantage or hitting the B string on the way.

I guess what I’m saying is that the distance a swipe travels might be a disadvantage, but not compared to an escape motion.

Of course, I’m talking about adjacent strings here.

You nailed it, this is what I meant by swiping not being general. The absolute general technique is double-escape, with every stroke you can jump to any string that you want.

The regular escaped techniques (USX, DSX) are pretty good, as half the time you can jump to any string that you want, and for the half of the time where you can’t, there are still tricks like sweeping or swiping to reach nearby strings, as well has using a HO or PO instead of a stroke, so effectively one gets pretty good generality.

I think this is a common misconception with DBX and possibly why it’s so alluring to so many. I’m by no means a master but I have a “decent” DBX motion at this point. Not all patterns feel the same. Someone could be comfortable with a forward roll, but not an ascending/descending arpeggio or vice-versa. Same goes with single note things - some may be able to play scales that require escapes in both directions but possibly struggle with the 1-nps examples mentioned earlier. Even more drastic I’d say are 1-nps patterns that involve large string skips. This is a slightly different coordination too. So I’d say in my experience with it, there are varying degrees of DBX.

Now, to your point, when someone becomes a true master of DBX, they do have a pretty ‘general’ technique and can seemingly play anything. I think from what we’ve seen though, it seems like most players gravitate to just one of the escapes, and have developed either workarounds or an occasional helper motion when one-way doesn’t cut it. Maybe the exception is bluegrass, which seems to produce lots of DBX players. Nature vs nurture though lol! Many of their “standards” require DBX.

BTW, here’s the platform page on trapped picking:

Here’s a random clip I found of Jorge demonstrating trapped playing scalar stuff

I’d imagine just about any other clips here have similar footage:

This thread reminded me of some clips I posted which, coincidentally, @joebegly commented that I might have a trapped picking motion:

The videos are right above the linked post!

The problem with my analysis is that they’re wrong about as often as they’re right lol! I watched your stuff again and still, I have trouble seeing if the pick is escaping. Part of the issue is even when I slow your playing down to 25% it’s still pretty fast :fire:

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Thanks for this!

It looks like Jorge Strunz uses swiping, but not sweeping. So there’s one ‘trapped’ situation from which he can’t escape easily. And he mentions, at one point in the interview with he and Ardeshir Farah, that some licks don’t work, and you basically don’t do those.

This is evidence to me that certain numbers of note per string combos don’t work for him, meaning he escapes in some situations, but not others. He swipes, not sweeps.

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It looks to me as if the ‘Adam pick point USX jazz III’ clip is ‘trapped’ some. But I think you’re lifting the pick when you do outside picking. I mean, how could you not? I definitely see the pick come up on the 4th or 5th note.

Swiping doesn’t require any change o picking strategy from alternate picking, as near as I can tell. You just do less. Whereas you would normally raise the pick up in the air one way or another, you just don’t do it as much and you bump the string that’s in the way.

I suspect this might be happening in this video, as it does with Troy and MAB. When they speed up, certain movements minimize for efficiency.

I’m interested in what would happen if the escape motion were eliminated completely. Could you just go through the string, muting it with your fretting hand?

I also don’t see evidence of sweeping in your picking, at all. It would be easy to miss at that speed though. If you were truly trapped, you’d have to sweep out of certain situations, unless the lick was engineered to avoid them.

In short, I think you’re doing the same thing in the ‘Adam pick point USX jazz III’ video as the other USX videos, just with less movement. In the other USX videos, there’s a definite snap/twist of the wrist during which you can see the thumb move away from the strings.

Just for reference, here’s an attempt at what I’m talking about.

I would say I’m lifting the pick for sure, at least it feels like I am, and I’ve done little exercises to train that (or so I think).

I’m pretty sure that’s just pure swiping, as you detailed earlier.

I’m not sure if you meant swiping instead of sweeping, but either way, I don’t think I do either of those, at least I try not to! When you say “sweeping”, are you referring to economy picking?

The video you posted is a combination of economy picking with swiping, which is a “solution” to string changes. I don’t think anyone would disagree with you or your approach. If it works for you, then you’re good!