Petrucci fragment

Hey guys,

You’ve been super helpful in the past so I’m back. I’m not sure whether I’m heading in the right direction or not but this is where I’m at.

I’m trying to practice a whole bunch of stuff to try to attack this from a number of different angles instead of just hitting the same exercise over and over again with limited results. As such I turned to Petrucci’s DVD. I’m using one of the scale fragment exercises that seems to use 2 way pickslanting.
The exercise is this:


Over and over again.

I can get it pretty decently clean with the right pickslanting topping out at about 180 bpms 8th note triplets (so roughly 135 BPMs sixteenth notes). If I really push and get sloppy I can get to about 200-210. But it’s not clean.

When turn off the metronome and go as fast as I can, I lose my wrist rotation and everything seems to lock up.

I’ve posted videos of the slower tempo compared to the higher tempo.

Slower tempo:

Regular speed:

Slow motion:

Breakneck tempo:

Slow motion:

When I analyze - it looks like I either string skip, orrr I swipe. I can’t tell exactly. But i basically lose any wrist rotation and end up having a very difficult time getting a clean string transition.

I guess my question is how to “turn on” wrist rotation when I’m on autopilot? Can I train my muscles to do that?

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Hey @motaheri! It would definitely be useful to hear what the “breakneck tempo” sounds like at normal speed (I can only see the slomo video)

When you say “wrist rotation” do you mean “forearm rotation”? Good news is that Troy recently discovered that this is not necessary, and that the wrist is capable of achieving both escaped downstrokes (DSX) and escaped upstrokes (USX) on its own.

We also stopped talking about “two way pickslanting” in this context, because strictly speaking the slant of the pick is not the thing that allows you to achieve clean string changes! What matters is that the path of the pick is correct for the string change at hand.

Two short examples from instagram that hopefully are woth more than 1000 words :slight_smile:

Me playing the fours with a mix of wrist and elbow, you can see the occasional “double escape” achieved via the wrist, with pretty much neutral pickslanting all the way:

Short video & commentary from Troy about double escapes (and escapes in general).

Coming back to your ascending scale fragment, it looks like you have a good foundation. It may be that just being aware of what the wrist can do, and trying to play fast and smooth, will allow you to clean it up without the need of introducing forearm motions - let us know :slight_smile:

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Hey @tommo

Thank you so much for the feedback. I’ll check out the videos you posted when I get home and I’ll also post a breakneck speed video at normal speed. It’s definitely not very clean and there’s a ton of string noise.

I definitely meant forearm rotation. So if all you need is wrist movement I wonder if I don’t need to revamp my whole playing…

I’m a primarily downward escape player. I’ve managed to teach myself upward escape but it is something I still struggle with a little. In the context of string changing, my most difficult string changes are outside string changes. If that’s not clear, I mean say going from a upstroke on a G string to a downstroke on the D string or vice-versa.

Anyways, I’ll post a new video when I get home.



Ok. I’ve got two new videos. Both of the same lick at the fastest I can play it. Not clean by any stretch and I don’t really feel control at this speed either.

The first clip is at normal speed:

The second clip is the same thing (as fast as I can play it) but in slow motion with better lighting:

What do you (guys) think?

Again, really appreciate the input.


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It would be helpful if there was sound on the slowmotion.

I wish. Unfortunately with my Android phone it doesn’t allow sound to be recorded at the same time. Unless you know of a way? I have a galaxy s10.

I’d gladly re-record it with sound.

Edited to add:. With the default camera app it does record sound slowed down, but the app isn’t great for slow motion. I’ve been using an app called Filmic Pro to record my videos. I find the video quality much higher at the expense of not recording sound.

Ok. I took a look at it again. If I add a step I can get audio in there too. I’ll have to record at 120fps and then post process it manually. That’s the only way to preserve the audio.

I’ll mess around with it a little later today and see if there’s I can get audio to work.

On the slomo, it looks as though you are not always clearing the plane of the strings as you go to the thinner string. 3rd and 4th note are being hit with a downstroke. If that was cleared up then it would probably sound really good and you might feel more in control as it sounds better

Absolutely. That’s what it’s looking like to me.

I’m not clearing the strings. So I guess the question is how to train my muscle memory at high speeds to rotate my forearm orrr to use a double escape pattern. Im a little stuck with this. I can go high speeds on single strings without too much trouble. And string changing without altering my escape is ok. But the minute I have to chane escape, my arm is locked and won’t make the movement at high speeds. So it’s not clean. I was exploring swiping as that seems to be within my reach but I’d rather have actual escape movements in my arsenal.

Experimenting is the way to go here. And vary the licks so that you don’t get bored. I dont think that the issue is all the time, so it might resolve the more you integrate it.


I’ve got it figured out!

Here’s a slow-mo clip with sound. Ignore the chips in the background. ROFL

Thanks for everyone’s input. I really appreciate all the help.

Definitely have to vary. I find that without varying and trying a number of different and new clips, that I hit a plateau that I can’t overcome. If I go to something else, similar or not, it’s like unlocking a new level or something and I can go back find more speed or better articulation.

Regardless, you may be right about the experimentation. The question is do I experiment at high speeds or slow it down a little and see if I can get my brain to memorize a particular movement?

Anyways, thanks so much for your input.

Can’t really add anything here that hasn’t been said already except good call on the Maynards

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The issue is that you have to find the movement first and then train it in. I would avoid going too slow as you might fool yourself into thinking that an innefficient motion is a good one. I like to ‘rev’ from medium up to fast and back again. If it feels roughly similar and doesnt hit a wall suddenly halfway through the speed rev then it shows promise.


Yeah, this method seems to work for getting my speed up. I’ll give that a go for a few weeks and see how it goes.

How did u figure it out? What did u do?

So I filmed using filmic at 120 fps. It records both the audio and the video. Then I manually slowed it down to 25% in premiere. Theres an option to preserve audio pitch. That was the only way I could do it.

An alternative way is to change the 120 fps to 30 fps and it’ll slow down but it also slows down the audio and changes the pitch. I’m not sure how to correct that.

I’m assuming that’s what you’re asking… Because I haven’t figured out the picking. Lol

Hey I’m a bit late to the party but I think this looks great!

I see you have full access to the site so I’d recommend going through the wrist motion section of the primer. Mainly to convince yourself that you are already doing many of these things correctly :slight_smile: , and hence should be able to achieve all the escape trajectories you want with minimal changes to your current setup (or maybe you won’t need any changes at all, just be aware of what the wrist can do from that position):


Thanks. I’ll review it again and see what I can use to try to make those minor changes. After practicing for a few days I’m finding that some of it is starting to happen. But it’s intermittent at best and I have to focus on it. I can only seem to do it when I’m not playing to a metronome… So there might be a sync issue there too.

But I’ll look over the chapter and plug away.

Thanks so much for everyone’s help. This is such an awesome community.

Alright, it’s update time.

So I kinda put this on the back burner to work on other things. Figured I was getting burned out. Picked it up again today to post an update and it seems to be a bit cleaner than where I started from.

Slow Mo:

Full Speed:

I also started working on the circular fours pattern and this one I do struggle to get it clean. I can definitely play parts of it very fast and clean, but when I play the whole thing I can’t seem to get my wrist to turn enough to avoid strings. I just kinda go through them and swipe I think - it’s hard to tell. Any ideas on how I can clean this up? I guess I’m struggling to change my habits - I was watching @tommo’s instagram post above - and I think where I’m losing it is in the double escape - I don’t seem to make that movement.

Anyone have any ideas or comments?

Slow Mo:

Full Speed:

Thanks for everyone’s help!