Picking pattern troubles

So there’s this little pattern I’ve never been able to play - I have no idea where I learned from. Maybe it’s a MAB or Paul Gilbert thing. But I’ve been able to play “fast” for a while as I demonstrate in the beginning of the video. But I can barely play this pattern at anything above 80bpm. What’s going on here?

Thanks guys!

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The first run you did is 6 notes per string, but the riff you’re struggling with is 3 notes per string I think? So I’m guessing you’re using DSX to go fast, but the challenging riff requires some USX as well.

Edit: just tried it, it’s the “descending / ascending fours” pattern that people have a hard time with, sounds like ascending 6 notes (3nps twice) then a cycle of descending fours.

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There are some blips in the middle of the 1st run too, which may (at least partly) be the same reason why the 4s are proving difficult. As @Pepepicks66 stated, the 1st run may have all string changes occurring on the same pickstroke direction, making it great for single escape motions, which the 4s isn’t (it uses mixed escapes).

Do you know whether you can make mixed escapes?


Sounds like I need to do some homework! It’s been many years since I watched Troy’s videos and a lot of it went over my head at the time. I need to check up on the terminology.

@bearreport right on, if it’s still confusing I can make a video.

Digging in a little and examining my technique I find I default to a pretty aggressive downward pick slant. This lick is a little easier to play using an upward pick slant, but its very unnatural feeling. And I’m sure its better yet if you can mix the two as appropriate. I’ve never really dug into my technique in any serious way and it’s all quite awkward! But I can feel the little flex in my thumb while keeping the majority of the movement in my wrist. Time to get cracking.

Yep it’s circular fours. Yngwie uses these and variations of these all through the early part of his career.

Very, very difficult to execute cleanly at high speed. Troy deals with it in the Volcano seminar. Yngwie uses swiping or economy picking to do it. I try to play them with alternate picking like you.

You can get faster. The challenge I have found it keeping the accuracy. It is a great lick though and a lot of fun to try and get fast. Keep at it!

Hey @bearreport nice playing!

Here’s another thread on here where a (fretting hand) variation of your exact pattern was analyzed in pretty good detail.

With straight alternate picking (no economy) the best way to tackle this is with swiping and/or some mixed escape. And yeah, it’s an upward pickslanting (which is now referred to as DSX - Downstroke Escape) lick as played with that strategy.

Yngwie uses a mix of UPX motion and hammer on/pull offs. He doesn´t swipe or economy pick this lick.

YJM plays it on single strings with position shifts, doesn’t he?

No thats ascending and descending fours. Chris Brooks is the man when it comes to explaining Yngwies technique and he explains it her: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gz8FkAIgHoA&list=PLF-_Cz9hyz7DHm7QCCsPxaPkNo6kB_CvX&index=4

Chris Brooks second video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgsgqX_VIUQ&list=PLF-_Cz9hyz7DHm7QCCsPxaPkNo6kB_CvX&index=3

Another thing I have found with this lick is it really tests speed vs accuracy. I liove using some thumb movement for extra precision, but that slows the speed. Wrist/ elbow accelerates speed but for me drops the precision. Not sure that helps much lol but just another observation.