Pickslanting Primer or Cascade Seminar

EJ and JBs music and playing inspire me the most, that’s why I have decided to get the cascade seminar so I can learn the ins and outs of EJs technique. Problem is that I can’t play as fast as they can. My goal is between 180-190 bpm 16th notes; right now, I can only play 165 bpm. I can pick 180 bpm smoothly on one string, it’s when I try to move to a different string that I can’t keep time, hence, my limit of 165 bpm. I don’t know if I’m doing something wrong (that’s why I’m also considering the pickslanting primer) or if I can eventually train to reach my goal. I try to plan out my licks as much as I can so I end up with an up stroke whenever I transfer to a different string.

Welcome to the Forum @Laxter !

This could be due to a number of reasons. Best way to get started is for you to post a couple of videoclips:

  • fast tremolo on one string
  • one of these 165bpm examples where you feel that the string changes are tripping you up

I’ll attach filming instructions. After we look at that we’ll be able to advise better (also regarding what seminar to buy/not buy etc. :slight_smile: )

PS: in the meantime, you can also see what happens if you try to start the licks in question with an upstroke, instead of a down


Thank you for taking the time trying to help me. Here are a few videos you can look into.

They’re just slow-mos since for some reason my phone does not show an option to save slow-mo videos with normal speed.

Picking on one string:

2 NPS:

Descending 2NPS:

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Great filming!

Generally seeing only slow mo makes it tough to analyze. Still, I think your filming is so good and the angles of escape are clear enough that we can see what the problem is.

To me it looks like your picking is DSX, not USX. I had this problem myself when I submitted a critique a year or so ago. If you were to try your 2nps stuff starting with an upstroke instead of a downstroke, you’d probably notice big speed gains. And maybe pronate a little to prevent the “garage spikes” you’d expect when doing what’s really a DSX motion with the downward slant you’re using. To lean into this trajectory, you may also want to try doing rest strokes where your pick comes into contact with the string that is positionally above the one you’re playing. So in your tremolo example, all the upstrokes should rest on the D string. Allow the down strokes to escape the plane of the strings (which is what they really want to do in your case). You appear to be trying to make it rest on the B string. That’s indeed how the playing Troy demonstrates in the Cascade seminar is, but the important difference in his playing is that he’s using a motion that naturally escapes on the upstroke. Since you’re motion is inherently the opposite, I feel like the result is at times getting totally trapped in both directions. Again, I’ve been there myself :slight_smile:

Starting on an upstroke may seem weird at first, but check out the possibilities if you’re open to the moderate time investment!

@adamprzezdziecki made a killer video (with killer playing) of him doing exactly what I think you’d benefit from.

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