Pickslanting Primer Update! Getting Started With Super-Efficient Wrist Picking Motion

Glad to hear it. We have a few updates to this section planned which will continue the hands-on theme. I was under the weather so we might re-film a few of these in the process as well.

An idea: when trying a single note trem with a pick I see in my video a clear USX motion. If I do a trem on a double-stop, across two strings, then I can easily feel and hear when I’m hitting both strings evenly on upstrokes and downstrokes, with a neutral “escape”, which is what I’m aiming for. Might be useful to others?

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Possibly. The trick is that any time you do something mechanically different than the actual thing you’re trying to learn, there is the potential that you just learn that thing, instead of the thing you intend. Playing double stops is a cool skill though so if you want to learn that, sure. Very useful on mandolin.

Otherwise, I don’t know what I’d worry too much about the escape right now. In your case, what you really want is smooth uninterrupted motion and good attack. We don’t really care which escape it is currently, since all the escapes are useful. Just translate that speed and sync we’ve achieved to a note. If you can do that, that’s a big step forward. If you run into trouble, make another TC and we’ll take a look asap.

This update is, in my opinion, one of the most brilliant pieces of music education I have ever seen. Not only the content but the delivery was second to none.

Also, the “tap test” chapter is so critical IMHO. In my case, doing exactly what Troy explains there (focusing on making just one move 8th notes and let the reverse motion just happen because the string is in your way) was my most recent “aha!” moment which led to a noticeable improvement in tremolo speed.

I’ve been struggling with the update and your comment has helped, thank you!

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The more I work with this idea, the more I wonder how the radius of the bridge/strings/fretboard come into play. In other words, are we neutral when hitting both strings evenly? It almost seems like there’s some downward slanting. Thoughts?

I really don’t think you need to worry about this. The number one thing everyone should focus on first is smooth motion of any kind. Tiny differences in hand position, pick attack, or pick trajectory aren’t super relevant to begin with, since these motions are all super similar. In fact, as I demonstrate in the lesson, “USX” isn’t necessarily a different type of joint motion — at least in one of its forms, it’s just a different anchor position. This is why I’m not concerned what the escape looks like.

So if you can just get the hand moving back and forth across the strings with any power and smoothess, you’re off to a very good start. This is especially true if fundamental motion issues like speed and easyness have historically been a primary point of concern. And this is why doing it sans pick is a good way to start. If you can experience the motion in its smoothest form, then you know you can do it.


Can double-escaped motion using the the new wrist motion be approached from the opposite direction? I’m finding the ‘ergo mouse’ motion to be impossible, but I have a pretty decent motion from a pronated position.

Yes, Molly Tuttle uses the “dart thrower” form. However I recommend making a TC on the platform so we can take a look at what is not working. Not everyone will learn every motion, but the most important steps are doable by everyone because they’re based on being comfortable. And if any of those are failing, they can probably be fixed.

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OK, thank you, I’ll record one today

I posted a TC with an example of my attempt at the ergo mouse movement.

No worries we’ll check it out!

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I’ve had https://troygrady.com/primer/wrist-motion/02-reverse-dart-thrower-motion-tutorial/ open in a browser tab since it was released and haven’t got round to watching it, is that now incorporated into multiple videos?

Sorry, just seeing this. We’ve made a bunch of updates to the section, incorporating tests and tips we’ve come up with in working with players trying out these motions. The video you linked to is still present, although renamed, and there is some overlap with others, but I recommend checking out the whole sequence for the best stepwise introduction to these techniques. We’ve attempted to keep the lessons single-topic and short for easy scanning, and as hands-on as possible.

The most technical topic is this one, where we try to explain visually why some arm positions may allow more efficient movement than others. Let us know how easy (or not!) this is to understand,:

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Wow, fascinating stuff! I didn’t realize you’d put in new videos since the last update (subject of this thread). It’s awesome how you’re always pushing for ‘better’. I’ve seen it firsthand too.

I’d mentioned in some other thread that I used your platform to get into DBX playing last year. A combination of those “live streams” you did (crosspicking with the wrist) and then this video you’d put out on YT that I stumbled upon in a pretty old thread

I had what I’d consider early success (about a week of messing around till something worked). Then more recently, on a whim tried the Morse 3 fingered grip and saw an immediate boost in efficiency and speed. The more supinated RDT is obviously the answer why. I’m now in a posture that moves between the letters on your arm sock thingy by default. The other form seemed fine, I was beyond ‘string hopping’ speeds, but not quite at Tumeni Notes speeds. The newer form seems like it will go that fast without too much effort, I just need to work on the ‘other’ aspects now like accuracy, palm muting and tracking (and of course fret hand stuff). I really should know better by now - anything that feels like it requires effort is not the way. Find the easy thing, move forward with that.

Also, I love your ‘pickless’ test to sanity check how effortless these motions should feel. Well done!

I’m steadily working through these now (2 minutes of video tends to lead me to about 30 mins/an hour of tooling around so it’s taking a while). The most valuable part for me personally was increasing supination for USX, I’d been trying to get it by flexing more at the wrist (which as a byproduct does give you a bit more supination but now I know what’s what).

This might just be me but I’d really appreciate a few bullet points and maybe a couple of stills to go with each video just so you can reference back to things later without having to watch a whole vid. Maybe a quick “cheat sheet” of pick grips/arm positions/escape directions would do the trick.

Thanks also for the reminder that double escape ought to feel very similar to strumming, I always used to practise this by alternating between strumming a chord and alternating picking it and I’d let that fall by the wayside while trying this new grip/technique (I used to attempt more of a gypsy style technique but RDT seems a bit more ‘universal’).

edit: Just to add, I always love an analogy so the “ergonomic mouse position” thing is absolutely great.


This worries me a little! The intent with these lessons was to provide really simple instructions to get up and running essentially immediately. Place the hand here, place the fingers like this, move back and forth, that kind of thing. If this isn’t working, then it should hopefully be apparent right away, so you don’t have to lose a ton of time trying to figure out why.

This really shouldn’t be necessary, only because your choices should all be dictated by the results you get. if the basic posture is working, then you’re good, no need to go any further. Ideally, that should be within minutes of watching the lessons.

Were you able to get the basic posture happening? Can you get any kind of comfortable motion going? If not, I recommend making a critique and we’re happy to take a look.

Sorry I’ve clearly managed to give almost exactly the opposite impression of what I meant to say here.

The tutorials work well, so well that I find myself playing guitar rather than watching the rest of the video, perhaps in this case because I almost had this particular motion down but just needed a few nudges/explanations of why subtle differences in arm position might make big differences to actual playing.

I feel like my picking motion is extremely inefficient when I try to play faster whilst switching between strings. Is there a way to practice a more efficient picking motion? Any other advice concerning my playing would be appreciated too! :slight_smile: (Been playing for around 4 years)

Hi Kate! There are lots of ways to do things wrong, and lots of ways to do them right. Have you watched any of our latest instructional material? Your best bet is to go through the intro sequence in the Primer so you have a clear idea what you’re shooting for as far as your motion is concerned. At that point, if you’d like more specific feedback on what you’re doing, you can make a Technique Critique on the platform with some uploaded clips and we’re happy to take a look.

Otherwise we’re really just shooting in the dark. There’s no way to offer meaningful advice without these two ingredients — specific teaching you know to be (mostly!) correct, and video of what you’re doing as you try to attempt that.