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

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.

do we have an update on when the regular Dart Thrower tutorials will be out in the pickslanting primer? right now i just see DSX/RDT and forearm/wrist in the picking mechanics section.

also the section of the primer on escape motions seems disconnected from the picking mechanics section prior to that. it’s unclear what joint form is appropriate for which escapes. for example, for usx, it’s not clear that you shouldn’t be using RDT but rather can use DT or forearm/wrist, etc.

I’ve heard from many people that when they are sick they do their best work lol

If you’re asking because you want to try it, these two lessons are pretty comprehensive in explaining what it is and what the overall form looks like:

The reference section includes overviews of each joint motion and which escapes they can do:

Most experienced players have one joint motion they use for everything. And very often, this joint motion does one escape and that’s it. It’s relatively uncommon to see players who access different escapes by switching their core picking motion in mid-phrase to some other technique. That’s why we don’t really discuss this as a path to follow.

More generally, we’ve learned from teaching that just having any joint motion you can do really well at tremolo speed is a significant achievement. So that’s the focus of the motion tutorials. By the time you get to the escape motion portion of the Primer you hopefully already have some smooth joint motion happening. It’s going to have some escape, and those are the lines you’re going to be playing from that point on. The purpose of the escape motion section is simply to explain very generally why escape motion affects string switching, since this is not addressed yet at that point.

In future updates we’ll add sections explaining string switching more directly. And in those sections we’ll address the fact that not all players will be able to play all lines, based on the motion they know how to do. For now, we use the reference section for that teaching — and of course, Technique Critique.

The next Primer update will focus on chunking and picking-fretting synchronization, all on a single string. So this won’t relate to escape motion at all. This new section will slide in after the motion tutorials, so that players can get those motions working with two hands, while addressing common pitfalls related to feeling like one hand can’t keep up with the other.