Pickstrokes that I thought were straight aren't

Okay, here’s a weird one. I gave up on 'ole DBX as an actual goal, and now I just use alternate picking of arpeggios to help clean up my sweep and economy stuff. In my mind, I thought I was drawing a straight line from note to note with my pick (if that makes sense) and I thought to myself “Hey self, you should video tape this, and slow it down, because while it’s a great warmup it seems to be it’s own thing and i’m not certain it’s helping the 'ole sweep stuff much!” lol So I rattled off some open strings, not sure what tempo it’s at but THIS was the result;

It’s just open strings, nothing fancy and kind of messy. It kind of really opened my eyes to what it is I THINK I might be doing, and what’s REALLY going on may be 2 different things entirely.


Attempt number 2 - a complete mess, difficult to maintain the feel so I’m not sure about it. This was a few days later so it was like I had a lucky moment and then… I forgot how to do it… But I thought I was on the verge… lol but maybe not… ugh

And last night’s attempt. Sorry, my daughter is holding my phone hahaha she really wanted to get back to her TV show! OK, thoughts? Tempo’s 1444, and I was a bit distracted putting this down but tonight I got it to line up a bit better meter-wise. Took it to a sloppy 152…

1 Like

I feel like there are moments, especially in that last one, where we see an efficient 9 0 2, but there is definitely some bouncy stuff going on too.

I know you have been at this a while, so your attitude and work ethic are excellent! Have you ever tried a pattern like this?

When I went down the DBX rabbit hole I felt the string skipping stuff was hard in the beginning. I am trying to learn from past mistakes so rather than work on something difficult, I tried a bunch of patterns until I found one that felt easy for me. This was one of them. I specifically remember doing just the first 4 notes ascending (so, D string G string B string E string) as fast as I could. No metronome, just messing with different hand positions until something clicked. And the hand position outlined here was what worked for me and it isn’t terribly different than your setup:

Keep up the good work. Watch that last YouTube video of yours again (clip 3) and see if you can spot those places here and there where your upstrokes flatten out.

1 Like

Hey thanks for checking it out! lol I suppose this is taking me so long because, well I am kind of going in bursts. You know, have an epiphany, try that for a bit, fail, go back to playing like I always have.

Hmmn, I downloaded that etude and learned it. 6/8, but I will play and practice it as triplets I think and see how far I can take it, it’s a neat piece of music.

Practicing now, I’ll see about those upstrokes…

1 Like

Very good. I realize my upstroke comment was vague. Just to clarify, I meant there are times where the upstroke escapes in a more shallow manner and I think that is what you are after. The other times I think there might be wrist flexation on
the upstrokes causing some hopping. So if you can figure out exactly what you are doing to cause those “flatter” upstrokes that may be all it takes.

I know, anecdotally, when my playing is “on” and I have the dbx going it doesn’t feel like I am having to escape at all. The whole movement feels flat in both directions.

Hey thanks for sharing some insights; the more I ponder what I do, the more I realize that what I think I am doing may not actually be happening. I never really used wrist deviation, so it takes a bit to kind of “activate” it if that makes sense. lol It’s kind of like in “Bambi” when he’s first born and learning to stand/walk. The guitar version. Still, I’m making headway I think.

1 Like

It’s worth remembering that at no point does Bambi think about what he is or isn’t doing and whether that matches some ideal technical version of standing up and walking around


I agree - honestly about 10% thinking about how/what to do and 90% struggling with life seems to yeild the best results so far hahaha

This last week I have been noticing that the more umm, disciplined I keep the wrist deviation, the better the results. But activating that disciplined wrist deviation is tough, not sure why.

** Edit when I tremolo on a single string, no problems whatsoever. but, I notice that the pick-strokes don’t get anywhere near the other strings. Could be that I need to practice picking with deviation that gets me used to being wide enough to get another string; tempos seem to slow substantially when I try to widen the pick-strokes so maybe this is part of the recipe, possibly how I track too… ugh it’s all new, but that’s fine - it’s still a lot better than it was so that’s cool. I’ll work on this for a bit and see what effects if any…

Also, when I have a successful string change, I am not sure what is doing that exactly… I mean SOMETHING must be lifting over the string, right? Ahhh well I won’t worry about it too much. I’m just happy I’m making headway finally.