Please critique my 2WPS rotation



Can anyone please give feedback and advice on the ‘rotate’ part of changing pickslant/motion mechanic? (explained in the video below)

I’m asking because I’ve kinda started to get places with ‘traditional DWPS-dart-thrower’ and ‘UWPS-reverse-dart-thrower’ motion mechanics, when done separately. But I’m stuck for how to change between the two (for 2WPS / antigravity type lines), without having my right hand flop about and undermine all speed and accuracy. :smiley:

Any input appreciated!


ill throw some thoughts off the top of my head, as usually those are the best lol

your dwps is REALLY downward and your upward is REALLY upward…gee, ya think that may be why its hard to go back and forth between them?? lol

a lot of the best 2way guys like Paul Gilbert or MAB or Vinnie Moore are way more neutral to start with. Your default dwps position had that slight wrist flexion to where it looked almost like “gypsy lite version”…so to then go from there to a sort of wrist extension is a long way to go IMO. Those positions are ok for 1way stuff but I dunno if too many elite players are trying to use such a big position change. Seems impossible tbh.

as far as stuff like the 3nps Paul Gilbert lick, Ive had some success lately in my 2way by starting off in BARELY uwps and going DUD and then of course you are already slanted up so the D on the next higher string is natural. Then from there you go back to the lower string with a pretty small rotation…just enough to allow you to clear the string etc.

Just in doing that and trying to get those movements pretty precise, it helps me when I start off in DWPS to then do the Gilbert lick a little smoother. IOW I am using the uwps as sort of a halfway step to learn the movement better. TBH the actual ‘Paul Gilbert lick’ is pretty freaking hard. To change strings and then pick only that one note and then change back is a tall order. Id never try to start a beginner there. Its much easier to work on licks where you can change strings less often (As Troy shows in the antigravity seminar)

if I were u i might work on something like this in 8ths or 16ths:


just adding that one extra note gives you much more times to get the rotations down smoothly. if you cant do that one smoothly, dont waste your time trying to do all 6 strings etc

And Im sure others may disagree, but to me it just seems like you are getting way too much of the string in general. IOW digging the pick in way deeper than needed. If you combine that with the huge movement from flexed to extended wrist, you can sort of see where you have issues

go back and look at the MAB clips. He isnt grabbing the string as deeply as you are…he is barely clipping it and his uwps isnt a huge leap from his dwps.

Cheers mate, JJ


I’m in the same situation as you. Really defined DWPS and UWPS and a long way to go to switch between them. And my 2WPS looks pretty much the same as yours and is kind of impossible to use for me.

I agree with all of JonJons thoughts and I think that’s the way to work through it. But I’m also gonna add that you might have some problem with your motion mechanics being too different in your two styles. I’m not great at seeing this but I suspect there are a bit of forearm rotation in your DWPS while your UWPS is mostly wrist deviation. This is at least the case for me which makes them feel totally different and not blend very well together.

I myself haven’t really worked too much to get around this even if I’m certain that you can do it. But I think the solution might be to change the motion mechanic in either your DWPS or UWPS. And from Troys latest endeavours it seems like the wrist based motions might work best for this.


It is pretty much explained by JonJon.
You make a much to big transition between the two motions. Keep it very small, just enough to clear the strings.


Thanks all, I’ll take it all on board and see what happens.

Fair enough about the smaller movements. Previously this ended up in swiping, instead of really clearing the strings, so any more detail or reference videos would be really great. I’ll have at it anyways.


The size of the movement itself might not be as big of a problem if the primary slanting was more neutral. IOW if, say, your basic position was only slightly downward, then the transition or rotation to uwps wouldnt be so big and then maybe the actual length of the stroke itself might not be quite as big of a deal

one thing I have tried, which is pretty weird but might help you…is to just pick on one string and just keep changing the slant on that one string. Left hand can just hold one note or whatever, meanwhile you are constantly picking but working thru the full range of dwps to uwps etc. its sort of freaky tbh but it seems to be a pretty cool idea

Peace, JJ


Thanks for the tip!

I kinda tried that for a while (previously) and found the only true test is changing strings… but will revisit it on your recommendation. :love_you_gesture:


Great clip, and great playing - thanks for posting!

This is a super academic point, but in the interest of general knowledge, what you’re demonstrating here in your ‘dwps’ form isn’t dart-thrower - it’s deviation, or 9 o’clock in clockface terms. This is what we might call “gypsy-style” form. And it looks great. Nice work there. Again, super academic, but dart thrower is 10 o’clock, which is a combination of deviation and extension, similar to what Molly Tuttle or Oz Noy do.

Your uwps form is indeed reverse dart thrower. It’s a combination of wrist deviation and wrist flexion-extension to achieve the escaped downstroke. This is the approach used by Andy Wood, Andy James, McLaughlin, Di Meola, and so on. Again, it looks and sounds great so nice work there.

The reason you’re having trouble is that you’re not just trying to switch between two different pickstroke trajectories - you’re also trying to switch between two different arm setups. I know we’ve taught things this way in the Pickslanting Primer, so apologies from me for the lack of clarity on this point. But even in the Primer, when we talk about extending the wrist to achieve uwps, we’re not talking about flattening out a gypsy-style approach with a big air gap. We’re just talking about a small flexion-extension adjustment to switch between the two forms, such that the arm position does not change much.

Here’s a great example of what this looks like, from a few years back in our original Vai lesson:

You will note there is arm movement. But my overall forearm setup is supinated the whole time. It’s just moving between a slightly more flexed wrist and a slightly less flexed wrist, and back again. This is a minor change and should not feel like a complete overhaul of your forearm.

By contrast, when I use the gypsy style setup, with the flexion air gap, I use that exclusively as an upstroke escape setup. Here’s the very flexed setup:

And here’s a slightly less flexed setup:

Again, these are both upstroke-escape-only setups for me, because they both have a little flexion gap. If I’m looking for both escapes, I’m doing it from the less flexed position more similar the uwps form in your example.

So, to summarize, if you’re doing dual escape, you want to use an arm position more similar to your uwps form in the clip you’ve posted. From that centralized arm position, you can achieve both escapes. If you feel the need to make small adjustments to your setup, do that via a small flexion or extension change.

You can still keep the gypsy-style approach, and use it for those phrases. That’s what I do. It’s just another trick in your bag, and those lines and sounds are killer, so no need to get rid of it.

Nice work here.


Here is a little vid from me. I am not that good at this type of picking, but you can see the small changes i make from he downward to upward slant. The palm of my hand is resting on the brige all the time.
Hope it helps.


Very helpful, thanks. :slight_smile:

In that case, to achieve the dual escape, given a supinated forearm setup, with slight dwps (not gypsy) and a dart-thrower motion for the Down-Up part of a 3nps ascending pattern… what is the motion mechanic that best describes the next ‘Down’ pickstroke (the one where the wrist becomes less flexed, as you describe, to achieve the ‘downstroke-escape’ on the way to the next string)? Is it ‘supinated-forearm-slightly-uwps-reverse-dart-thrower’? Or does it not quite go as far as reverse dart-thrower? And is that pickstroke actually a single crosspicking U-shaped trajectory? :smiley:



In the “lightly supinated” approach, you’d be using a reverse dart thrower motion, aka the “2 o’clock” motion, for the downstroke, and a deviation motion, aka the “9 o’clock” motion, for the upstroke. There is no “dart-thrower” motion at all in the lightly supinated setup.

Since you’re using these terms, it sounds like you’ve watched the crosspicking lesson, which details the wrist-only “family” of motions we’re discussing. This is not the only way to move, obviously, but if you’re comfortable with wrist motion, which it appears you are from your clips, then those are the motions you’d make.

Again, this is all super academic. The practical thing here is this: just try to play the scale stuff with a less-flexed / straighter wrist. That way, any changes you make will be slight and will not feel like reconfiguring your whole arm as you do this. Try not to worry too much about the pickslanting aspect of this. You’ll probably end up doing it anyway, just less overtly and more smoothly as a result.


Here’s the progress so far, based on the feedback above. :wink: Not finished, but definitely better.


yeah, much better, keep going