Please critique my DWPS



Here’s a quick vid of my attempt at one of Petrucci’s Rock Discipline exercises - 16 ths @ 170 bpm.

There are flopped notes and unpredictable inconsistencies in the movements at this speed… I’m hoping for any feedback on what’s causing that or how to get rid of them.




Hey it seems good to me! How long have you been practicing this? The dwps appears correctly executed, so I would expect you can clean this up just by practice. And I think 170bpm is quite fast for this exercise, since you only have 2 pickstrokes before you change strings.


It seems good to me also
But if you look at zakk wylde,whe playing two notes per string he flexes and extends his thumb joint each stroke,i think this helps to get speed and consistency


From someone who is still struggling with DWPS, it looks great to me!

I would be interested in hearing you play the same lick with the amp on.


I tried this today and I found it very tiring to change strings so often at 170bpm! I could do only a couple of bars before I got tired.
It seems to me that this exercise is very athletic at fast tempos (at least with my technique).

But then again, this is involves a lot of my weakest string change with alternate picking.



Cool, thanks.

I’ve been practicing DWPS for months, to be honest. There were a lot of little “bugs” in my right hand… I’m still finding new ones! :slight_smile:

It’s my understanding that, if the movement is dialled in correctly, and the muscle memory is allowing consistent form, it should be possible to be very free, adaptable and flexible with whatever note choice or pattern is called for/chosen for the left hand. So this exercise from Rock Discipline was just one of the things I’ve been using over months, to return to frequently. Like you say, exactly because it’s only 2NPS, so string changing happens more frequently than 3NPS.

That being said, it’s exactly because I’ve been practicing this thing for so long, that I figure there might be something I’m not spotting that’s causing the flops…



Thanks! Do you have a link for a good angle on what you’re talking about? Would love to see it.



Thanks, it’s definitely miles better than when I started all this. :slight_smile:

I’m sure it would sound better through an amp. I didn’t want to cheat. :stuck_out_tongue:



This is very helpful, thanks!

I think you’re touching on what has, for me, been the BIGGEST improvement in my DWPS practice: hidden micro-tension. :smiley:

You’re absolutely right: it’s precisely because this exercise exposed so much of the difficulties / my weaknesses in string changing that I focused on it so extensively.

You’re right, 170 bpm is fast… but a very good source told me that 160 is generally the “pro” target speed for 16ths… maybe 170 is just prone to inaccuracies…?


Sometimes you need to slow the vid to see it



I’ll have a think about it… because Zakk’s form is obviously of a very different ‘school’ than mine… much more fore-arm and elbow. I’ve actually benefitted from eradicating “floppy thumb” from my movement. :slight_smile:

Btw, there’s some voodoo going on at 3:01-3:04 in Zakk’s solo! :smiley:


I think that might only be when he’s sweeping, a la Eric Johnson-style two-string pentatonic economy playing. I’d have to step through in slow-motion. If you’re already done that, and noticed the finger movement on all notes, then ok!


There are other videos in which is more obvious,but you are the best decoding picking styles troy
Don’t you see it? :thinking:

I think that is a powerfull picking tool (yngwie,ohmura,…)


Is in two notes per string when slowing is needed because picking strokes hidden that thumb extension&flexion in my opinion


I only played back the video posted above and it is obvious when he is sweeping. When he clicks into ‘elbow mode’ I’m not really seeing it and would need a better angle with cleaner video.

I think elbow mode might really be wrist flexion extension with some elbow and no fingers. Just a guess, I haven’t looked and we would need better video.


Give me a couple of days to search wylde clips
But i think in a YouTube lesson on how to play miracle man it is pretty clear
I’ll try to search a better vid anyway
If i once saw that…


If you find cool stuff, just make that a separate thread on Zakk since I’m not sure we’ve had one of those yet


Am i the only one eho sees it?
Only when played fast,not while he is explaining it
He plays the downstroke with the thimb flexed and he extends it for the upstroke
I think he shortens the path of the pick


This looks great to me. Your form looks similar to Teemu’s here:

…and also Mike Stern’s here:

Both players are super fluid with this movement so I’d say you’re on the right track.

When you’re doing 2nps lines the tracking movement and the picking movement almost become one movement and I think that’s why people find this a little like walking and chewing gum. Both movements need to be considered together.

What do you mean by ‘flopping’?


Thanks! And well spotted! I’m glad to finally find someone (Teemu) who has the same thumb as me! :slight_smile: I was always spotting the huge man-thumb knuckles on the likes of Steve Vai et al. and wondering if I was at a structural disadvantage.

The only difference with Teemu is his anchored fingers, compared to mine - closed.

Tracking! You might be on to my problem here. I have not given that much attention… so back to my tower I go.

Apologies for the confusion. By “flopping” I’m referring to the occasional missing of the target string, or the accidental (thankfully muted) hitting of neighbouring ones (the whole point of pickslanting is to avoid this), or not fully achieving a clear-sounding, properly picked note (often on the upstrokes). The journey of the pick should be absolutely consistent in this exercise… yet for some reason it goes a little too vertical (or something) every now and then. That’s what I mean by flopping - occasional mistakes.

I later (confusingly) mentioned my thumb “flopping” too… in that case, I meant that I have benefitted from learning to keep it absolutely relaxed and still… to focus on isolated, basic, correct DWPS movement, before advancing to anything more advanced.

Thanks again.