Pop Tarts Lick — DWPS

Poptarts Lick, DWPS ~ 104 BPM

DWPS, but I don’t think the pick slant is the problem, here.

Here’s Troy playing it

First and foremost, I want to get this clean and pain free. Of course I want to rip through like Troy does it but it has to sound good slow first. Now, it sounds like it feels, painful, plodding, and tentative. I want it to sound confident, in control, and easy, with notes ringing the full duration, no extra noises, and I want to be able to go into and out of that lick without having massive amount of concentration dedicated to physical execution. This is hard!

4-note chunks are so plodding they almost sound like one note chunks, lol.

The right hand curled in knuckles is painful. It’s actually cleaner for me — that I like — but cons are: 1) the knuckles hit the volume knob. 2) The ring & pinky knuckles sometimes hit the strings causing some harmonic sound instead of a controlled palm mute sound.

R shoulder hurts from the humerus grinding in there, as shown. Had to lower the strap a hair.

L arm and hand pain are much greater in the higher positions.

See also: Pop Tarts Lick target speed

The reason this isn’t working is that you’re stringhopping. It’s an inefficient motion and can’t be done quickly. The repeated muscle usage can even cause RSI if you hammer away at it.

A couple different picking motions will work for this, avoiding stringhopping, and be efficient. They are all taught in the Pickslanting Primer. The instructions for doing it with wrist motion, specifically, are actually now 100% free. The first step is watching the USX video we talked about in the other thread. I’ll link to it again for those who may have similar issues:

This video not only explains the difference between a stringhopping motion and a pickslanting motion, but shows you exactly what they look like, and gives you a strategy - the rest stroke - for getting the efficient motion happening. You’ll notice that “looking at the slant” is not really what this is about. It’s about attaing the linear-appearing motion that goes into and out of the strings. With the arm position we’re describing here, you will not see much or even any obvious “pickslant”.

The second step is the checklist which we put up yesterday:

This is basically a condensed version of the video, just with more specific, step-by-step pointers. I recommend doing everything I’m describing here as closely as possible. I get that people come to us with all sorts of form, and they may wish to keep using that form. That’s totally fine. But you have to start somewhere, and having a set of known, clear instructions is the best place. It doesn’t really matter which motion you use at first. Once you realize what efficiency feels like, that will help you learn all the other ways of doing things.

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I’m not using DWPS?! How can I know? Here’s a more isolated clip on just one string, playing 1-6’s. https://youtu.be/wS379kFLxsI
I like to go by feel for physical things. For this, I have tension and some discomfort. Something is wrong. What am I doing wrong…

I’m reading: https://troygrady.com/primer/wrist-motion/ — is this what you meant?

I’m not using DWPS?! How can I know?

Humour me for a sec here.

Try playing the poptarts lick at a fast speed but reversing all the pickstrokes. So instead of starting with a downstroke, start the whole thing with an upstroke. If you’ve never done this before it might a few tries to synch the hands up. Try it medium speed a few times and then try it FAST. See if the string changes feel smooth, even if the notes are a little janky.

Feel is great. It’s your numero uno feedback mechanism. And having a feeling of tension or speed limit is exactly how I recommend determining whether you are doing a new motion correctly. Good work on this.

But once you get that feedback, and you know something is wrong, that’s where the instructions, fixes, and testing come into play. Did you watch the USX video and follow the checklist? I explain exactly how to determine when you are stringhopping, and exactly what to do about it.

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I watched the video you’ve linked a few times, yes! I rewatched a few parts multiple times, specifically starting at 3:33.

Here’s the me trying it on starting an UPSTROKE — sounds totally wrong to start this using DWPS and UPSTROKE, but it’s given as a challenge, so here it is.

In your video, at 4:56 about the centered point of wrist motion (“lightly supinated”), If I do that, my knuckles hit the volume knob.

Based on the new camera angle, I’m trying to clear my knuckles over the volume knob and the strings. How do I do that? In the video, I do that by extending the wrist. Extending the wrist causes the pick to slant upward. The other thing that can be done to clear the volume knob is to pronate the wrist heavily — the exact opposite of what is talked about in your lesson. How do I clear the volume knob and maintain DWPS with mild wrist supination?

Thank you.

EDIT: I mistakenly deleted this video from YouTube

From this angle, you can definitely see the stringhopping - its that pecking motion, you need to work on getting rid of that for a nice one way escape path. I know its difficult, but that is more of an issue than the volume knob. I suggest moving to a lower (thicker string) or move your hand toward the neck a little to eliminate that issue for now - finding the motion that you can play fast is more important. You might find that once you find it, the volune knob might not be an issue any more.

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Instead of focusing on DWPS, just focus on playing fast. I don’t really know anything about your playing style but I can’t really do a fast and reliable DWPS motion like Troy is outlining. I naturally adopt a UWPS motion. I can play this lick real fast but only starting with an upstroke. If I try to force the same position that you’re doing and use a downstroke at the top, I end up with the same pecking motion as you and the same feelings of tension and frustration. So I wanted to throw an alternative out there you may not have considered.

How is this?

Flattening the wrist causes my R shoulder to pop out. That hurts the shoulder some. Also, very difficult to control that side to side wrist motion. Had to really try to make the knuckles not touch the strings. The “knock” motion is faster, but that’s not what I’m doing here.

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Alright! Great that you’re testing new things out! I could see a little bit of forearm rotation there, as well as deviation and elbow. Don’t expect things to work right away. Keep trying different stuff.

I think that the idea when trying out new motions though, is to NOT worry so much about playing actual licks that require the left hand synchronisation. Instead, could you please post a video where you simply tremolo pick an open string at your max speed. It would be interesting because I’m just like you when it comes to actual licks… I want them to sound perfect right away and this causes me to tense up immediately.

So, could you post a video about that?

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How can I improve it and also not hit the strings with my knuckles?

Ok thanks! This is definitely faster that the previous clips. How does this motion feel?

It’s hard to say exactly what your mechanic is here, but to me it looks a little bit like elbow and maybe some rotation. But going with elbow, I would ask you if you tried a DSX setup… aka upward pickslanting. A lot of players using the elbow seem to favour that approach.

For you to try it, I would suggest you try pronate the arm and rest the flesh of your thumb on the low strings when playing the higher strings. This will probably also solve your problem with the other fingers touching the strings, as this hand set up positions the other fingers away from the strings.

Damn it! I might as well post a video about it. Sorry if most of these things are old news but still, there might be something new for you to try. And excuse the Swedish accent.

120 BPM, Sixteenth notes, A minor pentatonic, 10th position, DWPS.

I want to get DWPS because many cool licks, like the Black Star lick, require this picking style.

When the fingers are curled in, I move the hand up to clear the volume knob. This prevents me from palm muting at the bridge. My knuckles scrape the strings, sometimes interfering with the sound an making them raw.

Am I doing this right?

This seems a bit smoother than other vids you have done, I can’t quite tell if this is DWPS, does the pick get buried in the downstroke and escape on the upstroke?

What you need to do is test the motion - can it be smooth and fast? Bang away on the g-string fretting 1 note only and don’t change strings - you need to try it faster than 120bpm, whack it up to at least 150 or better still, ignore the metronome and go as fast as you can, but do not overly tense up. You don’t need to do it for very long, but it needs to be relatively comfortable, smooth and repeatable…

Just like PickingApprentice said, it’s hard to tell if this is USX och DSX. You really need to look at it from different angles to see. A mirror or a camera that displays in real time is a great devise for you to examen this by yourself.

But, if you want to play at Yngwie type speed you need to find a motion that can achieve that. It’s very easy to go into the trap of trying to play something musical or “good sounding” at all times and therefore returning to old playing techniques of habits. But right now you may have to let go of that desire and just concentrate on getting a motion that can achieve the speed your after.

What I see in the video is many motions coming and going. In the beginning it looks like rotation, and then some elbow comes in. It’s very heavy handed though and that might be a reason why if feels like work (if it does).

When I tried out USX for the first time when Crackin the code first came out, I coulden’t get it. I had to really exxaggerate things to make it work and stand out from my former DSX setup. So in your situation I think it would be good to do a lot of experimentation. For example, see what happens if you try to lighten up on the attack. Or, on the contrary, really supinate extremely and really do the downstroke almost vertically INTO the guitar. Also, I like to see if I can do the picking movement in the air without the guitar, just like in the video above. This i s quite unorthodox I think, but this ensures me that the motion is somewhat natural to my body even before I apply it on the guitar.

And don’t forget, this is a fun journey! You have nothing to loose about trying and finding new movements. The old ones won’t disappear.

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Good work! Looking and sounding cleaner and smoother.

How does this feel? Is this max speed for this motion right now? If not, what does max speed look like. And do NOT play to a click or anything that gives you the bpm. Don’t hold a beat. That’s irrelevant information and causes to much distraction. Just max out for the fun of it! :smiley:

This :wink::wink::wink::wink::wink::wink::wink::wink::wink::wink:

DWPS as fast as I can

My knuckles still hit the strings and that’s a problem. If the bridge were higher from the body, not so recessed, my palm would reach them. As is, my forearm is on the armrest of the guitar body and the wrist is in very slight flexion, creating distance from my wrist/palm to the strings/bridge.

A higher bridge might work better.

Wow! Beautiful! That’s great! :slight_smile: Looks like rotation. How does it feel other than the problems you told us about, for example; tension-wise?

Have you tried playing this way before? With this technique you should be able to play stuff at Malmsteen speeds, no problem. Next step is to apply this to VERY SIMPLE one string licks. Keep relaxed and don’t worry to much about it sounding perfect. Just get the smoothness and flow going.