Pronated, "downstroke escape" wrist based players?

Just curious who all out in the wild plays like this?

Do you mean pros? Or are you asking like here on the forum. Not saying the forum doesn’t have plenty of pro-level players or anything, cuz there are definitely plenty around here :slight_smile:

Andy James
John McLaughlin
Al Di Meola
Jeff Loomis

Forum (all showcase pro level chops):

Not sure if I am on target 100% on the pronation. Some of these guys might drift into the neutral or lightly supinated posture at times, though I should probably ask why the pronation matters?

I am still working on pro level chops but I can do wrist dsx too, definitely with pronation. I think it was my core motion pre CTC I just never understood how to capitalize on it. My “fastest” playing always involved elbow which is of course fine. Again, I didn’t understand how to make it work to my advantage. For both I know I was pronated since I used my thumb heel to mute/noise control the bass strings.


Hey thanks for the reply - I am just simply curious who uses it now that I understand this stuff a bit better. Sure - the forum, people out making albums etc etc.

Looks to me like Molly Tuttle does too? But she kind of does mixed escape, yes? So I guess pronated lol

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Yeah Molly is pronated and DBX mostly (totally???)
I think David Grier has a setup like her but does actually do some DSX. He is of course another DBX player too

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The other thing to remember about the wrist is that it can do any escape from any posture.

Supinated DSX - Nuno, EVH
Supinated USX - EJ, Mike Stern
Pronated DSX (above list in other post)
Pronated USX - Shawn Lane
Neutral or REALLY mildly supinated DSX - Andy Wood, Anton Oparin
Neutral or REALLY mildly supinated DBX - Also Andy Wood, Anton Oparin
Supinated DBX - Steve Morse, Albert Lee
Pronated DBX - Molly Tuttle, David Grier

I think that’s everything…I guess we could also go fully trapped from any position lol


hahaha I guess that would be me in that category; I have THAT nailed! lol

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Ha! Are you? I thought most clips I’ve seen from you, you get clear escapes on the downstrokes, no? I agree trapped seems limited BUT Strunz made it work for him. With good enough muting, it can work.

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I DO escape on downstrokes, and with a bit of “translation” from the awesome Tom Gilroy, I am starting to understand this stuff and make some pretty excellent (for me) progress. I also Pronate it would seem now… lol BUT I have successfully migrated to playing mostly wrist! hahaha

Trying to find others of my kind!


if you have instagram, check out Alex Skolnick’s instagram. Lots of up close videos. He’s a pronated fella and rips!


if you have instagram, check out Alex Skolnick’s instagram. Lots of up close videos. He’s a pronated fella and rips!

I had no idea, and I LOVE Alex’s playing! Thanks man, you just made my day!

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Let me know if you spot it.

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I am seeing it all over the place. Now that I understand this stuff a bit better it’s easier to spot! getting there! Thanks to everyone who posted!


Yes! And it really looks like he sticks with that motion mostttttt of the time, at least from the clips I’ve seen. And look what that guy can do with one primary motion lol

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@joebegly I can play pronated well, but unless I’m doing it purposely, I’m pretty sure most of the time it’s like a lightly supinated/almost neutral, and I just pronate when I go to lower strings. Which I think makes it more similar to Andy Wood. I need to get some better footage but I’m pretty sure on the higher strings my wrist is about flat against the bridge which per Andy Wood’s interview results in a very slight supinated position.

One place where this is kinda easy to see is the descending technical difficulties run

You can’t quite tell at first but by the end of the run you can see that rotation over the lower strings.

That’s not my original fast picking style though, I have much older footage of the pronated + trailing edge picking motion.

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This is a tough one for me to wrap my mind around…

These are all supinated players, actually! Or at least a mix of flat to supinated, sometimes within the same player’s vocabulary. But as you point out, looking at the arm position can be confusing since the wrist can do any escape from any position. So I don’t know how instructive it is to think about what the arm position is.

What may help is realizing that these players all make essentially the same joint motion — the reverse dart thrower motion. And this doesn’t really change based on their arm position. If they use a flatter arm position, then the escape just looks more vertical. If they use a more supinated arm position, then the escape looks flatter.

No doubt. I know this is a technical forum where people like to talk about technical subjects. But from an actual teaching perspective I don’t know how productive it is to worry about these kinds of things. I think the simplest teaching just explains a particular overall form, and then gets you trying to move smoothly from that overall body position.

In answer to your original question, David Grier and Molly Tuttle are examples of pronated players among people we’ve interviewed. Molly has one arm position and just sticks with that. David’s arm position varies quite a bit though. It’s all the same joint motion(s) as far as I can tell, just done from different arm positions.

Shawn Lane is another potential example. But again, it matters why you’re asking about the arm position. Shawn’s arm position appears to vary like David’s does, anywhere from somewhat pronated to somewhat flat, to somewhat supinated. But his joint motion always looks the same — dart thrower, as opposed to reverse dart. This is why he’s a USX player where all these other players are DSX.

Dang, really? I should just put a sticky disclaimer on all my posts lol! Something like:

“I really enjoy talking about all this stuff. Anything I said has an equal chance of being correct as it does being (non deliberate) mis information. Believe it at your own risk!”

Lol! I know I have heard you mention a “lightly” supinated setup with some of those guys. Not sure where I got the pronated thing from. Thanks for cleaning up after me!

@Troy Oh hey, thanks for chiming in on this topic. I was asking this for a couple of reasons; and they really aren’t great reasons lol

  1. I have been discussing at length what’s what with Tom Gilroy (poor guy lol) who has been helping me navigate through decades of confused, made up, fake and plain wrong picking technique! I’d like to think I am smart enough to just learn the stuff myself from your great site resources, but I’m not - I need a translator. Anyways, as it turns out we’ve been really focused on developing a single escape motion/technique that could lead to double escape. So where I am at right now, is downstroke escape with a trailing edge grip, pronated with a reverse dart thrower “swing”. Working hard on it, but I was a bit nervous/worried when I made this post that perhaps that particular combination is, ummm “lesser” or more prone to having to come up with ways via sweep/swybrid/legato to overcome various picking challenges that fall outside of playing even number of notes per string. I was curious who all played with that setup in the wilderness…

  2. Now on that same topic, I wanted to see what the playing tendencies and note vocabulary in regards to picked passages were for those people with a similar (ideally Identical would be nice hahaha) setup, and successful playing identity. You know, even just for visual reference.

I’m not really trying to clone anyone in particular just trying to “clean up my room” so to speak in regards to plectrum playing.

I know you mean to be self-effacing here, and I appreciate the effort! However, just keep in mind, the more times you post that you can’t understand our instructional material (and you have posted this on other threads), the less good it looks for us.

That said, I can take it. It keeps me humble. We’re constantly improving things to be more less technical, more practical, and more chock full of hands-on, tested tips that produce real results. I would like to think that our latest Primer update on wrist motion really exemplifies this progression.

I would also point out to any casual readers that our actual teaching in Technique Critique usually runs ahead of what is available in the recorded lessons, because we’re always trying and testing new things before they end up in a lesson on the site. So the best results are had by availing yourself of our custom feedback. However, we are keeping an eye on reducing that lag time. If we have advice that we think can really help people, we will put it out there in the lessons.

Again, I know you mean well, and the [perhaps unintentional] critique keeps us working hard at constantly improving.

I may be misunderstanding something, but you can’t do a pronated form and reverse dart thrower motion and have double escape. That would be stringhopping.

Typically, with a pronated arm position, we instead see regular dart thrower motion. It is very fast. Here’s an example of what that looks like at and how capable it is at reaching faster speeds:

This is a little “out there”, especially when the pronation is enough to require a trailing edge grip to maintain smooth attack. It doesn’t really work (to me) for all pick types, amp tones, and musical styles, especially when the gain is off and the attack gets really quiet.

The most general-purpose pronated form is the Molly Tuttle one, which is flat enough that you can still use a leading-edge grip for more typical tone across clean, gain, and so on. This gets you double escape or downstroke escape as you please, and it will use dart thrower motion.

Tom knows what he is doing so I’m sure he is steering you correctly. This is just another way of saying, worrying about anything beyond the basic form can quickly become super-technical, and hurt the practice and learning process more than it helps.

Again, to the casual reader:

The forum is not the same thing as our instruction. What you are reading here in these threads is more like a software developer forum where highly technical aficionados like to discuss bleeding edge topics that may, eventually, appear in instructional material in much more practically-focused ways.

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I’m helping him train the RDT motion from a pronated position (single escape, DSX).

When he’s totally comfortable with the movement, I’ll be prompting him to supinate more with tactile reference points on the guitar, so that he can use that RDT form as base to find wrist DBX. It has worked for other students, I think it will help @Scottulus to achieve it also.