Thanks for posting! This all looks and sounds awesome. There is very clearly no stringhopping present, so nice job on this.
As far as not feeling smooth, are you referring to what it feels like or sounds like? Because what you’re doing is working well enough that I can’t tell from looking at it that there’s anything specifically unsmooth about it. If you told me it felt totally smooth, I’d believe you.
The sound of some of the notes is occasionally a little choppy, and that may have to do with hand sync, making sure you’re fretting everything exactly in time and letting things ring for the full duration before lifting.
I would suggest you’re into the next phase of this where you take this motion and apply to as wide a variety of phrases as you can. Not just 2nps things like pentatonic, but lines that have more notes per string, which I think will give you better sense of when the hands are really locking up, when the tone is good, and so on. The 2nps stuff changes strings so frequently that it becomes a whole other challenge unto itself - one which you’re doing great with. So by removing that you can get a better feel for the tone / pick attack / smoothness stuff.
Longer phrases are great for that. A couple longer etude style things you can can try are in the Channels -> Music section of the site, like these two for example:
The ascending half of the intro solo is pure alternate, no sweeping. The idea was to create a longer phrase that could be done entirely with a USX motion using 3nps fingerings and with a rhythm of sixteenths instead of triplets. Just because so much scale stuff is triplety already. So to make this work, it starts on an upstroke, which might throw you at first. But that in itself is good practice.
The second half involves some downstroke sweeping, but might be useful to work on anyway if you want to play EJ stuff because you’ll encounter a lot of that in his repertoire. Patterns like this may be an easier way to get into it, because you’re only staying on two strings and just shifting positions every so often.
Another longer scalar thing that works with USX is this one:
There are bits of downstroke sweeping here as well, so this one isn’t pure alternate. Same concept, just giving you some more variety to work with. Feel free to find other things and add them in to the mix too.
The idea is to build up a basket of cool stuff to play that isn’t just the same basic patterns all the time. Once you have the basic motion happening, the variety helps you learn to recognize what “smooth” and “correct” feels like in all situations — different strings, different fingering shapes, different speeds, and so on. The patterns you want to work on, like the pentatonic stuff, should improve more by being in the mix with all the other stuff and not the sole source of your learning opportunity.
Nice work here, looking and sounding very good so far.