Seeking crosspicking advice

Hey. So, lately Ive been working on a couple of songs with crosspicking on the acoustic guitar. I feel like I’m far more consistent and relaxed at it than I used to be, but I still feel like I’m struggling against the strings sometimes. Im under the impression that I might be stringhopping at times. Regardless of the cause, I’m not sure where to go from here in order to improve.

My goal right now is not to be super fast (though I can see how finding a motion that can also go fast might be a good idea. Tbh, I feel like I might not be able to go much faster with the current motion. Maybe it’s just some imprecisions that slow me down, or maybe it’s something more fundamentally wrong, I don’t know). I want to be able to play these songs with a crosspicking technique that is clean, accurate, has good tone and feels smooth, easy and relaxed. I use a lot of crosspicking in my own songs, so you can understand how that’s something I’d like to feel very comfortable with.

Here’s a video. Songs are Hunger Strike by Temple of the Dog and Gimme Danger by The Stooges

Pick is a .73 nylon Dunlop btw. I’ve tried the .88 and the .60. I feel uncomfortable strumming on the acoustic with the .88, the .60 is easier to strum with and I like the tone better, but I find it makes the picking harder, so Ive been experimenting with the .73 lately as a versatile middle ground. But I wonder if it’s the right choice anyway.

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Hey @Mr_Samsa !

This sounds all great, but as you are probably aware this speed is certainly below the “stringhopping threshold”, so that you could easily get away with inefficient motions.

For the music you are playing here it’s a moot point: what you are doing sounds great.

But you won’t know if your technique is suitable to play faster stuff until you try to play… faster stuff :smiley:

PS: It’s not that faster music is morally superior or anything like that, just that speed is the only real test for efficiency of motions

Hey @tommo! :slight_smile: Yeah, I get what you’re saying. It’s been a while since I posted this video, but I remember I felt like my technique would break down if I tried to speed things up, even if it sounded decent at that speed. I think I’ve been making improvements since, but it still feels like some pickstrokes are more satisfying than others, and some picking hand movements flow better than others. I can’t quite explain it any other way.

I do wonder what might be the best way to improve, What I’ve been doing is searching for that satisfying pickstroke and picking hand feeling, but mostly at these slower speeds. But I find that I vary the speed I’m playing at, sometimes I go much slower and other times I might attempt to go faster where I know that my technique will start to break down. I’ve attempted to play as fast as I could on one single string before in order to find a workable picking motion, but I’m not sure that kind of exercise is appliable to crosspicking, so I wonder what’s the approach here.