Something to watch out for when switching escape motions

I’m not sure if anyone else has the same problem, but here’s something I’ve noticed that has thrown off my synchronization at times when practicing various picking techniques with different escape motions.

I’ve recently been experimenting with switching between USX and DSX motions à la Antigravity. What I’ve noticed is that when alternating from one escape motion to the other, my fretting hand fingers sometimes want to follow along with anatomical rotations or changes in my picking hand. For example, when my picking hand goes from a supinated to a more pronated position (USX :arrow_right: DSX) my fretting hand occasionally wants to mimic or mirror the rotation and slightly lift from the fretboard. These unintentional variations in my fretting hand can cause string buzzing, sloppiness, or other fretting or synchronization issues. This occasionally also happens when switching directions; sometimes my fretting hand fingers lift a bit when descending, or going up towards the lower strings, after ascending some passage.

If you feel comfortable with USX and DSX but switching between them sometimes causes issues, this could be part of the problem! Keeping the fretting hand isolated from the picking hand changes often (partly) fixes synchronization and/or fretting problems for me. :wink:

Does this sound familiar to anyone else? :grinning: It could be something to have on your list for troubleshooting your technique!


I can barely play guitar so I can’t comment on the picking motions influencing my fretting hand mechanics since that’s like suggesting 2 separate garbage piles have some sort of quantum entanglement with each other… BUT

But, I DO routinely have issues where when moving my fretting hand up or down the neck my picking hand wants to maintain the ‘distance’ it would normally have were I to be playing open position chords, so it likes to bunch up closer and closer to the bridge as I move my fretting hand up the neck. It’s infuriating and definitely throws off what little coordination I’ve managed to achieve.

Stupid hands!

Yes I am in total agreement.

There is an article here that explains this concept (in part):

For what it’s worth John Taylor also mentions it in his interview with Troy on YouTube.

EDIT: I think I get what antigravity is, sorry if this derailed anything! I don’t think I intentionally change any angles while playing, so I can’t be of help.

Original post below:

Looking at the antigravity link, when referring to scales, do they mean linear scale octave to octave? Might be somewhat tangential to your post, sorry!

While you can try to use the method in Antigravity, that’s not the only way to do this. If you’re a wrist player, you might get smoother results without any forearm involvement at all.

The Primer now has a comprehensive writeup of how all these different approaches work:


You know you’re a guitar geek when you see an image that tiny and immediately your brain goes “Speed Kills!!!”

Nice page though. I think I need to work in some secondary motion with my new elbow mechanic…once that’s rock solid on its own of course.

Also, it’s pretty cool that Andy Wood led to the death of 2-Way Pickslanting haha!

1 Like

Two-way pickslanting is still a thing that exists. As soon as you look at Gambale up close, the pick is very obviously slanting in two directions.

What we’re trying to help with is the confusion of players who are trying to play a scale with alternate picking, and they’re not really clear on what they’re trying to do. They might be fiddling around with their grip to make the pick “look slanted” but not really aware of what motion(s) they’re creating or not creating in the process. The hope is that it will be simpler to say, ok, I’m trying to pick this line, and I’m using motion A, and now I need to use motion B, and now I can use A again.

And it doesn’t really matter what A and B are, it could be wrist motion, forearm motion, whatever. Some will look rotational, some won’t, but the end result is the same.

If you want to switch strings cleanly, you have to make a motion which goes up in the air at some point or you will always hit a string during string changes. Here’s the problem outlined in more detail:

But… the are actually two approaches that involve hitting some or all of the strings during string changes, and they can both be made to sound good. The first is when you swipe, or hit, during all string changes:

The second is when you only swipe some string changes:

To know which of these, if any, you’re doing, you have to understand which picking motion you’re using. If you’re unclear on that, these new sections we’ve been adding cover pretty much all the basics, and many of the videos have been converted to GIFs so you can still get some of an idea what we’re talking about even with a free account.

1 Like