String Hopping?


Ok… Here I`m picking at 145 BMP. I can pick at 170, 180 and depending on the phrase even 200 or more.

Im not Shure if my movements aren’t bouncy. And normally I feel my arm tired after some repetitions.

Would like to know if I’m doing the transition between DPS and UPS right aswell, please.

Hi Marcelo! Thanks for posting.

It looks like you are making a double escape motion, which means you are making a little semicircle with the pick. By itself that’s not a bad thing, lots of great players do that, like Steve Morse and Olli Soikkeli. Is this your maximum speed? Turn off the drums / metronome, and just play a single note as fast as you can. Is it faster than this? If not, then this might not be totally efficient. If you can go faster and you don’t feel tension, then this motion is find and I wouldn’t worry about it.

Re: “pickslanting” you are using a downward pickslant here. You are not doing “two way pickslanting”. But that doesn’t matter, because double escape motion doesn’t require a pickslant. So don’t worry about what the pick looks like. Changing the way you hold the pick won’t change the way it moves. You can only do that by changing the way it moves.

If this is as fast as you can go, then there might be an issue and you might try to find a motion which is more efficient so you don’t have to work as hard. But if you can go faster than this with no feeling of tension, then it’s find and I wouldn’t worry about it. Let us know.

Also, when you post clips, try to include enough regular speed video so we can see what the motion looks like and sounds like. Slow motion is good for details but bad for seeing the overall smoothness and hearing what it sounds like.


Hi Troy! Thanks for answering!

I can play faster than that… like 190 or even a little bit more, But sometimes I feel my arm tired… and maybe a lack of consistency.

I discovered that Im normally use upward pickstanting, when I do downward pickslanting my maximum speed is like 155.

I feel like the most versatile technique is being able com combine both, am I wrong?

So, here is the video you asked for:

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Great! This looks like elbow picking to me. In most cases (including yours), the elbow only does DSX (downstroke escape). So you can try using this motion with licks that only change strings after a downstroke. It should work great.

Regarding tension, this post by @Bill_hall on elbow picking may be useful!

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Thank you, Tommo.

So, elbow only does DSX… So it means that if I wanna be able to change strings both ways with proficiency I need to change the way I pick right?

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Another question, Troy said its only alternate picking if you use different muscles for up and down strokes. How can I be sure if Im using different muscles?

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Hey, not at all! You can try the Vinnie Moore / Batio strategy where most of the pickstrokes are DSX but you occasionally introduce an usptroke escape or even double escape note to do the “special” string change.
For this special string change you will have to of course instroduce an extra motion: this is typically wrist and/or forearm rotation. But I wouldn’t worry too much about the muscles, just try to do the required motion and see what happens.

I think the most concise example I can show you is from my own playing, something we put up on the CTC Instagram a while ago:

I’m 99.99% sure you are alternating properly, because you are picking fast! Most people who “stringhop” would not be able to play continuous 16th notes beyond 120~130bpm.

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