Struggling - but maybe there's hope!

Hi - My name is Jay and I’ve been playing over 50 years which makes me old. I first started looking at this technique a year and a half ago. Started with the EJ video from the Cracking the Code website. Worked for about a year on the DSX with little progress. I joined the monthly subscription a few months back and went through the primer. I began working on the DSX picking motion and again made little progress. I discovered that I could do a tremolo pretty successfully, however it seemed that I had a natural USX motion going on. Therefore, I started doing some of the USX exercises, i.e. starting the two string two note standard exercise with an upstroke first, the McLaughlin exercise, etc. This felt way more natural, I could get increased speed naturally, and I believe I can work on this enough to ultimately incorporate into my playing. However, it is somewhat limiting and I’d like to be able to do the DSX as well. The first video is the USX motion. Please confirm if this looks right to you. The second video is my attempt at DSX after modifying my current picking style in accordance to what the primer indicates would be more appropriate, i.e. more rotation of the forearm in conjunction with the wrist. Admittedly, it’s rough and I have a long way to go to get to a decent speed, but if it’s the correct motion maybe with time I can get there. Also, please confirm if I’m on the right track with this as well. Thanks in advance for your feedback!

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Have you tried angling your wrist more towards the floor? (Via ulnar deviation)I found my movement really improved when I saw some of my favourite players had much more ulnar deviation in the wrist as I was naturally primarily elbow motion and struggled with DSX. I always locked my wrist in and relaxing it was always a “no” in my mind. Letting it hang loose and moving from there took some practice but now it comes to me quite naturally.

To get there, and in my practice- I focus more on my thumb going “towards the floor” via my wrist and my escape is just me returning to neutral. It looks to me like your motion is more focused on the escape and returning to “neutral” being your trapped motion.

Also, I’m pretty sure (or it’s me) you have your terms mislabelled. Your USX looks like DSX and vice versa to me.

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Hey there Mike- Thanks so much for your feedback! It makes perfect sense. I’ll go back and try it and see the result. Also, you are correct my USX and DSX are mislabeled. So the first video is actually the DSX and the second is the USX. Thanks for correcting me!

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What happens when you “floor it”? What is your fastest motion? Don’t worry about it sounding bad or being sloppy when you experiment with this.


Hey @jcober welcome! For now I like the first video better: this looks like a potentially solid and smooth DSX motion, would be interesting to see if it’s capable of going faster as @dcarroll2891 suggested. Not because we only like fast music - but because we want to make sure the motion is efficient :slight_smile:

The motion in the second video (USX) does not look as smooth to me. Are you intentionally keeping it slow and stop-starty, or do you actually feel that there is a hard speed barrier there? Let us know and we’ll take it from there!

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Thanks for the suggestion! Will try and post a video.

Thanks! Will post a video.

So tommo and Dustin-here’s two videos at my top speed. The first is fast at regular speed. The second is fast at slo-no. Probably not very fast by most speed pickers’ standards…

I think it’s fast enough :slight_smile:

Only problem here is smoothness - you could probably drop the speed a couple BPMs and try to achieve a nice rhythmic flow, with more regular pickstrokes and more controlled accents. Let us know how that goes!

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This looks good to me, I’m at about the same level right now with my DSX.

Looks like you are using some elbow and wrist motion to accomplish DSX. I agree with Tommo,
now is the time to work on smoothing it out, trying a bunch of licks you know at different speeds,
and getting it to become second nature.

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2 quick peanut gallery comments from me @jcober

  • Sometimes when I feel like a tremolo is getting a little stuck, loosening up on the pick grip and/or a little less pick depth helps me.

  • I like your shirt in the latest clip :slight_smile:

Nice work, and welcome to the elbow club!

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Thanks, tommo! Duly noted! Will start with that approach and send an update video!

Thanks dcarroll! Really appreciate your feedback! Will keep you posted as to progress!

Thanks Joe for your feedback! Will try the tips! Good to know that the elbow club has room for one more! Also, good to know that there are other lovers of such shirts!

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Okay, so here’s an update two weeks later. The first is a video of straight tremolo. The second is switching strings. My goal has been to make smoother and get better at switching strings. Thanks again for your comments to date!! They’ve been very helpful! Would appreciate comments on my progress, i.e., am I on the right path, roadblocks, etc. Thanks so much!!

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Hey! Looks like the videos are private. If you change the visibility to “unlisted” they should become playable here without being publicly visible on YouTube.

Oops. Corrected. Thanks.

I think you are going in the right direction! Timing has much improved, there are only occasiona hiccups.

I think you did enough open-string training, you can move on to more musical phrases that fit your DSX mechanic :slight_smile:

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Got it! Thanks so much!

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