3 years ago I posted my first clip of a really cool DSX tremolo on 1 string. It was fast, smooth, and felt like a dream. @Troy told me that basically, the next steps were:
- Synchronization of both hands on 1 string
- Get going with lots of DSX lines. If the lines I wanted to play involved USX changes, then just mod them (legato/changing the lick to fit DSX).
However in my stubbornness, and because I want to play bluegrass, I told myself that I needed to learn crosspicking, or at least some helper motion/TWPS/DBX. So I have spent three years taking online lessons from pros who can do all these motions, trying to at least learn TWPS with a helper motion.
It has not worked. 3 years later, whilst I should be a boss at DSX bluegrass playing, I cannot play more than a few notes without getting stuck at a USX change. I think I have wasted this time by not taking Troy’s advice.
On Saturday I basically gave up, and thought, "you know what, Bryan Sutton has a whole set of tabs that show his DSX playing with modded lines (hammer-ons, pull-offs etc). And no-one is going to argue with him that he doesn’t pick every note or play songs the way that might not suit him.
So i’ve started to learn some of his songs, and already it’s much better. I can do some lines super fast and they sound great, and they feel great too! Also in the last few days I saw @adamprzezdziecki 's amazing post on playing lines starting with an upstroke (My guide to playing cascading pentatonics with DSX motion), which showed me that I don’t need to stick to all the rules of starting on a downstroke and alternate picking. Also I have learnt about this thing called the “rest stroke”, which is really helping me with timing and clarity of notes. If a bit of economy picking is good enough for Eric Johnson et all, then who am I to argue with that?
Anyway I am just posting this to process really. Has anybody else made a similar mistake/gone down a similar rabbit hole of trying to learn all the motions at once and struggling?
I am finally going to just do what Troy said and get going with DSX as much as possible.
All I want to be able to do is play these bluegrass fiddle tunes at a good tempo for my family and friends, and I’m pretty sure none of them are going to say
“that was ok but it’s a real shame you needed to use a hammer on there. You should really be alternate picking everything”
“why didn’t you play that line with an odd number of notes on the g-string, you’ve ruined the whole song!”
“You didn’t play it right, that line started on an upstroke when you should have started it on a downstroke”
It feels like a lot of the great players out there (and on here) actually have a core motion which they squeeze as much as possible out of, and then over time they learn more motions, and it seems that they learn them sub-consciously, rather than practising them for years on end. Certainly for me, trying to “learn” lots of motions, or even 2 has not worked at all. I can basically only do 1 motion (DSX), but I can do it really well, so why not just squeeze every last drop out of it as I can?
Is anybody else in the same boat, or been here?