Tempo and String-hopping Question

Master string-hopper here, lol Quick and easy question for the experts; is 16th note triplets at 152bpm still stringhopping range? I feel like it might be…

***EDIT PHHHSHEEEEOWWWW (Spitting red lightsaber+force lightning)
Sorry, please excuse my sith heritage… It would seem that the tempo is actually currently 160BPM, Feels like it could be still sluggish enough to be achievable via string-hopping?

Do you mean 8th note triplets? Unless maybe you are in 6/8 time… :thinking: I guess semantics aside, are we talking about on each beat, playing 3 notes? My math puts that the same as 16ths at 120bpm which should be pretty fatigue inducing if playing for a decent duration and stringhopping is the motion. If this feels comfy, all good. Probably a great “cruising speed” for learning pieces. I think if that is the upper limit, that is problematic because it means even though it is probably not string hopping it is also not maximally efficient. I have some DBX motions that I cannot get past 125. So I parked those and moved onto “better” motions.

If in doubt…“use your aggression. Give into your hate. Take your weapon and strike me down with it!!!”

The dark side will not fail you…

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Here is a decent example (I think). I have been deep onto Dark Side Xcape playing lately so I have sort of back burnered my dbx. But today I wanted to make sure it wasn’t gone. I recorded this

It’s a little below 120 but it feels fine and I can use this same motion to go a decent amount faster. If the playing in this clip was my absolute max, that motion should get tossed. I even did some tests (off camera, so…easy to claim lol) significantly above this and the playing was messy and the tracking wasn’t great. It didn’t feel tiring though, which I think is the key. Anything above this range shouldn’t feel tiring. I constantly remind myself by playing a DSX tremolo in the 16ths @ 150bpm range. DBX should not feel more “difficult” than that. Remember, it’s easy or it’s wrong. If it’s wrong…reach for the dark side!

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Haha yes, I meant 8ths! Duhhr yes, 16th note triplets are veeery difficult past 120 for me!

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Well it looks like them Duke boys sure got themselves into a real bucket of syrup this time.


They are for most people

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Nice work on that bluegrass tune! Wicked stuff, Joe. I should learn that…

Yeah, so for clarification - I’m working on Tumeni Notes (I have been for a while) with all alternate picking as the strategy, trying to learn to do DBX, and I’m nervous that I’m just barking up the wrong tree again. lol I have been struggling with life at the 'ole DBX for a while now hahaha

So if I straighten it out and play actual 16ths, I top out at about 144BPM - It’s pretty dang rough, but there are some successes there at that tempo. And in 8th note triplets mode, I seem to experience sort of the same thing at about 160BPM.

I guess my biggest fear is that I am kicking a dead horse, hence the question. So do y’all think that string hopping can happen at those tempos?

Like for instance, THIS is an indicator of where I am at with this right now, not sure if I should keep pursuing it - on one hand the tempos are gradually going up, as I am practicing from top tempo down to a tempo that is clean (ish), but on the other hand I am worried that I am doing something wrong or deluding myself or maybe it’s too swipey? I don’t know…

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Not sure if I’m understanding properly, but to me, those 2 speeds are not equivalent. 16ths at 144bpm works out to 9.6 notes per second. Triplets at 160bpm is 8 notes per second. I’ll leave that for now, because I just watched your video in the next post.

I tried intentionally string hopping at this tempo and I just can’t do it. My hand burns out after like a beat or 2. So, I don’t think you’re string hopping. You’ve got something worth working with. I’ve mentioned above, I can do several different DBX forms and they are all different levels of efficiency. Or possibly better put, I am at a different level of proficiency with each of them. Some I can, on good days, slop through Tumeni. I can’t play the whole tune like Morse…but…I suck so I’m ok with that lol Point is, I’ve got some motions that are capable of Tumeni and others that I just don’t think I can work with.

Is what you’re playing at 160bpm capable of going faster? I don’t care if it sounds like crap when it’s faster, can it go faster? If no, I’d keep searching for that “right” motion. To me, it definitely seems like it’s promising and you just have to work on the accuracy some.

Go back to the Morse interview and watch the man himself. No shade to him, I’m not worthy to change the strings on his guitar. BUT…he swipes a ton. Sometimes in both directions. He has solid muting so it still sounds great though. His technique in general is accurate, but not 100% of the time. Keep that in mind!

Tumeni is a tough tune dude…Anton Oparin says it’s hard…that means it’s very hard. If this would’ve been the tune I used to learn DBX…I may never have learned DBX lol! I would by no means abandon this, but I’d highly recommend you work on some other stuff in tandem with it. Let me know if you need examples. I’m not Morse level but I’m proud of the DBX progress I made over the past 1+ year. I came at it a newb, never even trying it before March of last year so I did at least a couple things right (probably plenty of things wrong lol)

Also, Troy always cautions our 1nps excursions to contain plenty of “non 1nps stuff”. I definitely didn’t do enough of that when I got into this. You’ve got a seemingly limitless bag of cool licks, patterns and phrases. I’d try playing them with a DBX motion too, you’ll get surprisingly good results.

I hope you find that encouraging! I’ve kept an eye on your DBX stuff over the years and I think you’re definitely getting there. This current form looks like it can go faster and it’s too fast to be string hopping.

Keep at it! You’re not string hopping. Keep pushing the speed and make sure you’re motion is at least capable of the target tempo. What you’ve played in that last clip is something worth working with.

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Cool! Thanks for the reply! Joe - I have been doing a lot of, well what I THINK is a lot of mixed escape stuff as well as kind of a ummmm “pusher over the topper” kind of thing. I think this week I might really change my focus a bit on the arpeggio stuff and try to nail down more mixed escape stuff. I shall see what I can come up with…

Yeah, it can go much faster sloppy, like 200 bpm (Tragic mess) And actually since I have been posting ton this thread I kind of levelled up to a base tempo of 176 for this evening. 8th triplets hahaha As far as straight playing it seems like 144 - 152 is where crash and burn hits. Then again, I’ve been hyper focused on just the 8ths triplets, maybe the feel difference adds a different level of difficulty? Maybe each new lick/fragment learned needs to be encoded so to speak? I don’t know… lol Learning as I go.

My favourite Steve Morse performance of this is on his REH video, (And the album) so if I could sound kind of like that, even if I had to swipe a lot I think I’d be pretty happy. I won’t lie, I can feel like I am closer so it’s a real “in for the kill feeling” heh

I do find this encouraging, thanks man! You rock!

As far as sith tasks go, this is right up there with overcoming death/creating life… (Darth Plageous, can you help ,me? hahaha)

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If you’re quoting who I think you’re quoting lol

It’s very difficult to give a general answer.

I think an approach that seems fairly reliable is to always compare the speed of the picking motion under investigation to the speed of a table tapping test that is fairly similar to it.

Are they close enough? You’re good.

Is the picking significantly slower than the tap test? There may be a problem.

Of course you don’t need to play close to your top speed at all times. But you want to know that the motion you are using is at least capable of doing it, even if they playing gets sloppy.


Ahhh copy - so I am thinking then that this pursuit is likely a waste of time then; I am nowhere close to the actual tempo and it is a slow mess, that is taking a very long time to get to where it needs to be.

Oh well, I guess the first clue should have been that it has taken so long to do this. Likely that I am simply incapable of this motion, whatever it is. Or at least incapable of realizing what to do that is close. Haha everyone else gets this in the first week that they do it it seems, so that would be another hint. Well, it is what it is. No big whup.

Thanks for letting me know!

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Oops, sorry @Scottulus . I realized I never said plainly what @tommo mentioned (I must have just “thought” it or something). I said “capable” at least a couple times but I didn’t go as far as to say “can your motion go the same speed as Morse’s???”

I’ve seen more people take years to not get it still than I’ve seen people take 1 week to get it. I count myself as blessed that I got it in about a week. But, and again I hope this is encouraging, I don’t advertise myself as being able to play Tumeni Notes. Yes, on the good days I can get through the theme and the clean part near or at his speed, but I can’t really keep it going. This means, most likely, I too am “doing it wrong” on some level. I think there are different degrees of DBX for sure. I still say the speed you’re hitting isn’t string hopping. Maybe the thing to do is use that motion on some less adventurous stuff. Tumeni Notes is just Tu hard to be the introduction to this technique.

Part of my progress has been trying different DBX motions. It seemed like each one was a little better than the last. I think my progression went: Molly → Andy Wood → Steve Morse → (set back here) trying to copy Anton → whatever I’m doing now (pretty much Steve Morse motion, but an index pad to pad grip. Again that’s not saying any of these motions are better/worse than the other, it’s my implementation of them that has more vs less success. But do the speed test often. Play something just straight up DSX tremolo around 16ths at 150 bpm and use that as a litmus test for your DBX motion. If it doesn’t feel just as easy, search for another motion, don’t try to make the current one go faster, because it won’t.

This was the turning point for me from becoming someone who enjoyed the movies to becoming a full cliche Star Wars nerd – buying the (non cannon) book on Darth Plagueis. It’s so good. It was then that I fully decided the Jedi were the bad ones and that I’d picked the wrong side lol!

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Ahhh all good, I can play Tumeni with hybrid picking at a pretty fast clip so I will just invest my energy into that. I tried lol

I can’t recall seeing anyone get this down in a week. Finding a fast single escape tremolo yes, in many cases, but dbx type stuff… most people I’ve seen really struggle trying to get it going.

I was able to find the motion in a week and documented it in my magnet diary thread for DBX.

Also, @cmcgee11235 got a DBX motion extremely quickly and had great progress

BUT…“finding the motion” and “Playing Tumeni Notes just like Steve” are very different things, at least in my experience. Maybe I still haven’t found the right one yet :thinking:

I will say, it’s really hard to get out of the mentality of “oh I just need to work on this more”. That’s the whole reason behind the “start with speed” approach that is so misunderstood. The good motions shouldn’t take long because they are “good”. They may take a while to find though. And I think that’s because we’re too diligent and think we just need more practice. If a motion can barely go 120, nothing’s going to speed it up past that. What we need is to devote that time to finding the right motion, and we’ll know it’s the right one because it will have speed capability almost immediately. So the one week it took me, was because I was constantly changing things until I got the right motion. Often, when I got it, it would disappear and I couldn’t tell what I’d changed to get it or lose it. Troy’s talked about this randomness being totally normal.

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With something like this, 1nps type lines, I find it extremely difficult to know if a motion that I can do fast, but is essentially missing most of the notes/swiping//strumming, is actually something that can be cleaned up and work…

Maybe I’m not intuitive enough for this type of playing. Anyway, didn’t mean to derail this thread.

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Not derailing at all :slight_smile: Seems pretty on topic to me. I know exactly what you mean though. How do you learn how to do something that you don’t know how to do yet?

My approach, which worked to some extent, was to use a very “stupid” fretting hand pattern so I could be sure the picking was what I focused on. For me, that was an ascending 4 note arpeggio (broken chord, let ring on clean channel). I tried very hard to only do things that felt “not hard”. For example, I’ve heard plenty of advice to “just learn a forward roll”. Well, I sucked at that, so I abandoned it. That’s when I decided to just work on 4 ascending notes. I found out that I could play the first 2 notes pretty fast. Then I added a third note, then finally all 4 notes. Before I knew what my hands were doing, they had “learned” a motion that could play 4 notes ascending fairly fast. I didn’t try to micromanage anything or “make a curved motion”. I just tried playing those 4 notes fast. I tried lots of different grips and picks and anchors, with lots of various “postures” (how supinated/pronated/flat my hand was)

At some point, I started associating the better feeling/sounding attempts with something I was asking my hands to do. And progress was slow but steady. Within a week, I had this:

Obviously I wasn’t ready to steal gigs from Andy Wood (and I still am not, and I never will be lol). BUT, I’d gotten “the motion” down. That was about a week after I started messing with the whole thing.

What I didn’t try doing was ripping through Tumeni notes though lol!


See now, I am dumb AF and I try crazy stuff like that! :grinning:Honestly, I am quite happy just learning the notes - being able to play them quickly is a bonus, and although I can play it pretty quick I always wanted to play it like Steve Morse does.

Y’know, I thought about it and worst case scenario? I develop either extremely fast string hopping skills or very well honed systematic swiping abilities. I am honestly okay with either.

Still, good to know; I am a string hopper. Worst fears realized! Ahhh it’s not so bad… lol

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