Tip for Incorporating 3NPS Double Escape into Practice - Correctly

Hey everyone,

New member here.

I understand both ‘Upward Pick Slanting with DSX’ and ‘Downward Pick Slanting with USX.’ In a Chromatic 4 note per string test across the neck, I can start with up or down strokes and achieve 16th notes at 230 bpm (for both) without too much difficulty.

However, once I switch to 3 note per string (with string skipping - Paul Gilbert-esque) lines, my technique reverts to string hopping.

I haven’t watched to confirm this yet (waiting for my magnet to arrive - just shipped), but I have a few queues that are making me increasingly suspicious that string hopping is the culprit;
*My speed drastically reduces (down to 16th notes at 134 bpm).
*The playing feels clunky, inefficient, and not fluid.
*MOST IMPORTANTLY - I get wrist pain when I try to speed up these three notes per string lines. The pain generally lasts a couple of days and then dissipates. I know this means there is some significant inefficiency, as it’s nearly 100 bpm slower than my even note per string (with either escape motion) and neither of those leads to any pain/discomfort.

My question and reason for posting. What is the best way to practice/incorporate both motions into three notes per string phrases? I play mostly metal, so those aren’t uncommon. I have been practicing rotating my forearm so my wrist is in the appropriate position for the correct escape motion at the right time, and when I practice slowly, I can do that all day long and have it correct. Around the 100 bpm mark, my motor pattern returns to string hopping until it caps out in a sloppy, painful mess.

I’m wondering if maybe I need to/should simplify what my left hand is doing to simplify and teach my right hand what it needs to do (i.e., do a chromatic 3 note per string w/ string skipping phrase) as what I have been doing is scale runs where a lot of my mental energy is going into the left hand.

Or should I even be trying to switch between positions/escapes? Should I skip to the Batio ‘Anti-Gravity’ seminar and learn about the ‘swipe’? Will that unlock something better than changing wrist positions for these lines?

As a side note, this problem doesn’t seem to present itself when strings are beside each other (i.e., D & G); I believe I switch into an economy picking motion for that kind of line and orient the pick so that I am positioned to either naturally escape or sweep through to the following string.

Once the magnet arrives, I’ll assemble a video and put up a ‘Technique Critique.’

For references, my picking style is the wrist; in my tests (without a guitar my ‘Al Di Meola’ wrist motion & elbow motion both scored upwards of 300 bpm (I stopped after that). When I look at my hand/arm position while playing, I seem to stick to Al Di Meloda/Andy Wood (depending on whether I am using DSX or USX).

Any thoughts, ideas, or tips would be greatly appreciated! This is the one thing I can’t get my brain, fingers, and wrist to grasp.

As an add on for more information on the problem, this seems to particularly be presenting itself when it’s repeating 3 NPS patterns bouncing between two non-adjacent strings (high E & G for example).

Wow, you are hitting some crazy Shawn Lane levels of speed! Do you use a trailing edge grip? And do you have any material/videos I could check out? :slight_smile:

Most players out in the wild tend not to flip flop between two motions, they’ll have a primary motion and a helper motion that they engage at the point of a string change that doesn’t fit their escape and then immediately revert back to their primary motion again, you can read about that here:

Also, why not just arrange stuff to suit your primary motion? @tommo’s seminar is all about that sort of thing if you need ideas on how to do this and will work perfectly for you if you’re an Al Di Meola style DSX wrist player:

A quick example of how you could tackle a 3NPS scale would be to do upstroke, downstroke, hammer-on ascending and economy pick the descending portion :grin:

Personally I’d skip Anti-Gravity as it’s a little outdated now and might confuse things. Also, what you are describing wanting to do is known as Primary Plus Secondary Motion or Mixed Escape. Double escape is where every pickstroke escapes at all times, think players like Steve Morse, Clint Strong or lots of Bluegrass players.

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Oh, man! Thank you so much for all of this reply!

I read ‘Primary Plus Secondary,’ and you helped me unlock something big. I was supposed to be taking a rest day (yesterday was when I was practicing those 3NPS String skip lines), but I’m excited about this!

Regarding grip, I switched to ‘Trigger Grip’ or somewhere between that and 'Extended Trigger. ’ I’ve been noticing my grip tends to shift between these two depending on what I’m doing (USX = Trigger, DSX = Extended, Downward Sweeping - Trigger, Upward Sweeps - Extended). Though I could be doing something completely different (this is why I’m excited for the magnet. There’s always what we think we are doing vs. what we are doing).

There are no videos yet; I’m deciding on a name for a YouTube channel. I have some SoundCloud pages of bands I’ve been involved with, but none are shreddy. I love shred, but my fret hand is the slower of the two. I just started incorporating trills to a metronome to try to bring the speed of my left hand up.

This song is the most shred-like song I’ve been involved with. I loved playing this song live: Stream Desecration of Zen - Official [HQ] by Avikari | Listen online for free on SoundCloud

Regarding arrangements, when I’m playing originals, that’s typically what I’ll do. When I’m woodshedding, I practice a little bit of everything so there are fewer limitations, and when I’m covering things, I try to play it as true to the original as possible. I’m just trying to keep more tricks in the bag.

Mixed Escape; thank you so much, @Jacklr . This information/name will help me search for more information about this style, but even the page you provided feels like a breakthrough. :tada: :tada:

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I pulled out a guitar and a metronome, and without even a warm-up, I could bring last night’s sequence up to 150 bpm (16th notes). Amazing. Even better, my wrist feels looser now than it has all day.

Thank you so much; I overcomplicated the issue by trying to switch my wrist with the string changes instead of keeping a primary position and only switching to secondary for the stroke that needed it.

You are an all-star, and I cannot express how much I appreciate your response.

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Glad I could be of help!

Love the song as well, great playing and songwriting! :grin:

Offtopic, but how do you synchronize both hands 230bpm? Did you practice at slower tempos? Metronome? I can bang out a tremolo at 230bpm for a minute (RDT wrist motion) but it feels completely uncontrollable to me, the hand is just doing its own thing, the moment I try to synchronize it to anything it starts getting stuck.

I can synchronize at slower tempo (180 bpm let’s say) but I’m afraid that I’m going to do a different, less efficient motion there and won’t be able to speed it up back to 230bpm. Maybe I should just try, but I’m afraid that I’m just gonna lose time (and I don’t have too much time to practice), I wonder what approach did you take. Did you just experiment sticking to 230bpm and eventually it clicked? Or did you slow down, synchronize, and then speed up?

All good!

A metronome is a must. Have you just switched to using RDT? I find the same thing when I use RDT: It feels fast, but like it would only be usable on one string at a time. It’s just a matter of using it regularly and making it comfortable, I would imagine.

I generally slow down and then slowly bring things up (maybe 10 BPM p/ every few cycles). When I have a problematic section I am trying to work out in a song, I will do “chunking” (not sure if that’s talked about in the CtC material. I’m still pretty new to this site).

For the example of a chromatic 4NPS passage, if the whole thing is giving me trouble, I will take it from being six beats and compress it into two beats. I would probably do D & G (just because they are in the middle, and you have to avoid strings on either side for both of them and control any excess noise). Then, I would slow it down to learn the phrase (I do this strategy more with songs/solos), bringing it up by 10bpm p/ run through. I would keep going up til I hit a ‘slop’ point. Once I get there, I will bring it back down by 20 bpm and then only increase the metronome every 2-3 rounds. Once I get to another sloppy speed, I will do one of two things. If it is super messy, I will drop it to 10 BPM from that point; if it is okay but maybe not articulated as clearly as I want it to be, or if there is one missed note, I will keep that speed but take breaks between each passage (i.e., with the chromatic example let’s say it was 200 bpm, I would do the first two beats (D & G) at 200 bpm, then rest for six beats (the rest of that bar + another bar) I’ll usually do this like 12-16 times through just trying to make it a little bit cleaner each time (it’s way easier to move fast for two beats than six beats). Then, wash/rinse/repeat.

I hope this makes sense and is helpful!

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Thank you!

Yes, I’ve just started learning this RDT based on the tutorial in the primer. (The only other motion I have is string hopping.) If I start banging on a string, the hand eventually converges to do smooth RDT. Problem is, in the fast tempos (like 230bpm) I can’t seem to invoke it “on demand”, i.e. start from silence and then hit exactly a single bar (4 notes) smoothly. What I can do is to start banging out tremolo, the first few beats are sloppy and sticky, then it starts getting smoother and converges to this nice motion.

I’ll try to apply your strategy on my next session. Thanks.