Same here!!! I’m finding some interesting stuff out about some of my weaknesses. I think a big problem, for me, is that my left hand was slower than I thought it was doing 2nps. Those frequent string changes were tripping me up. Troy mentioned his left hand can’t keep up with his right when doing the fast pentatonic licks and that barring helped. Fretting Hand Synchronization - anchored index finger? This of course only works if you’re playing part of the box that’s barre-able and this disclaimer is quite fairly presented by Troy. But that was a bit of a eureka moment for me in something that was holding me back.
For example, even if you’re just doing pull offs you could play this way faster with a barred index finger than you could if you lifted the index finger and re-planted when you switch strings:
I found this out when I was separating my hands. I was practicing string switching by just alternate picking muted strings like this:
I realized my right hand was able to go faster than my left and that was because I was not anchoring my index finger. This meant way more left hand movement that it could be. So I tried it with the barre and the speeds of the hands got closer to each other. So that outlines problem #1 for me, which was the hand synch.
The other thing I was (and still am some) struggling with is getting enough escape so that the string switch felt seamless. Don’t ask my why I even thought to try this…maybe it stemmed from separating the hands for some of the 1string sweeps. But I found this to be really helpful in getting the motion fast and smooth. If you do this right, you’ll sound like the pacman video game. It’s sort of like the sound that happens as you’re on a straight line eating lots of the dots.
For this, the picking is D D U D D U and you just repeat it as fast as you can. An accurate rhythmic notation would be 16th note sextuplets. It should be FAST too, like 16th note triplets at 140 -150 bpm. That sounds fast but it’s super easy…the motion your right hand makes feels like you’re just picking 8ths at that tempo. Because there’s a sweep, you get those extra couple notes in there. It trained my right hand to make just enough escape to always land right back where it needed to. That’s probably clear as mud, so here’s a demo. Excuse the mess in my basement please! I have a 4 yr old son.
As weird as this seems, you’d be surprised how quickly you can turn this into a move that EJ does all the time, at a pretty quick speed too!
Same picking there, D D U D D U throughout. It’s that tired old blues lick that most guitarist learn early on (but they probably hammer the notes on the b string)…we can use it as an EJ atom for single string sweeps though! As long as the left hand index stays planted, the speeds required of the left hand aren’t really that great. And we’ve already shown that the right hand movement at high speeds is no big deal due to the time the sweeps buy us. Without too much effort I’d think you could get this up to like 120 - 130 bmp 16th note triplets. That’s not as fast as some of the amazing players on this forum…but it ain’t slow! The important thing is that it sets the stage for the motions.
Sorry for the length of the post. If I had more time I would have made it shorter But those concepts helped me get on what I feel is a path where the movements feel smooth. I am still cleaning stuff up, but the foundation is in place.