To hop or not to hop, that's the question

Hey there,

after a long time of chatting around here I finally request your help and/or opinion again.

Due to 1nps stuff in some songs I have to play in one of my bands I decided approach crosspicking. this is me with a little example:

It feels relatively relaxed, although I can feel some bounciness from time to time I can usually get rid of by conentrating on “flattening the curve” and trying to do wider pickstrokes.

What I wanted to know:
Right path? What to change to foster progress?
Yes, I know, wash my hands :wink: Got some work to do around the house at the moment…


thx in advance.

In general this looks pretty good. You’re using the Andy Wood style of this, i.e. lightly supinated, “902” wrist motion. Speed is the test for these things. If you feel like you’re hitting any kind of wall below about 140bpm sixteenth notes for this kind of line — or becoming unnecessarily tired — that could be an indication something isn’t right.

I was going to say it’s a little hard to hear with the guitar unplugged but you should still be able to get pretty significant volume out of this even unplugged on an electric. If fast is one litmus test, then loud is another, at least when it comes to bluegrass. So if you feel you can’t get loud enough while playing fast, and without quickly becoming tired, that’s another thing that might indiciate something is up. Either that, or plug in for the next demo.

When I use Andy’s approach I like to stay a little on the “ulnar” side of the wrist’s range of motion. In other words, I want my hand / arm orientation when I play the lowest note in the pattern to be straight. I don’t want to feel like it’s bending toward the thumb. When I do that, I sometimes feel like I have to involve other joints or maybe can’t go as fast. Playing three strings requires a fair range of motion and I like to make sure it’s centered where it’s comfortable, which means, again, a little off-center as far as the forearm is concerned.

Also, try not think of this is a form you just use for arpeggio picking, because it’s really a form for playing anything with the wrist, especially if it’s complicated. So practicing other patterns like scale things or oven blues things will help make it more obvious if the form is really working.

Hmm, ok. After tring to keep up with a 150 bpm (for preparation) set metronome I think I can do 140 bpm quite relaxed, sloppy and with some bumpy string changes creeping in from time to time. So basically I’m heading in the right direction, right?

Yes, Sir!

Are you saying this is the way you do it or do you think I’m to “radial”? In general, yes, also my fast linear motion sometimes might be a little too much centered towards the radius. Maybe I also record that next time. I’m not trying to work on changing that but I keep in mind to have more of an ulnar offset while practicing certain things to slowly get used to that. So after you mentioned it I will make sure I have the setup more ulnar when starting crosspicking practice if that is what you said.

Alright. There is a pentatonic noodle in Bon Jovis dry county solo that I always try to tackle using economy picking. I will give crosspicking a try. With triplets at 170ish bpm it’s not that fast anyway.

Hoping to post the next video during weekend, amplified with clean hands :wink:

Thanks! Tom