Trouble Applying Pick Slanting

I believe I have a good understanding of how 2WPS works, and am physically trying to apply it while I’m picking, but I’m still at a relatively low speed (130 BPM 16ths). So i’m curious if I’m actually doing 2WPS or just think I am.

My single string max is faaar higher at about 160-170 BPM 16ths. I’m wondering how I can apply that single string speed to scales for example.

Below is a clip of me attempting to do a scale with 2WPS, ascending and descending, at 130 BPM. The other clip is my single string max.

If you guys need a different angle or footage of me playing anything else, i’d be happy to provide it!

1 Like

I would crank up the metronome and try applying that fast motion to play the scale, no matter if it’s going to be sloppy.


I frequently practice long scales like this, I like to speed up 2 strings first, then 3, then full neck. Here’s a short highlight of me doing that:

I think it’s hard if not “impossible” to do scales (i.e. 3nps across multiple strings) at the same speed as your max speed on one note, so I’d keep looking for a faster motion (or efficiencies in your current motion) if your goal is higher.

Very true, it’s much easier to try something at your limit with a “this will fall apart at any moment” feeling and clean it up from there.

1 Like

Great clips, thanks for posting.

In general, we’ve tried to get away from the term “two-way picklslanting” to describe scale playing, because it was vague as to what motions you actually need to make. On top of that, lots of players, like Andy Wood and Paul Gilbert, don’t really have any visible “pickslant” in their playing, so calling it that didn’t really make any sense.

Instead, since you have access to the Primer, here’s a more up-to-date explanation of how odd numbers of note per string playing like scales actually works:

The approach you’re using here seems to be the “wrist motion plus forearm helper” approach that we talk about toward the end of that video. For a description of how to do the same thing with just wrist motion by itself, and no helper motion, you can check out the next section of the Primer where we learn to identify different motions:

In general, I recommend watching through the entire “Understanding Escape Motion” section, and the “Identifying Your Motion” section, just to get a better overall big-picture understanding of the technique you yourself are using.

So, in general, these clips look great. They sound good and look accurate. If you’re concerned about hand speed, then I would back up. Go to the “Testing Your Motions” section of the Primer and take all the tests, and write down the values. Are they substantially faster than this? If so, then congratulations, you have lots more hand speed available.

The simplest “fast” phrases you can play with those motions are even numbers of notes per string: the Yngwie six-note pattern, the 1234 / 4321 chromatic pattern, and so on. You should be able to do those close to the hand speed limits you discovered in your table tapping tests. If you can’t yet, or if you haven’t tried, then that’s where you should start, not trying to play 3nps scales.

Shortest answer? The Primer has all sorts of new stuff in it that may answer your questions. Start with the “Testing Your Motions” section and watch in order.


I feel this should be writ large at the beginning of every section of the primer! :smiley:

For sure. We’re getting there. We have one lesson in our recent update which focuses on using even-numbered patterns as a test to determine what kind of motion you’re making:

We have some other quick fixes to the “choosing a pick” section to do next, but after that we’re probably going to do add a hand synchronization section where these sort of patterns will make more of an appearance.