Trouble with USX

Hey guys,

It seems like I’m a natural upward pickslanter and so I’ve really been trying to work on my downward pickslanting. I’ve had some limited success but it seems like I’m stuck. I’ve gone through the pickslanting primer which has done a lot to help me get to this point. But I seem to get stuck with forearm motion. My default is to just use wrist-based movement and little forearm. When I start implementing forearm into my technique, it’s fine for slower speeds but at higher speeds I can’t seem to keep it going. Not sure if that makes a difference or not.

When I watch the video I see this over-exaggerated string change that I’m not sure how to kick. I feel like it should be smoother, or less jarring.

My peak speed when playing ascending fours is about 150 bpm (which is actually pretty good for me). I’m trying to improve it, as well as improve my articulation. Maybe you guys could take a look at this video and see what you think. It’s 120 fps but displays at 30 fps. So it should be 4x slower than normal.

Anyways, any thoughts or help?

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Ok. So I’ve got a couple more videos. This time ascending fours.

It’s hard for me to tell if I’m doing the USX properly. It looks like my escape stroke right before the next string is still exaggerated. I also recognize that I need to improve my synchronization.

The other problem I have is that while I can do this with ascending fours, I can’t seem to get any of the Yngwie licks up to speed. And I’ve been trying for months. Anyone have any tips?

Here is ascending fours at full speed:

And in Slow motion:

Hi! Thanks for posting. This all looks great to me. There is absolutely nothing exaggerated about your technique. When I do forearm-wrist motion, I make what you’re calling the “exaggerated” moition on every note! So if you’re exaggerated, then I’m exploding into the next solar system.

What you’re doing is mostly wrist. As you’ve noticed, you’re doing a tiny bit of forearm for certain string changes, but in reality that motion is so small that prior to Cracking the Code nobody would have even noticed. What matters is that your motions feel smooth and sound good, and you can play the lines. If that’s the case, then I wouldn’t worry too much about what exactly it all looks like.

As far as the Yngwie pattern, not sure what you mean by “up to speed”. The picking motion isn’t any different, I assume? But you’re saying you can’t move your picking hand fast enough? Or are you referring to something else?

Again, this all looks great. Whatever you consider the level of speed that you currently possess, if you could play bebop or bluegrass at this speed, you’d be a master. So I wouldn’t worry too much about not being fast enough.

If you post more clips, try to include the full-speed version with sound if you can. Slow motion is good for seeing details like clean string changes, but smoothness is easier to see at full speed.

Thanks again for posting and good work so far.


Thank you so much for responding. I guess I was worried over nothing. The last time I posted (back in April) I couldn’t play the ascending fours at 110 with any confidence. So I have to really thank you for this website and your knowledge sharing. It’s been worth every penny.

I’ll post more videos this evening when I get to my guitar showing some of the phrases I have difficulty getting to speed with. I guess my problem may not be my right hand, but perhaps the fretting hand hasn’t developed enough muscle memory to go autopilot with the phrase and my two hand syncing needs some work I think. The ascending fours is what I’ve been working on the longest and so that’s why it’s reasonably decent.

Again, thank you so much. I’ll keep plugging away and I’ll post some more stuff.