Trying to push the tempo - Fisher's Hornpipe (help pls)

I realized last night that my wrist sits almost completely flat across the bridge, and doesn’t seem to ‘tilt’ pronated or supinated… which suggests adjustments are necessary and explains why my fast motion remains trapped as hell and why I swipe on everything fast I play.

I had this exact same problem. My default single escape motion (and my fastest tremolo picking) is pronated, however my most comfortable DBX motion is the Andy Wood slightly supinated thing. So of course, I accidentally landed in between the two. Because I was used to being a bit pronated, being flat on the bridge felt supinated to me, I just needed to go a little farther.

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So that begs the question, what did you do to resolve that? Or was glomming onto that fact enough to set you on the right direction and made for easier self analysis on ‘why is this working/not working?’

I had to make a conscious point of tilting my arm a little more than I thought I needed to toward the floor. Now I can actually do it in either direction, supinated or pronated, but since the majority of my practice has be supinated that does feel a little more comfortable and accurate. Though now I think about it, maybe I’ll put some work into pronated DBX too since that’s my default single escap motion too. Hmmm…

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I’d like to throw 3 videos to update my forward roll progress.

April 2020

October 2020


That last one seems to be well and truly in the ballpark finally. Messy and whatnot but there’s clearly a pulse and often even individual strings are ringing, on purpose even :smiley:


Man, that last clip is looking and sounding great! Nice work!


Weirdly, I’ve not been practicing that roll very much (at all) lately. It had pissed me off enough where I just dropped it and have been doing OTHER guitar stuff. Tried it a few days ago and got nowhere, like worse than my 2nd video, uncoordinated, missing strings, full strums hopping the works. So I once again, sat down and really watched the crosspicking with the wrist video clips and like @tommo suggested…

So I literally started at a speed much closer to my endgoal. It sounded like crap to start, but I was still doing weird hops and jumps every so often, looking at Troy’s motion, like he says it’s pretty much a straight left+right feel, no need to hop over the strings (obviously) so I did that for about 5 minutes and then while being distracted watching some Twitch streams all of a sudden realized ‘wait a sec, this sounds pretty alright and is ballpark exactly the right tempo!’

Repeatable too obviously, since I was able to setup a camera and grab the footage. Need to clean it up as there’s still too much strumming for what I’m aiming to achieve, but my wife has heard it enough and she thinks it sounds fine so, I could fake it if forced into it I’m sure :smiley:

This looks great. Only comment is, do you see the change in your wrist and forearm position when you play the second group of three notes, i.e. the one that starts on the upstroke? You press down flatter against the guitar body with your forearm. Then you go back to the original arm position when you start the downstroke repetition. That’s not necessary. Just use the same arm position as you do for the first three notes, where you start on a downstroke.

You may not be aware you’re doing this, but it is at some level “deliberate”, or let’s say, voluntary, since nothing is causing this to happen other than choice. People do this because they feel like they need to try and “reach” that lowest string on the upstroke. You don’t have to do that. The wrist can reach it already. That’s where it started. So just trust that it can reach, and move it to the left, until it gets back to the low string. You don’t have roll to the arm to try and dive toward it.

In general the approach you are following here is correct. The Oct 20 video looks stringhoppy whereas this one does not, because you’re going fast enough to where stringhopping would either be impossible or at least very obviously wrong by feel.

Great work!

I’m in the exact same boat. My wife is constantly telling me “That sounds great to me!”, so at this point I think I could fake it in a pinch. I’m still on the path though.

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@Troy Are you referring to the rotation at the start of the second group of 3? I think I do that too actually, I’ll need to look at that.

I had noticed it yes, figured it was superfluous but hadn’t drilled down as to what was going on yet. I was just so happy I got something even this close :smiley:

I will ‘take that under advisement’ and pass your info along to the appropriate parties for analysis and action. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Glad I’m on the right path now, this was/is a real bugbear

The first video in this thread also looks good, and less hoppy, even though it’s also from Oct 20. So this path isn’t linear. You may have some things that you play where the motion is wrong, and others where it’s right, and you can’t always tell the difference at first. Hopefully you’re becoming more aware by feel and that will translate into more repeatability.

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Yeah that’s an odd one to me, I picked up the motion requirements for the tune far quicker than I’ve been able to pickup the repeating roll. I’m wondering if it has something to do with the repetition, because sure while Fisher’s Hornpipe repeats it’s not a constant thing.

Either way, thanks for the input and I yeah, I feel that I’m at least able to pin down what a motion closer to correct feels like now vs what is a cul-de-sac.

Nice work! I had a similar experience, the roll was harder.
I think it’s actually related to the change in position for the second group of notes that @Troy mentions.

I think if you slow down the video, you’ll probably see the downstroke on the higher string doesn’t go all the way - it doesn’t look the same as the downstroke on the middle string for example.
The move downstroke+switch direction+jump two strings+land on the upstroke feels like a challenge and makes us try to spend less time on the downstroke to get back fast. That causes a different motion and makes the whole thing less smooth.

For me, focusing on spending more time on that downstroke and making sure it goes all the way (fully escapes) like the other two downstrokes actually helped.

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Totally true! Counterintuitive though it may seem, thinking about completing and not cheating that downstroke motion can produce the more symmetrical and smooth motion overall, even though it results in moving even farther away from the next string you need to play. Great insight.


I appear to have corrected the downstroke on the high E but it still sounded incomplete. Slowing it down, it’s cuz I almost 100% whiff on the upstroke high E lol

Ah well, it’s already cleaner than yesterday even and the motion is feeling more comfortable and repeatable. Might actually get there! :smiley:

Slowmo View

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