Trying wrist USX

Hey guys, after an initial improvement in my picking technique, I am now working through the primer, in particular the wrist motion. I was under the impression that my picking technique is indeed wrist USX, but I got my wife to take a slo-mo video of my right hand and it looks to me like it’s a doubly trapped motion? What am I doing wrong?

I couldn’t get YT to take the slo-mo video for some reason, but slowing it down to 0.25X speed seems fine. I’ll take tips on the technical stuff!

Thank you

USX is only a term used to describe your escape, not pick slanting and has no meaning in the context of a tremolo on one string, since you are not escaping anything. The way you hold the pick may be slightly between A downward pick slant and trapped, but again it’s only trapped if you can’t easily switch strings. For a more distinct downward pick slant which is what I think your asking, (typically uses a USX, though not always) you have to rotate your resting hand position more so that you are muting with more of the side of your hand (more like the karate chop part) than the meatier inner part of the palm or the part of the palm closer to the thumb. This forces more of the downward pick slant typical of USX (upstroke escape). Of course all of this is more relevant when you are playing something that changes strings. If you are just tremolo picking, it doesn’t really matter what you are doing nor does it give an idea of how efficiently the motion you are using is at changing strings. If you can easily change strings with what you are using now, how it looks when you are doing a tremolo is irrelevant. All you are looking for is something that allows you to change strings.

I think maybe you haven’t watched the video all the way through :slightly_smiling_face: because I do change strings in the video… the thing that confuses me is that even in my current hand position, lines that end in an upstroke feel more natural for changing strings than when ending in a downstroke.

So long as one or the other or both does, that’s all that is important. Honestly I think you would have to get the camera closer to the pick and strings for someone to see it more clearly, but a downward or upward pick slant doesn’t have to look exaggerated to be effective, in fact in can be really subtle, we are really just talking mm’s to clear adjacent strings. So it’s likely there, just not as exaggerated.

Also to me people who use a strict USX or a DSX are those who pick mostly in a more strict diagonal plane. A lot of us don’t really do that.

If you slow down the video (on YT with the gear button) you can see that the string transition is definitely not smooth. I’m wondering if my position is more suited for DSX.

Well one thing to keep in mind is that you’re testing out motions using 2 note per string lines; I (and a good amount of people) find them to be harder than 3+ note per string lines, since it involves the most string switching (short of 1nps crosspicking). I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with your technique at the moment, but maybe you should try something different to test it.

I agree, 2nps licks are typically harder. But if want, you can try rotating wrist a little to force the downward pick slant a little more to see if that does anything for you.

Ok I’ll try 4NPS next. I’ve been going through the primer and I was just trying to replicate Troy’s wrist motion for USX picking (there is a checklist under wrist motion: trigger style pick grip, the right approach angle, straight wrist, anchor points on the palm heels, slightly ulnar wrist). I was under the impression that this is my primary motion, but after this experiment I’m not convinced anymore. I’m also not convinced I’m following the primer correctly. Maybe just adding a bit more supination will help. I’ll report back tomorrow I hope!

Well just keep in mind that’s the way Troy does it, it doesn’t mean that’s the way YOU have to do it. It’s just a general guideline, you don’t have to follow it to the T. Plenty of people, including Yngwie, don’t hold their hands that way and utilize USX just fine.

well I looked at it and even when your not changing strings it appears you bump into the lower string which leads me to USX single escape. So if its even numbers of notes start on an upstroke and see how that feels doing pentatonic or just something that is even such as 2 4 6 8 starting on upstroke. You should notice that it feels alot better. If you do USX starting on down make sure its odd notes on that string then all others would be even such as overlapping 6s.

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I think you meant DSX (down stroke escape). It is still easy to confuse USX with the former use of the term UPS (upward pick slanting). To me your picking indeed looks like DSX, since the pick is trapped at the upstroke and also is swiping on upstrokes when changing strings.

I would also suggest trying overlapping 6s, starting on adownstroke and play three notes on the first string, six on all the others. :slight_smile:

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Nah, I was definitely going for USX, but I do think my current form is more suited to DSX at the moment.

In the wrist usx tutorial/guide, there is a step that shows you need to turn ever so slightly so you can generate that usx motion path.
Its hard to say for sure from your video, but it looks more like dsx form. Your thumb heel anchor looks like it’s resting on the body or lower strings?
Have a look at the video again and you’ll see it’s just a small amount of turn needed to generate the usx path.
You can even get the form going on pick very slowly just so you can see where the pick needs to be headed.
Also from the tutorial, you can use the rest stroke as a guide.

Yeah, I’ve been thinking the same. Thanks for all the suggestions folks! I’ll try them out when I get a chance.

oh yeah my bad I’m left-handed and dyslexic go figure

To me, like I said earlier, it looks like it’s more even weighted, or “trapped”. But trapped form is pretty misleading because it doesn’t actually mean you are trapped, it just means trapped if you were to move your hand back and forth in a straight 2 dimensional path.

Your hand position as is, would be a pretty good starting position if you were to learn how to double escape, as it doesn’t have a sharp bias towards either downward or upward pick slanting or an extreme diaganol pick trajectory. Again if you must try to play with an upstroke pick escape, simply rotating your hand slightly so your mute point is more on the side of your hand like a karate chop, will sort of force that downward pick slant and hand trajectory to do a diagonal USX motion, but again it’s only of you if you find it helps you and won’t hinder what you already are used to. It may in the end be easier to try and adjust for double escape with your current hand position. Anyway give it all a try.

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