Two way picklsanting

hey guys! as you can tell my technique is very messy and I was hoping I could receive some critique and tips on how to improve it. Thanks!

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I think the tempo is not fast enough to determine whether the technique is efficient or not.

I will record some now at faster tempos. I think I was too focused on not making them too sloppy but I believe the best thing to do now is just to find out more about what technique I am naturally disposed to and see if it works/build upon it. thanks!

-so this is my USX/ downward pickslant. I feel like I can work up to tempos where my left hand cant keep up with my right. This one feels most comfortable to me and I dont feel much tension

-this is my DSX motion and I feel like I tense up much more easily than with my USX motion

-this is both of them put together in a 3nps pattern. Very messy. I may be wrong but I feel like my main problem is switching from my downward pickslant to an upward pickslant when changing strings. I end up hitting the string almost like I’m “swiping” it as Troy Grady explains. I am sure there are other issues too lol but thats the one Ive noticed from recording.

3nps side slow - YouTube]
-heres a slowed down version of the previous video

and here is a far view. I still don’t fully know where my motion is coming from. I cant fully tell if its a forearm or wrist motion.

anyway, thanks for listening! If I should record anything faster, just let me know!

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I think the common knowledge here is that we don’t really worry about the slants anymore, the important thing is the escape motion. Could you post a video with the DSX version but instead of starting on an upstroke, start on a downstroke and don’t repeat the 3 notes on the low string.

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sure! I actually just finished pickslanting primer and got a much better idea of where I am at. I think my primary motion is a wrist (maybe wrist & forearm). It is lightly supinated and I feel much more dominant with the USX, similar to Mike Stern. As for my secondary motion, I think I am tending towards using my wrist or wrist & forearm to get that DSX motion on odd numbered string runs. I think the problem I am facing now is that when I initiate that DSX motion when changing strings, it gets caught on the next string basically “swiping” it as Troy Grady calls it.
With that being said, ill try my best to get a fast enough video of the DSX starting on an upstroke, but It is so challenging I can really only do it slowly. I’m just not used to playing with that upwards sort of slant at all

-I believe this is the video you were asking for. This is such an uncomfortable motion for me as I am much more used to having more of a USX (downslant) when playing anything else
-in these two videos im doing my more natural picking position which favors the USX type of motion (at least to my eyes). Very messy as I tend to get tangled up with the strings and doing the DBX motion to get out of one string when ending on a downstroke.

-heres a slowed down version to more easily see what I am talking about. When changing to that secondary motion of DBX to get out of the trapped zone, I either miss the string or hit it.

Also, still unsure of what exact motion I am using. I believe it is wrist motion

Sorry for all the videos and writing. I have been working on picking for a couple years now with no luck. thanks for the help!!

Thanks for posting all these!

I think we need to be clearer in the instructional stuff about what a primary motion is. In these clips it looks like you’re trying to do at least three different techniques, with three different motions and three different forms / arm positions. This would be like trying to speak Italian, German, and Spanish, all in the same conversation. It’s not what most players do when their technique is settled. Instead, they typically choose one form, and very often one motion, and stick with that. Not only that, but most of the time, they can’t choose other motions because they don’t know how to do those motions. So this isn’t really a “choice”, per se, it’s just them doing what they know.

In these clips, are you trying to “do” the motions you learned about in the Primer? Or is that true for only some of these? If you just fret a single note on a single string and pick it fast, without thinking about it, which motion is it?

When you do that, is the motion you’re using close to the speed and smoothness of your table tap test results? Or is it substantially slower?

Hey Troy! Thanks for the help. I think I am still confused as to what motion I am predisposed to. I took a video of my tremolo playing so I’ll attach that here. It seems to be wrist motion but Its not so clear to me. Its just as fast as my table wrist test. In the videos I had posted initially I actually had not yet finished the Primer so I guess I was experimenting more than anything with different techniques. One of my main goals is to be able to play both even and odd numbered notes per string. In the videos I posted earlier today, I was trying to adapt the Andy Wood sort of technique where he changes from a DSX motion to an USX motion when changing strings on an upstroke just to clear the string. I was attempting to do that using my “primary” USX motion. I hope this makes sense! Thanks again!

-here is the tremelo picking!

Gotcha. You can have whatever long-term goals you want, but the question is how you get there. You get there by becoming great at whatever technique you know now, so you can learn what smooth, synchronized playing feels like, and so you can start building musical vocabulary. You can always learn other techniques over time like a hobby.

This motion in this video looks like it’s comfortable for you, but the speed seems to be around 165bpm or so, which is low. When we filmed the table tapping tests, I started at 150bpm in the first couple of videos, then in one of the later ones I started at 170bpm to save time because it didn’t seem like anyone, unless they are injured, would realistically need to test 150bpm. You’re saying your table tap tests were 160-170bpm? Are you sure?

If you just go for it without thinking, as fast as you can, what is the picking motion and how fast is it?

So I think the problem is that those tempos are so fast I just cant process 16th notes at that speed. Initially I had tried what you said in the primer about checking the tempo after recording the tremelo picking but again, I just cant tell the tempo. I tried playing to a click of 210 bpm just now and I think it helped. I even tried doing 16th note bursts at the end of the videos. If I am not mistaken, I do reach 210 BPM 16th notes with this sort of motion that looks a bit different from yesterday. I just usually dont try picking at high speeds in my normal playing just because Ive never been able to do so cleanly haha. But these are pretty much the motions I would naturally go to if I did try to pick something fast. I don’t think I have ever used another motion unless I purposely tried to. Anyway, hope these videos are better. Thank you so much once again!

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11 posts were split to a new topic: Limitations of elbow motion - discussion

Sounds to me like high 150s / low 160s. Overall not a bad motion though! You should experiment with rooting your palm a little harder, looks to be some motion lost in that area.

Thanks for filming again. The first question is the table tapping test. Watch this video again, and tap the table along with me. You don’t even need a metronome, just watch the video and play along. What speed do you get? Remember, you’re going for it for two bars, so don’t worry about being graceful or economical, just go fast:

Do that much and we’ll go from there!

hey Troy, I ended up getting 230 bpm 16th notes with you in the video. I started getting sloppy after that.

Awesome! How do you get sloppy tapping a table? Did you miss?? :slight_smile:

The point of this is that your test results are substantially faster than your clips here. Which is fine, I know you said you don’t spend a lot of time trying to play fast. But it’s an indication that there is potentially something you can do to unlock more speed and smoothness, which will help all speeds sound better. Finding any motion you can do that gets nearer to your tapping test is a good project to play around with. It doesn’t really matter what motion it is at first. This includes the much-maligned “elbow” technique that is still a great thing to know. All successful motions are good motions in the beginning.

As part of this, you’re also looking for an attack that sounds good — smooth and even, without a lot of scraping against the string, and no garage spikes ( ). In your clips so far, there is varying amounts of pick noise, and occasional garage spikes. Are you trying to force the motions to look a certain way, i.e. “small motions”? If so, don’t worry about that. Shoot for a pickstroke that plays the string and goes forcefully past it. Don’t linger against the string and get scrapey, put some force into it.

Experiment with a single-note tremolo, with different motions and grips, and see if you can get something faster and more consistent than the previous clips. Any updates, happy to take a look.

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thank you so much for taking the time to help! Ill be working on this a lot this weekend and hopefully have an update next week :slight_smile:

hey Troy, been working on this every day and think I have made a little progress. It is still too fast for me to figure out what bpm it is in 16th notes. To my ear it does seem a little faster. It also seems like I am using a little more elbow motion. Just wanted to see if you still had any tips. I rewatched most of the series and tried out other motions but none seemed to work but this one.

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Thanks for giving this another shot! This is indeed a little faster than earlier. Tempo varies, but without examining it too closely, the top end is closer to 180 at moments so that’s much better.

In general, this isn’t really a thing you should work on, per se, so much as experiment a lot with. if that’s what you mean, then great. Your tests already showed that you have much more speed than even this attempt, so it’s just a matter of figuring out which motion will unlock that on the guitar.

The closest motion you can do to the actual tap tests is a wrist tapping motion. If you just tap on your pickguard with the pick in your hand, while seated in this posture, can you get back to the same 200bpm+ results from your table tapping tests? When you do that, does it feel easier than the picking motion you’re using in this clip?

Also, the attack here may not be as smooth as it could be. It sounds like pick chirp is creating a note a minor sixth above the note you’re playing, almost like a double stop tremolo. You’ll hear this when you use the neck pickup and when you use either a heavy gauge pick or a lot of edge picking. Are you using a heavy pick like a heavy ultex with a wide bevel? If so, try something thinner like a standard nylon pick around 1mm. You can also experiment with a little less edge picking to make that go away.

Yup, I’ve just been experimenting with different sitting/posture positions, standing, attempting the various motions, the way I hold the pick, etc. When I tap my pickguard I am able to hit 210 bpm (hitting the pickguard twice in one click). The motion I have right now doesn’t really cause me to tense up as much as others. I think I just have some sort of mental block. I feel like I play faster to a metronome than I do without one. I know you said to try doing it without one but I just cant figure out what tempo I am picking at. It is just too fast for me to process haha. I have been doing bursts and seem to be able to get up to about 205 bpm. Not sure what you think about doing those. Ill send a video now