TWPS or string hopping


Hi Guys,

I have been working my way through Antigravity for a little while and seem to to be making pretty good progress.

Before starting to understand pickslanting I had hit a brick wall of 16th notes around 120bmp for alternate picking. That lasted about 30 years :slight_smile:

I am note at a stage where I can play a good basic range of 16th triplet DWPS licks at 120 bpm (ie equivalent to 16th notes at 180 bpm) as long as I change stings on an even number of pick strokes. I can play some limited repeating phrases at 134 bpm 16th triplets (200bpm 16th notes).

I am now working hard on my inside string changes on TWPS and seem to to be making progress to where I can play some comfortably at 120bmp 16th triplets. But I am still finding it unnatural making the roll from DWPS to UWPS. I think I have the basic technique but still wonder if there is string hopping going on too.

The attached clip is a 3 note per string 16th triplet phrase with at 110 bpm.

Any guidance welcome.


I think it sounds perfect ! Can u do the same thing withth out the roll movment ?



Unfortunately, no I can’t do it without the roll movement. It gets very “sticky” and I trip up.

On looking at the close up video it appears that my pick grip and hand position is quite aggressively DPS. When I try to UPS without the roll movement I never quite get far enough and end up swiping the string from the wrong angle so it “hooks” on the string I need to cross.

I wish I could find the right grip/resting position to facilitate the TWPS without such an exaggerated forearm roll as this position makes it very difficult to do any form of palm muting when in the UPS position. However, I have now started to thumb mute on the UPS strokes.


I found it useful to establish a zero pickslant setup, play on one string at 16ths. After a few bars, I try to switch to a very small DWPS. Once it feels comfortable I would reset, start again, but switch to a small UWPS. Once that became comfortable, I would practice take a lick (a repeating 6s), and play all the picking strokes and pickslant switching on one string only.

I have posted this before and got mixed opinions on whether it was worth it, but I found it very useful in crafting and controlling the pickslant transitions and avoiding exagerrated pickslants.

Does any of the above make sense???


Yes. Thanks. It makes sense. I’ll give it a try tonight.

The main thing I find is that the downward angle of the pick itself (as distinct from the diagonal movement towards and away from the guitar) is comfortable, fits well with muting and is deeply ingrained in my muscle memory. I use it for all of my playing including chords etc.

Moving to a zero or slight DWPS angle is manageable for me but going beyond that to UWPS feels very unnatural. I don’t know if that is just lack of practice or whether I am trying to get my arm/wrist into a position that just doesn’t work for me. Only, one way to find out :wink:


Good luck and don’t forget to post an update!


I think that sounds like a great way to drill the slants. I’m going to give this a try.


I have been trying your suggestion for the last few nights (several hours per night :slight_smile: ).

Two nights ago everything was firing on all cylinders and blazing but last night was like wading through treacle.

What I THINK I have noticed is that my picking mechanic is largely forearm rotation from a supinated position but with some wrist deviation too. (Forgive me if my description is not correct as I am still trying to get to grips with the terminology). However, in order to get the zero (or close to zero) DWPS that you mention I need to change everything to almost entirely a deviation based mechanic. This tends to aggravate tendon issues. I’m not sure if this is a case of my physiology not working with a deviation movement or simply that I haven’t trained those muscles enough yet and need to knuckle down and get through it.

As I mentioned two nights ago the deviation movement did seem to be working in a pretty relaxed manner so maybe it is just a case of building the muscles.


Definitely use the relaxed form, no point trying to do something that isn’t natural and pain is never good.

I too find UWPS hard to get as relaxed as DWPS

You may be expecting too much too soon. I found a similar thing when I started experimenting with UWPS- it felt physically demanding, but through relaxed practice it jas become better. Maybe you should spend a bit more time doing 1WPS licks with UWPS so that you can concentrate on establishing how you are going to do it. Something like a chromatic 4nps starting on an uptroke - it is hard for me, but the more I do it, the easier 2WPS is


Just a quick update.

I have been working hard on this for the last few days. Unfortunately, I feel like my playing is going backwards rather than forwards :frowning:

I think there are several different issues that I need to break down and focus on individually:

1 - the resting hand/pick orientation.

My natural position is quite supinated with a heavily DWPS orientation. Moving to a neutral resting position (both hand and pick) is easy and comfortable. Even moving beyond this to a pronated UWPS position is easy and comfortable.

I can handle each of the orientations and changing between them at reasonably quick tempos on one string around the middle of the guitar. It is still reasonably easy on the 1st and 2nd strings. However, I find this orientation awkward on the 5th and 6th strings.

2- picking motion

in my natural resting position I seem to use a predominantly forearm rotation movement. for UWPS. However, in the more neutral position it seems necessary to use a wrist deviation movement. This is fairly easy and relaxed up until around 150bpm and could probably get beyond this in a more relaxed fashion with practice. However, I seem to be having a few issues with the neutral orientation and deviated mechanic. Firstly, it is more difficult to get the pick to full clear the string on the upstroke. Therefore, I catch more strings accidentally. However, I think I can be improve this with practice. Secondly, I seem to use very different muscles for the wrist deviation mechanic. I notice more tension in my back, shoulder, bicep and elbow when compared to the relaxed (still fairly relaxed even at 16th note 200bpm) forearm rotation movement. I have been feeling little tennis elbow over the last few days although I can’t be sure this is caused by the picking movement as I have been doing other things which can aggravate this too.

3 - UWPS. I have been working on one way UWPS for several months. I usually spend some time each night doing things like the Gilbert overlapping 6 lick. It is never as fast a my DWPS playing but can hit 16th triplet at 110+ with minimal problem most nights. It is definitely stiffer and less relaxed than DWPS though.

4 - starting with an upstroke. I have read many discussions on this and Troy’s comments too. I have no problem mechanically starting a phrase on an upstroke. I do this regularly with syncopated phrases that start on an offbeat. However, I struggle rhythmically when starting a phrase on the beat with an upstroke. I understand the benefits of being able to do either but I have always found that knowing where the downbeat is with a downstroke is a real benefit to being able to play smoothly and in time. I’m not sure my head is ready to deal with offbeat upstroke phrases :wink:

I’m going to persevere for a few more days then shoot some new video to assess how things are progressing.

Thanks for your input so far.