Update With 3 Finger Grip

Bear in mind I’ve been chasing this Crosspicking thing for a solid 6-8 years. I remember hitting Andy Wood up on twitter in like 2014-2015 asking how the hell he was alternate picking the intro to ShredNeck. I then proceeded to try and email Troy in 2015 asking about it. At the time I called it “Alternate Picking Arpeggios” all the time. Still have the email I sent to Cracking the Code and the Twitter exchange with Andy.
Switched to a 3 finger grip back in May. It has some benefits. But as you can tell I’m swiping on 3nps lines. Crosspicking is improved and the comfortable speed limit has surely increased, but I’m betting if I push the speed, which I can do, it will be a mess of swiping. I’m just about at the point of abandoning hope on developing a technique that can do anything I want without swiping. All I can hope for now is that by being aware of the swipe, which is more audible now than its ever been, is that this awareness will some how inform my body in some neurological way and it will hopefully get cleaner and less audible. Hopefully a miracle will occur and I will just eventually not swipe. Also hopefully this shows that simply switching grips isn’t really a solution all the time. Now I’m just gong to focus on making this thing fun and learning and making the music I want to make. We can’t all be Martin Miller and Andy Wood unfortunately. Some of us are just going to be more genetically gifted than others. Such is life.


Did you try not having your ring finger out like you do? It should free up your movements a lot.

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I have, doesn’t seem to make too much of any difference at all because the motion isn’t in anyway impeded by the other fingers. I can upload a video doing the same thing with the ring tucked and getting the same results. only thing is it feels unnatural to me and also makes transitioning the my other grip for hybrid picking more of a pain than it already is.

I’d like to see if you can make a vid.
The reason I mention it again is because it’s an actual physical limitation of the hand because the ring and middle are connected. Though if it’s not working for you, maybe it is something else.

This " Double Escape Wrist Motion" that Andy does, I believe will be impeded by having your ring finger out like you do for middle finger grip.

Thats what I see, but like you said it feels akward for you atm. I do think the issue is not enough escape motion tho, hence the swiping.

When you sweep do you change the pickslant?

One thing that would work for your current picking technique is using pull offs and just downward pickslanting. So no alternate picking. It works well for me. And you don’t have to worry about your picking as much. I assume you want alternate picking tho.

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Can you upload a video pointing the cam down the neck, as close as you can get it to the picking hand so we can see the motions a little more clearly?
It’s difficult to see problems from this angle. Also if you can film in slow motion that would be helpful, don’t need to upload the entire clip in slow mo, just some reps.


Sure guys. Although I don’t believe anyone is going to say anything that hasn’t been said a million times in here that would be a game changer for me. Also, sure I’ll upload a video with the ring finger tucked tomorrow to show that it really makes absolutely no difference for me. It’s completely not involved in the mechanic regardless of where it is, only makes it less comfortable, but I can pick exactly the same with it. As for slow motion up close, here’s one from the same session. Like I’ve said been at this forever, been with the community since the nearly the beginning. I can form a godlike tremolo with any pickgrip, shit I could probably figure out how to tremolo with my feet lol. I just don’t see any game changing advice coming. Just wanted to update on the current state of my seemingly impossible journey.

And do fast forward because the first few reps aren’t up to speed.

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What I see in that video is almost no escape motion, your picking is very flat. You do it at the start, but the rest of the video is very side to side picking with no escapes.
How do you pick with the index?

The first 20 sec of the video looks OK.

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First 20 seconds isn’t fast. Which is why I suggested fast forwarding. I’m not sure what you mean by how do I pick with the index. It’s a 3 finger grip. Like I said I don’t think there’s any game changing advice coming my way. Been at it a while nothing has worked thus far. Preciate’ the effort tho.

Well, you might have an escape motion with the index that you can get a feel for over the middle finger.

And if the first part is slow, you might need to build up your slow picking style in speed. You fast picking doesn’t have enough escape motion to be clean.

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That’s the opposite advice that @tommo and @Troy give. They say start fast. So not sure what to say here. Playing slow isn’t the problem. And as far as index grips go, that’s what I used to use. Couldn’t crosspick for shit with it. And still swiped. Everyone said if you can’t play fast immediately with it than it’s not right. So I was suggested a million times to try 3 finger grip. Now, we’re here. Like I said no ones gonna say anything that hasn’t been said. Here’s a trigger finger style index grip example from last year.

Starting fast is just another thing to try, it’s not a dead set way to get speed. If you don’t have the fundamentals down it won’t work.
You’re doing a lot more escape motions with the index. Your pick is more perpendicular to the body than your middle finger picking, which is mostly downward pickslanting. You’re using two way pickslanting with your index too. It’s a lot better than the middle for alternate picking. If I were you I’d stick with the index.

One thing that may help a lot is double picking, so doing two down strokes, and then two up strokes. This makes your hand do a circular type motion, which is the feeling of a good escape motion. I’d call it pecking, like a bird. It’s the one motion I don’t see you doing.
If you look at that video of Andy wood, you can see him do it. You’re not doing that. Yours is far more side to side.

The removal of the ring finger in your middle finger technique will allow your hand to lift away from the guitar. Thats a requirement of an escape motion, to bring the pick away from the body. You can do that in many ways with the joints we have. But you need that lift to get an escape. That lift can come in so many different ways, and to the point of not even looking like there is lift, or pecking as I’d call it, but the fundamental remains that the pick has to be brought away from the body in some way to create an escape motion.
And you are crosspicking with the index, you’re doing two way pickslanting and it is lifting the pick. You just need to exaggerate this motion.
Watching it back, I really think your index picking is way better, you should probably stick with it. That playing isn’t bad at all


Thanks for the close up video
From what I can see, with the phrase in the latest video, it seems more single escape with secondary motion? Although it was a little dark on my phone so I couldn’t see exactly which primary escape.
I mean as opposed to your crosspicking, where each stroke needs to escape.
So it seems like if we look at the arpeggios 1nps and the phrase with multiple notes on one string, they are different picking motions.

The second video you posted, the older one with a trigger grip, do you feel that was cleaner? It’s extremely fast so hard to see any issues.

Do you think the three finger grip has improved your crosspicking but made your phrases where there are more than 1nps less clean with more swiping?

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I haven’t had time to read the whole thread yet, but I can summarize the main points we usually stress in the hope that it’s helpful.

  • With any new motion/lick you try, check immediately if it’s capable of speed. Don’t worry about being clean, we just want to check the potential at this stage. (AKA “start fast”).
  • once you can do the fast & sloppy thing, slow down just a little until you can consciously try to clean things up
  • after cleaning up the moderately fast version, try to speed up again
  • don’t slow down so much that the motion becomes unrealistic (e.g. what you do at 100bpm says pretty much nothing about what you do at 180)
  • do not over-practice a single lick or pattern (AKA white whaling) → have a variety of patterns that involve similar (but not identical) picking challenges. If you don’t make substantial progress with lick X in say half hour (or even just 15mins), move on to lick Y and see if you can make progress there

@RobertFlores forgive me if you’ve tried this…but have you tried this yet?

At that timestamp Troy’s using a trailing edge grip. Obviously not a silver bullet, but if you’ve tried a bunch of stuff you feel hasn’t worked, switching to something you haven’t tried yet I know is recommended.


Here’s a clip with the ring tucked. Maybe it helps with DSX but definitely does nothing to stop the swiping.


Yes I’ve seen the advice 100 times now. I can rip with any motion shown in the primer on a single string. Could honestly figure out how to tremolo with my feet if I wanted to. Fails when trying to cross stings. Especially with trying to double up the crossing section of the Paul Gilbert lick. Doesn’t matter how I hold the pick as you can see because I switched to 3 fingers on the advice of numerous people here and I’m still swiping in one way or another. Sure it’s helped a little with crosspickng but not a ton. Maybe the whole starting fast stuff ISN’T the answer lol. Idk doesn’t seem to be working for me. Honestly nothing seems to be working for me.

@jptk Trigger grip example has swiping when I restart the 6 note group after the last upstroke.

@joebegly Looks more neutral to me

I’m trying to figure out how to pick anything I want both muted and unmuted at the tempos I’m clearly capable of without swiping.

Pretty sure I’ve told you this before: you have too much pick attack, likely because of your picking depth. It can easily be heard in all of your videos since the camera mic picks up pick noise. This is likely the biggest contributor of the swiping you feel.

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There are plenty of players who pick hard with 0 issues. I’ll upload a video of me using my stylus pick next to show that this also is not the problem.

Are there videos posted on your older thread? Could you post a link to it here? I can’t find it because I suck at technology.
Just want to see what you have tried and been advised to avoid saying the same things.
With clips this fast, it’s impossible to see the problem and I also am not hearing it.
What happens when you slow down, say between 10 or 20bpm? Are you able reduce or eliminate the swipe?

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Removing the ring finger will give you the freedom to do proper escape motions with middle finger grip. You will have to put time into learning them, weeks to months work to get your muscles n nervous system trained.

Just removing the ring won’t change anything unless you acually start training the correct motions. They are in that video I posted by Troy.

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How many of them are doing high speed crosspicking like Steve Morse though?

Even the man himself has a very soft / moderate attack, you can tell in all videos in which the mic is in the room with him:

Or the video Troy did with him, his attack is nowhere near as pronounced as yours.