Upstroke escape motion

Hey guys,

it´s a while I´ve been here. In the last 6 month I learned a lot about the differences in picking motion, at least in theory :sweat_smile:

To describe my technique, it seems the upward pickslanting it´s much more easier for me than downward. For the moment I´m satisfied with my skills in upward slanting. So my focus when it comes to picking motion is the downward pickslanting or upstroke escape motion.

Thanks to my teacher, I´ve got a really nice doublestroke etude fo praticing that. My question is what do you think about the right hand technique? It was really struggeling to learn this, the feeling for me is like a weird picking motion mixed with sweep picking. I try to explain: so far I put the wristbone on the bridge as a fixing point for the rotation of the wrist. But this is not working when I need to escape the string with an upstroke. So I put the joint of the pinky at the bridge, this allows me to lift up the wristbone, while still have a fixing point for rotation. If I change the string I just move my arm slightly up or down, same feeling as for sweep picking.

To concrete the question a bit more in detail, do you think this could be a right way to do this technique? In the Video it´s 120bpm, on a good day I can do it around 140bpm. If you need a better view, just let me know, I can try to do it on another angle. Here I tried to catch the slightly rotation of the forearm.




Hey @Benno, to me these look like curved motions - not so much a “pure USX” motion.

Good news is that curved motion can be a great tool if it is efficient, as you can use it for 1-note per string playing. To check for efficiency, see if you can use this motion to play 3-string rolls at a decent tempo. No worries if some repetitions are cleaner than others, just test if the movements are smooth and if you are getting at least some repetitions to be clean and fast.

Going back to USX, maybe one thing you can do is to try and use rest-strokes on the downstroke. See if this helps you to get a movement that is more “linear” straight in and out of the string plane. You’ll know if it works because it should unlock much higher speeds for this double-picking stuff (say>150bpm 16th notes).

In general this is now our basic principle for testing movements :slight_smile:

Hey @tommo, thanky for the answer. Yeah the movement Troy show in the video I can do easily on 1 string, and also when I do a downstroke escape. If I find the time later or in the next days I will do a video of my downstroke escape.

The problem starts when I try to do an upstroke escape, with the same movement it feels blocked in the wrist.

What exactly you mean with the rest-strokes? Do you mean touching the lower string with the plek?

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@tommo Here is an example of how I do the downstroke escape. It feels quite easy and smooth. Literally for the right hand it feels like picking on 1 string and I think it should be like this. With the speed I´m fine for the moment. I still working on it a bit, but this is not in my focus.

The opposite right hand movement is a lot more challenging for me. In the meantime since yesterday I thought about your words of linear movement and I fully agree that my “try” of USX motion is not linear. The problem is when I do a linear movement it seems very hard to do the USX motion. Either I can´t do it fast, or It is absolutely out of control. My next task is to show you what I mean.

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Hey Benno, the DSX video looks good :+1:

Yep, for example if you pick the G string with a downstroke, you let the pick touch the B string and stop on it before coming back up for the upstroke. It can be a useful method to force more “linear” trajectories.

If you have time, it would be cool also to look at you playing some roll patterns (3 string chords and similar)!


To be honest, I never used roll patterns. What I can show you without any practicing is this simple E-Minor arpeggio. I guess you want to see it with alternate picking?


Hey @Benno, as far as I can see the 3 “crosspicked” notes (ascending 1 note per string) are well done, there is a good probability that these movements will work well for 3-string rolls and similar crosspicky patterns, if you ever want to try them. Of course the only way to know for sure is to… just try these patterns at tempo and see if they feel & sound good :slight_smile:

I know you are interested in the USX motion primarily, and I think on that front the advice remains that of rest strokes + the concepts in the “Start with Speed” video linked above. Another exercise can be to try completely different pick grips (e.g. a 3-finger Steve Morse thing, why not!), just to add variety and give you more chances to bump into a fast USX motion. Once you know how that feels it should be easier to recreate it with your normal grip.