Upward swiping in DSX?

Hi guys,
we have seen many example of swiping while USX, the more popular being the Paul Gilbert Intense rock I thing:

So i was practicing the reverse, in DSX, to see if I can do it:


and it works ok…
Can you give me some example of famous players who use it? I can’t think about any of them…

So DSX and USX refers more to which direction the pick escapes the plane of the strings. Whether the lick starts with an up stroke or down stroke can either be relevant or irrelevant depending on which motion you naturally use to escape. If your downstroke fans away from the guitar body, that’s DSX, if your pick pushes towards the the body on a downstroke it’s USX although you used downstrokes both times.

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With swiping the main thing is that it’s done on outside string changes. You just have to plan accordingly if you’re doing USX or DSX. You wouldn’t need to flip the pickstrokes (unless you want to). This would also work


 D      U      D (swipe) U      D      U


 D      U      D     U(swipe)   D      U

For whatever reason, I have a harder time with the DSX version, even though I’m better at DSX motions than I am with USX

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What I’ve noticed with swiping that particular lick or just in general whether you use a DSX or USX is that the timing can get skewed pretty easily. I don’t know if it’s because the brain processes the swipe as an extra note, or what the deal is, but that’s my experience with swiping in general. In my experience it’s a pretty hard concept to do well, because I always hear some extra something there that I perceive shouldn’t, be it a muted noise or harmonic that throws the timing off.

Interesting observation. I know the way Troy laid out swiping is that in the players that seem to do it the most ‘naturally’, there isn’t any awareness. It would be neat to explain it to someone like Paul Gilbert and see if it throws his playing off at once he realizes he’s doing it lol!

Been a Artistworksstudent for many years so I’ve had the privilege taking lessons from Paul. We all know him to be an awesome player/alt picker but when it comes to things like ascending/descending 4s (3nps) he just takes the legato escape hatch. “to much twisting/turning” I remember his own words were - so I think he relies heavily on what he knows - and what works for him…

So i def. think he would be thrown off… =)


Paul is for sure aware of what’s easy or harder for him to pull off and play. Although the exact mechanisms behind why he may not be totally aware of, or has dissected in a such a way Troy has. You can also see that in how his playing has adapted over the years using much more legato. He won’t bother with the hard way anymore sort of in the way MAB relies more on economy picking these days. Even in the time span between the first intense rock, and terrifying guitar trip, there’s a striking enough difference in his approach.

I think @Johan_Runesson is right that if you were to point out to Paul that he is indeed hitting the string on his way back up to it, it may drive him nuts, or maybe not, maybe he knows, and is the reason he stresses the use of first finger fretting hand muting. Something to ask him if anyone ever gets the chance.

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Right that is my point, the swipers don’t know they swipe :slight_smile: I’ll bet the one who’s day it would really ruin to hear he’s a swiper is Al Di Meola lol!!! He’d be devastated since he’d probably consider it cheating.


I should say that he’s one of my biggest influences in terms of wanting to get better at my instrument. Gives me the right to poke the occasional fun at his ‘absolute’ way of approaching picking, which really bugs me.

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I’m not an Artistworks student, but I’ve seen stuff on youtube where Paul says something to the effect of “I don’t alternate pick as much as people think I do.”

John Petrucci may not be aware of swiping, but he has the self awareness to be candid in interviews about how he had this type of rigid mindset in the past re: “cheating” and has tried to leave it behind.

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Tru dat - but I firmly believe as stated earlier - nowadays he uses much more legato than younger days - 2 reasons I’ve heard him mentioning: 1. Tonewise - he likes the more fluid sound 2. Fatigue - doing heavy touring he’s stated his fingers get weary after many nights playing like “scarified” “technical diff” etc he normally relies on the EVH system D HO HO UDU for like overlapping 6 and so forth.

Intense rock 1 mainly has picked stuff, excerpt for stringskipping or “fury lick”…

I’ve heard people say the same crap about sweep arpeggios and economy picking, which honestly are not that easy to do, and considered more advanced because they both require good coordination between both hands to sound good.

The only thing I really consider cheating is using some programmed effect to do it for you.


Is swiping “cheating” or simply a means to an end? I am of the opinion that it’s just a string crossing tool…
Or is the consensus here that swiping is cheating?

I mean - say what you want about Paul, but good 'effing luck to any of you who want to play and learn the intro solo to his “Intense Rock I” video. He sounds great, end of story. I take lessons with him at his artistworks page also, and he is currently way more interested in melody and tunes than technique but make no mistake; he can still shred it up as good (or better than lol) as anyone. And Al Dimeola? Good lord… that guy is an absolute beast at picking also if he is “swiping” it in no way detracts from his musicality or his ability…

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I doubt anyone here considers swiping cheating. I think the point made was that Al DiMeola would consider it cheating.

Well, I’ll ask Paul about his swiping in my next video exchange - we’ll see if it drives him nuts…

The other point made is that people who use swiping likely don’t realize they are even doing it. And most people not familiar with the CTC language likely won’t know what swiping even is. These are all observations and terminology Troy drove into the limelight. Swiping wasn’t really a “thing” until Troy coined the term.

:grinning: Maybe they don’t realize they are doing it, does it matter? How does Paul sound? Pretty damn good. Al Dimeola? Pretty awesome. Whatever methodology these guys are employing whether it’s conscious or intuitive, the music they create is amazing end of story. Just my opinion; These guys are elite. And honestly, Paul’s use of “swiping” is pretty much inaudible when in the context of one of his firebreathing guitar solos. Maybe it’s something we should practice and learn actually…

I read through the thread, kind of reads a bit negative to me, that’s all. I had to post something on the side of Paul and Al. But hey that’s cool maybe I’m mistaken and it’s all in the name of research - rock on.


Thank you for the many replies, but I probably was not very clear with my question, I was looking for some examples of swiping “going towards the lower strings”, what my second example, the DSX one, is about.
I think it’s much harder then the first example to find it applied …

No need for defense here. I doubt there was anything negative intended, and most of everything that’s posted on this sight I can guarantee is either supportive or research based or pure observation. Nobody here has any problem with what method is used - that’s the whole point of the site, exploring them and trying them in our own playing.

The only thing mentioned was the fact that people found it funny that Al DiMeola might be put off by the fact that he himself swipes. Because he has a very strict ethos regarding picking technique, and is on record with having fierce opinions on it.

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Yeah, sorry for the thread derailing. Troy’s actually talked about plenty of examples that follow the pattern in your second example:

Also, the very lick you cited (i.e. the “Paul Gilbert” lick) is played this way by Paul himself. He plays this with DSX (formerly known as Upward Picklanting) exactly how I’d tabbed it in a previous post

In fact, you can even hear the light harmonic on the 12th fret of the b string when he plays it.

So I’d say the thing you’re looking for happens really often but in DSX players. They aren’t necessarily needed to engineer the pattern to start on an upstroke. They definitely swipe towards the lower strings.

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