USX wrist only with angle pad grip

Hey all, I am a little unsure of my usx motion, arm position and muting.

I recorded a video just playing on one string (my other hand holding the phone!)

So, I am trying to do USX with the angle pad grip and picking from the wrist only.

I am unsure if I am using too much supination? I have tried less but then my grip sort of morphs into an extended trigger or something similar.

I am also a little unsure how to mute the lower strings using this grip and arm position. I am resting on the bridge in this clip (I think), but I find it very difficult to rest on the lower strings but not the one I am picking on, if that makes sense…?

So basically, I just want to know if my USX motion is ok in this clip and that the supination isn’t too much? And if it is ok, how best to mute the lower strings than the one I am picking on.

Here is the link

Any help greatly appreciated!

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I would recommend experimenting with rotating the tip of the pick forward a bit (towards your nail / away from your hand).

I’m not sure what you mean. Do you mean more edge picking? Or do you mean a slightly positive pick point?
I’m not sure where to place my hand for muting of string noise :confused:

I believe it’s “slightly positive pick point”

Not much pointing forward:

About where I am, hope you can see the difference:

As far as muting goes, experimenting with moving your hand more onto the strings

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Ah yes, I see what you mean now thanks! I will keep this in mind.

I’ve been trying to do the USX in a slightly less supinated position than what is shown in my video. It does seem to naturally alter my grip, but maybe I should go with that…?
Although I am feeling a sort of garage spike issue on the lower strings for the upstrokes when I am slightly less supinated, which is odd, because I am actually using more edge picking than I am in my video… Maybe the slightly positive pick point could help with this…?

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I also have this kind of pick orientation, but like you (I think?) my primary motion is DSX. And probably our pickstrokes follow a roughly similar trajectory. I think for different kinds of motion you’ll need “different pick points”.

The basic test to do is whether the pick want to rotate or not. If the pick is happy to stay in place, then the pick point is correct.


I’m attempting USX with angle pad grip in the clip but I think that position might be a little too supinated…?
I’ve been trying to do a less supinated version but I can’t keep the pick in place at all, it goes positive until there is nothing left to pick with.
Today I’ve been trying the same USX motion with an extended trigger grip slightly less supinated, to see if I could get better control of the pick but it’s still practically spinning out of my hand.
Ugh, I think this is going to drive me crazy! :anguished:

I know this is going to sound paradoxical coming from the CTC team - but I would stop analysing for a second.

It sounds like you are constructing your picking from first principles, but in practice that doesn’t seem to work.

Let’s go the other way: what does your best tremolo motion look like? Get rid of any notion of what you would like it to look like. Just do your fastest (and easiest!) tremolo on your favourite string and let us have a look :slight_smile:


Hey, you are correct, over analysing myself is my worst enemy, to the point that I actually paralyse myself :rofl:

So I made a video doing fast (for me) tremolo, without trying to think too much about what I was doing and also not warmed up at all.

I’d be very grateful for any comments or suggestions as to how I can move forward and improve from here.



That looks like a great motion. Capitalize on that for now. It looks like DSX, that was my first motion, USX came later (in my case). Get used to DSX phrases…you will use them the rest of your life regardless of what other motion you develop.


I think @Thegent nailed it! That looks DSX to me too, and it looks pretty effortless. If you start playing syncronised lines consistently with this picking speed, people will call you a virtuoso :slight_smile:

So yeah, DSX lines is where I’d start too! A very common example of DSX line (and a good exercise to get started) is this “80’s shred” cliche:

--------------------5-7-8-5-7-8 etc.    

EDIT: don’t worry, you won’t be confined to DSX lines forever! You can later add the occasional upstroke escape (or double escape) to play more complicated patterns. That is exactly how Batio, Di Meola, Paul Gilbert, Vinnie Moore and many others play: primary DSX motion + occasional “secondary motion”:

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Thanks guys, you are life savers!
I will head on over to the DSX section and work from there. For now anyway, I would be more than happy to be able to perform one escape motion well! I do find it a little harder to do on the lower strings as I feel I lose a bit of the base of the thumb anchor, but I’m new to DSX so after some work with this maybe I won’t have that as an issue.

Practice resumes tomorrow, I need today off, I totally over stressed myself! :rofl:

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I see what you mean and have the same feeling! On a strat, when you pick the low E you can try to rest the thumb heel on the pickguard above the pickups (on the strat the pickguard is pretty close to the strings).

the body of your guitar is a bit “deeper” below the strings. But maybe you can rest on the pickups or something.

…and I know Troy gets great results by just resting on the bridge, so it should be possible to make that comfortable as well.

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Yeah, I can really feel the loss of that anchor point and then my arm really wants to pronate. I’ll experiment a bit with it and see how I get on.

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My arm feels like it pronates just a little when playing DSX on the bass strings too. Let it pronate if it means continuing with a smooth result.


Yeah I wouldn’t mind if it pronates just a little bit but I’m finding it quite difficult on my guitar as the body is quite far from the strings. My arm feels like it wants to heavily pronate as I’m losing the thumb heel anchor.
Maybe if I just practice on the higher strings for now? Or try practice on the low E, keeping the pinky heel anchor for that reference point and trying to keep the arm lightly supinated?
At the moment, I can’t play fast on the low E or A due to the loss of the anchor and the arm wanting to turn way back.
It should be doable though as I’m almost certain I’ve seen Al Dimeola play on a Gibson style guitar which would be similar to mine, I think… I am very well aware that I am not Al Dimeola though! :rofl:

I had that issue too - I could shred but just not the low E and A lol…exacerbated by the fact that I play a Les Paul.

Something I eventually did was work on decreasing the angle of the pick escape…I think the primer shows something like ‘10 degrees’…I just eyeballed it and worked on reducing that angle as there was room to do it without bumping into the string. Once I was able to do that, I found hitting those low strings as I wanted to improved. I may have been able to shift my anchor point for those.

I did find I could hit the lower strings on my tele easier gvien my hand slightly pronated and the anchor point could rest on the body…since then I’ve taken to switching up my guitars for a session or two just to ensure the variety is there as I develop.

TLDR; Try reducing the angle of escape and shift anchor point for the low strings. Also try other guitars that support your current technique.

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Ah cool so you managed to get to a point where the low A and E weren’t a problem on the Les Paul anymore?
My two main guitars are Gibson style, one is an actual Gibson and it’s equally as difficult on both! I do have a strat, but I have not played that in so long, when I pick it up now, it’s like someone just asked me to play a harp, may right hand doesn’t know where to go :rofl:

I’m hoping I can make it work on the Gibson style bridges. I might work on the D to high E strings for sequences etc and also separately work on just playing the low E to see if I can get that going fast and smoothly for now!

Di Meola is a great example of what you could try to imitate!

Try to have a look at some of Al’s footage with a Les Paul, like these — maybe you’ll get some ideas. But once again - don’t micromanage! Get the overall idea then go for it and try to make it comfortable by trial and error :slight_smile:

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That strangeness can help with training your hands. Switch it up for a day (it’s humiliating for sure) - I usually find some improved coordination when I get back to my ‘home’ instrument.

Switching up picks too…use a super thin pick for 30minutes…you would be surprised that you actually adjust to it and can make it work - then you end up with more control with your usual pick.

TLDR; variety in guitars and picks helps break barriers.