What do you do to minimize string resistance?

I suspect that if somebody has reached a top speed with significant pick contact they might be able to go even faster with less (contact)

I can’t recall if you were able to post a video of that… if not, consider posting it.

Yes, my question would be, “could he be even faster?” But I think he has passed the line of “fast enough,” so why change?

I don’t feel that’s true, I was experimenting with 140bpm 16th note triplets last night which is out of my current comfort zone and my attack was exactly the same

This suggests to me that your motion is the issue. As guitar players we like to obsess over the smallest details but the vast majority of problems I’ve seen people have on this forum are down to an inefficient motion


Hey, you have made a few threads now about the same issue, getting stuck on the upstroke, but I can’t recall you posting a video…? If you can do that, you could have the cause of this issue diagnosed pretty fast!

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Diagnosed nearly instantly.

Otherwise everyone is guessing and answering questions about what to do with flawed and incomplete answers.

It’s like asking a dentist to diagnose tooth pain and prescribing a solution over the phone. It ain’t gonna work.

Tom Gilroy took perhaps two minutes to diagnose my motion issues. The fix is simple - but making it automatic will take time.

Others are more qualified to say why - but a light touch isn’t the answer. That treats a symptom and not the core issue. Which is probably quite minor.

I’m connecting with the string WAY harder than ever. Yet playing more smoothly and quickly.


Interesting, here’s the same video but on youtube so I can slow it down.

If I slow down that middle section (where he already slows it down) I don’t know if I’d say any of these pick strokes look like “a lot” of pick going through the string. Though, that may be relative lol! What is “a lot” anyway?

Here are some stills, right as the pick hits the string:

That’s about as close to the tip of the pick as you can get without missing the string

Here’s an upstroke, a little more pick depth (is it a lot???)

More interesting yet, there is definitely more resistance on the upstrokes though. The strings get stretched. This is a split second later on that same stroke:

Here’s another upstroke. Boing!!!

I don’t see anything like that happening on any of Troy’s down strokes.

They all look just like this: It’s not immediately obvious but that is the last frame I could lock in prior to the pick cutting through the string. No visual indication of the string getting stretched

I can’t speak for him, but we know everything he does at this level, he describes as feeling “easy” or “smooth”. My guess is because he plays with a lot of power. Whether that string stretches or not is probably something he’s not feeling. But it clearly looks like the upstrokes are “sticky”, as compared to the down strokes.

I can do a DWPS/USX form similar to this, and even though the pick depth is shallow, on all the “rest” strokes it does look like the pick goes deep, because the part of the pick that rests on the string is way higher than the part that cuts through the string. That’s likely because the pick is slanted.

Like everything I post, who knows if any of that is correct lol! That’s my perception of it though.

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I recently tried changing my picking style to what Troy shows in the Pickslanting Primer. Kinda going at a diagonal down into the guitar body and following the diagonal back up. I did not get caught on the string on the upstroke once.

But when I tried to pick faster then I had some bumpiness. It’s when you go faster is when the problem presents itself.

Don’t know if I can post a video. My neighbor who helped film me last time I think she has some issues or something.

If you can’t post a video, then try watching yourself closely, in a mirror if you have to. It’s not the speed that’s the problem but most likely something with the technique that is changing when you try to increase the speed. This is normal if it’s an unfamiliar motion. Other muscles are going to want to activate. If that also activates a different joint/trajectory, I can see where you could encounter the sticky-ness. Still, like others have said, these are guesses without seeing what you’re doing.

To me that’s not a lot of pick but quite the opposite. To me it is a small amount of pick with a hard attack.

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In my experience if you dig in deep you need more force and obviously will get a loud sound, but still you can play fast.
If you hit the strings with just the very tip of the pick you will of course need less force and get a smoother sound.

My tip would be to just let the very tip of the pick stick to prevent you from diggin in to deep. This should prevent you from getting stuck behind the string.

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@joebegly @Andjoy ha! I love that we are a scientifically minded community and put ideas to the test :slight_smile:

Here is a frame I managed to get from youtube where I think the pick has just started contacting the string. It may not be “the most pick” ever used :D, but it seems significantly more than the mantra “just graze the top of the string” suggests:

I can also provide an homemade example soon, where I’ll try to have a lot of pick on the string intentionally.


357 mag - picking motion experiments - Technique Critique - The Cracking the Code Forum (troygrady.com)

Here are a few videos I posted in the past. I don’t know if they are still relevant. I’ve been constantly experimenting.

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You just photoshopped that to make me look silly, didn’t you??? :crazy_face:

Joking aside, yep that looks like a decent amount (I might even say “a lot” :slight_smile: ) of pick on the string. I suspect that like those upstrokes that were tugging on the string, his non-light-picking (lol) makes it work. I didn’t film it or anything but I did intentionally try digging in with this form and as long as I kept the attack decently powerful, it still felt ‘good’ and I didn’t really perceive the resistance.

Looking forward to your demo!

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Right, I remember that. Looks like I commented on it a lot. I watched your videos there again and still think the tremolo that was elbow based had the most potential.

Is there anything you’ve come across in your experiments that can go as fast/faster than that, with the consistent attack we heard in that elbow tremolo video? Either way, same advice as before. Get a fast motion, learn hand sync on a pattern that stays on one string, then work on changing strings after downstrokes (unless you’ve since found a USX motion)

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Well lately I’ve been trying to pick at a diagonal. Down at a diagonal into the body of the guitar and up the same way I came down. It seemed to work pretty good at a slow to medium tempo, but when I tried to go much faster I had some stickyness.

Of course one problem with playing music on all instruments is that often times there is one specific part of the lick or passage that is more difficult to execute and thus you can’t play that as fast as the rest of the lick. I ran across this same problem when I was studying piano.

You can only play a lick as fast as the hard part. Because you don’t want to play the first six notes quite fast but then you have to slow down when the hard part comes.

I’ve heard myself play three notes on a single string quite fast like the beginning of a G Major scale, G-A-B. But usually what comes after that causes me to slow down.