Which secondary motion?

Hi CtC experts. I have been playing for 20 years and started to really focus on the learnings from the picking primer recently. My primary motion is rotation/wrist combination which I am feeling pretty comfortable with. I can play lots of Yngwie style licks which feel comfortable also. I was wondering what DSX motion would best compliment my wrist/rotation motion for rock licks that require a mix of both escapes? Who here uses wrist/rotation as a primary motion and what do you use for a helper/secondary motion. Just so I know with my setup which secondary motion would be most accessible so I can start tremolo practice and then go from there.
Thanks in advance :+1::guitar::fire:

I play forearm and wrist. I don’t tend to do string changes where a downstroke is the last note on a string when descending, as I’d have to flip my forearm to be able to do so.
To me it feels cumbersome and it’s very unreliable accuracy wise, for me at least. A sneaky pull off or refingering is what I’d do. Ascending downstrokes can be swept which is handy!

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I actually don’t know the accepted answer to this. Who do we see with a USX forearm/wrist blend that does mixed escapes? It could be that I’m not thinking of the right primary motion since there are a few wrist forearm blends. Are we talking gypsy style? That is where my brain went and I can’t think of anyone in that setup that does mixed escape. I’d bet thumb/index-finger would be a candidate though

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I also would like to know this just so I have a ballpark idea of what to aim for! I can do it in my own playing but it doesn’t feel particularly comfortable yet :thinking:

Inside picking feels more like I use a larger bit of forearm rotation on the downstroke. Outside picking I don’t think I do that well, feels like a mix of forearm rotation, wrist flexion and maybe thumb motion but I probably miss the upstroke 35% of the time and it feels a bit harder to do.

Either way, when I play in this style I tend to generally avoid using secondary motion and reconfigure licks with economy and legato :slight_smile:

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USX players generally play USX lines. It’s like a language where you internalize the motions and after a while you learn to play and improvise in that style without thinking about mechanics or what works and doesn’t work. As @joebegly is pointing out, this is especially true if the USX player has a very “USX”-y form, like Gypsy players or Doug Aldrich. Players in those physical styles use those setups and mostly stick with them.

If your goal is to play phrases like 3nps scales, 1nps arpeggios, or similar, and you want to do it with alternate picking, then the best approach is to choose a technique as a starting point that we already know to be capable of this. Wrist motion (several forms) is common. Even elbow motion can serve as a starting point since players like Vinnie Moore and Bill Hall do plenty of complicated picking, including 1nps arpeggios, by incorporating bits of wrist motion in a semi-conscious way.

Also, shout out to two-way economy styles. They can accomplish lots. These techniques typically start out as wrist or even elbow but end up incorporating lots of different joint motions — again, subconsciously. Oz Noy (lots of elbow) and Frank Gambale (wrist and fingers) are great examples.

In summary:

Don’t try to “choose” specific mixes of joint motions. I know we have filmed these things and we talk about them, but that’s a little misleading. Something like a “secondary motion” is such a small-picture detail that most players don’t even know they’re doing it. Those types of choices get made mostly automatically by your motor system.

Instead, just choose an overall technique as a starting point. From there, play the phrases you want and learn the motions semi-consciously as a result of that. If your current technique looks like a forearm USX player, then just leave it at that.

For more tips on overall techniques you can use a starting point, these new Primer lessons cover some of the popular ones:

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