Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Posts 1 to 50 of 57
  1. #1

    User Info Menu

    Just got a Pick Stick (-there's a current thread on the device, started by geese_com): The Pick Stick - Guitar Phone Mount

    When I watched myself for the first time I saw how badly I "string hop".

    So today I'm going back over notes and visuals re: DWPS by Troy Grady and others who have posted on the subject.

    Anyone else have string hopping woes they have tried to to uproot?

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes

    Anyone else have string hopping woes they have tried to to uproot?

    I wasn't aware of all these things until Troy started making his vids some 6-7 years ago.

    Luckily it's not massively complicated. If you lock yourself into constant downwards pickslanting then you have no problems with ascending lines. When there is an even number of notes on a string then going to the next you can just alternate pick, while if there is an uneven number then you just sweep going to the next string (that is if it's the one just below your current)

    But descending lines or lines that skip a string .. If you have an uneven number of notes on a string then the last note needs to be some sort of legato .. Either a pull off or a hammer on, else your pick gets buried.

    Yngwie plays like this, Eric Johnson does too .. and plenty of others.



    Some but not many players like McLaughlin (as far as I remember) are locked into a constant upwards pickslant, which means you need to reverse the above.

    And finally many players fiddle and change pickslant in the middle of playing allowing them the best of both worlds.

    Like in this lick


    Have fun Mark!

  4. #3

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    I wasn't aware of all these things until Troy started making his vids some 6-7 years ago.

    Luckily it's not massively complicated. If you lock yourself into constant downwards pickslanting then you have no problems with ascending lines. When there is an even number of notes on a string then going to the next you can just alternate pick, while if there is an uneven number then you just sweep going to the next string (that is if it's the one just below your current)

    But descending lines or lines that skip a string .. If you have an uneven number of notes on a string then the last note needs to be some sort of legato .. Either a pull off or a hammer on, else your pick gets buried.

    Yngwie plays like this, Eric Johnson does too .. and plenty of others.
    Thanks, Lobomov.
    I agree that it's not massively complicated. However, for me it has been like breaking other bad habits (-or cultivating better ones): when I focus on it, all goes well enough. But then I lose focus and revert to the old way.

    Having the footage of my own playing helps. I'll add some more with "proper technique." One thing I've noticed about DWPS is that it feels different in my shoulder. It's not painful, just different. There's a shift in how the shoulder is positioned and that facilitates a nice DWPS approach. But it's hard to keep from referring back to, um, SOW (-shitty old way!) ;o)

  5. #4

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    I agree that it's not massively complicated. However, for me it has been like breaking other bad habits (-or cultivating better ones): when I focus on it, all goes well enough. But then I lose focus and revert to the old way.

    Having the footage of my own playing helps. I'll add some more with "proper technique." One thing I've noticed about DWPS is that it feels different in my shoulder. It's not painful, just different. There's a shift in how the shoulder is positioned and that facilitates a nice DWPS approach. But it's hard to keep from referring back to, um, SOW (-shitty old way!) ;o)
    I realized that I'm naturally an upwards pickslanter ... and it's still what I'll do around 60-70 percent of the time left to my own devices

    But I did make an effort to learn how to play strictly DWPS (we're like in 2014/15) ... Mostly cause it allows you to play harder and gives that old school whacking blues/rock sound .. Also great for acoustic playing btw.

    It took me 6 months to not care whether I play one way of the other .. I prefer UWPS, but don't care either way and will change to DWPS if I need a bore biting sound
    Last edited by Lobomov; 02-21-2021 at 06:31 PM.

  6. #5

    User Info Menu

    I used to try to do economy picking, which I adopted after getting a Jimmy Bruno video some years ago. Last year I became familiar with Troy Grady's stuff, and suddenly realized why I was having trouble. You have to make a different kind of motion to jump over a string than the straight linear motion for the D-D or U-U mini-sweeps, and that can be confusing. Which is why Frank Gambale's method tries to game the system by using even or odd number of notes per string, depending on if you're changing directions or not.

    The two-way pickslanting recommended for economy seemed impossible to master, so I sought a different way. I was skeptical of the DWPS stuff. Again, some special demands on the left hand to accommodate the right...even notes per string, slurring, etc. So I latched onto what Troy calls a cross-picking motion to do alternate picking. Making a swinging pendulum motion to have the pick escape from the strings on every stroke. It ain't bad. Very consistent motion (alternate picking after all). I suppose I could do a more linear motion when NOT changing strings, but again, it's less confusing to make the same kind of motion on every single stroke.

    BUT...while it certainly seems the most capable way of "picking anything", what bothered me is not the lower speed cap it may have, but that it is a very taxing motion, and has less connection to the strings. I call it a high-wire act. In continuing to experiment with downward pick slant and rest strokes, I discovered I was falling in love with the relaxed, connected-to-the-strings feeling. It didn't hurt to learn that the likes of Joe Pass had used this style. (Piano was my first instrument, and I was an Oscar fan, so I certainly was a fan of Joe too; but I never really looked into his picking technique.)

    So that's where I am right now. With DWPS, economy picking works very naturally ascending. Descending you have to use workarounds, but you have multiple choices: alternate, gypsy, slurring. I usually just go with alternate. Basically there is just one kind of string change where this is an issue: going from a down stroke to an up stroke on the lower string. In this one case, I have to make what Troy calls a secondary motion to jump the string. I've been training myself to recognize when I'm about to go to a lower string on an upstroke and, surprisingly to me, this is working pretty well.

  7. #6

    User Info Menu

    OK a few thoughts as a long time DWPS player (10 years) who is getting less DWPS all the time

    - DWPS is EASY to teach and relatively easy to master, and that's brilliant.

    - I think I was always quite lucky. No-one ever tried to teach me pick technique, and I think I always had a good instinct for recognising what sort of motions and movements could be sped up easily, and which couldn't. I have relearned my right hand a few times, which is a good exercise lol.

    - There is still a lot of mystique about the whole thing. Frankly, many teachers are trying to teach a topic they don't understand.

    (In general, many instrumental teachers simply pass on the way they learned, warts and all, particularly in the case of methods they learned from a beloved teacher, where it can be quite personal and emotional.)

    - Never try to learn technique from a player who is unhappy with their technique. Most players aren't happy with their picking on a basic level.

    - Furthermore or a lot of players who are happy with their right hand don't really know what they are doing, or worse still feel they have to teach it 'properly.'

    - My golden rule as a teacher is - if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I don't teach DWPS to everyone. If someone has found a good solution, I let them carry on with it. (Thomas Regelski suggests music educators should adopt a sort of Hippocratic oath.)

    - Techniques that are appropriate to shred/rock are not always appropriate to jazz. (This is also true of the left hand.) In jazz we need consistency, for example, of tone, tempo and articulation. In shred, it's more about optimising the max clean 'ceiling.' Obviously the best 'shred' fusion players do both, but it's not what I think of when I think of EVH etc.

    The shape of the music is different too. Less long scale runs, multi octave arpeggios and repeated figures, more tight, awkward to finger combinations, string skips and rapid chopping and changing between scales, arps, leaps and so on. This requires a different mindset to technique.

    - What constitutes a good rock tone is also very different to a good jazz tone, even when you disregard gain, effects and so on. Picking stance and position has a massive bearing on this.

    - Using different muscle groups for up and down strokes is rather important. I learned to downstroke with my arm and upstroke with a wrist rotation. This is much easier to make into a fast motion than using the same motion for up and down strokes (Troy touches on this in his more recent videos)

    - As a teacher, I think teaching downward rest strokes alone is often enough to revolutionise people's string crossing abilities.

    - If you do DWPS, I find crosspicking rolls DDU is an important technique for bop lines that isn't often discussed. This is not in the Gypsy Jazz school, but many Nashville cross pickers use DWPS or UPX (I don't like Troy's use of the term crosspicking to refer to a technique, I find that confusing.)

    - I am now adapting DWPS by quite simply incorporating a straightening of the pick and a slight movement out from the plane of the string that allows me to play UUD upward cross picking rolls. This is very important for some bop heads. This allows me to move away from some of the limitations of strict DWPS picking.

    I think this secondary motion might be what timmer is talking about?

    - In Troy's terms I am moving from DWPS to Upward escape (UPX) picking. My basic pick stance is unchanged, but I have more movements I can do to increase the flexibility, including more alternate picking if I need. Mike Stern is an example of someone who's playing is based on these mechanics for pure alt picking.

    - I also use slurs like timmer. They sound better to me anyway than using all picking; I do them ascending too.
    Last edited by christianm77; 02-22-2021 at 06:53 AM.

  8. #7

    User Info Menu

    Used the Pick Stick. First attempt to "shoot myself" downward pick slanting.

    Not trying to play fast. Trying to stop the hop. Baby steps...


  9. #8

    User Info Menu

    I always appreciate your open-minded approach Christian. I catch myself being very rules-based, which can be self-limiting. The banjo roll is a good example. "I should be doing UDD UDD, since I am economy ascending, alternate descending." But as you say, DDU *does* feel better to me. Probably because it is easier to make the big jump across multiple strings going TO a down stroke.

  10. #9

    User Info Menu

    I'm no expert Mark, but it looks like maybe your down strokes are pulling away from the guitar, which doesn't seem very much in the DWPS style. I.e., the more expected thing is to sink into the strings (rest stroke if taken to the extreme). This may be where you perceive unnecessary movement.

    One thing that troubles me if I use too much pick slant is unintentional muting. I tend to curl my other fingers up into my hand, not have them splayed out against the strings or body like you. I don't feel like I have enough freedom of movement with the other fingers sticking out. But then, I only use a subtle pick slant, so avoiding unwanted muting isn't that big a problem.

  11. #10

    User Info Menu

    Mark, are you aware of the playback speed adjustment in YouTube. Click the gear icon on bottom right and change speed to .25. I just did, it's much easier to see what's going on.

  12. #11

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by timmer
    I'm no expert Mark, but it looks like maybe your down strokes are pulling away from the guitar, which doesn't seem very much in the DWPS style. I.e., the more expected thing is to sink into the strings (rest stroke if taken to the extreme). This may be where you perceive unnecessary movement. .
    Thanks, Timmer.

    I see what you mean, esp in the final example, a sequence exercise. Definitely not a rest stroke!
    But there was less hopping and that was the goal for today. Next time, less 'pulling away'.

  13. #12

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by fep
    Mark, are you aware of the playback speed adjustment in YouTube. Click the gear icon on bottom right and change speed to .25. I just did, it's much easier to see what's going on.
    No, I wasn't aware of that.
    I have a Slo Mo feature on my phone but (AFAIK) it only works when the camera is shooting out the back of the phone. Trouble is, if one mounts the phone this way (on the Pick Stick), there's no way to start and stop the video because that button can't be reached.

    I'll email the seller about this. There may be something I don't know. (Well, there's obviously a LOT I don't know...)

  14. #13

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Thanks, Timmer.

    I see what you mean, esp in the final example, a sequence exercise. Definitely not a rest stroke!
    But there was less hopping and that was the goal for today. Next time, less 'pulling away'.
    Mark, I possibly have the worst picking technique on the planet, and it doesn't come easily to me at all, so take this with a grain of salt.

    but I think your DWPS will drastically improve via working on rest strokes, as someone mentioned above. At the moment it seems you're trying to hop "less", rather than not at all. Practice a simple chromatic pattern, four notes per string, and really stress that downward rest stroke. Super slowly. You'll notice the difference immediately in how that stroke feels and sounds to what you're doing at the moment.

    It it may not solve your picking woes but it'll correct that dwps thing .. which is a useful tool to have, if for no other reason than the difference tone it yields.

    this is worth what you paid to read it, LOL

    cheers

  15. #14

    User Info Menu

    Adding the rest stroke.
    Short video, simple exercise.
    Initially, my fingers are resting on the pickguard. Later, I raise and curl them. The volume immediately increases and the tone seems better. (Though I'm not plugged into an amp, so there's not much in the way of tone to begin with.)

    Thanks to all for the comments and suggestions. It means a lot.


  16. #15

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Adding the rest stroke.
    Short video, simple exercise.
    Initially, my fingers are resting on the pickguard. Later, I raise and curl them. The volume immediately increases and the tone seems better. (Though I'm not plugged into an amp, so there's not much in the way of tone to begin with.)

    Thanks to all for the comments and suggestions. It means a lot.

    Looking good, that's a good angle. Really going into the guitar on the downstroke and coming out on the upstroke. Textbook!

    I might be mistaken, but I think I'm seeing some tension creep in as you speed it up.

    A suggestion:

    Try making your upstrokes differently from your downstroke. This might sound a bit weird, but it looks at the moment like you are making both these movements with a wrist rotation. Unless I keep a very loose wrist, I find this can really lock up.

    Try instead to make a straight down movement, from your forearm. Exaggerate at first.

    Reserve wrist rotation for the upstroke.

    The human body does not in general want to alternate movements - forward and reverse - with the same muscle group. Use different ones and you should start to see that tension disappear.

    Secondly, this is not as simple an exercise as you might think.

    I find alternation on one string like this is MUCH harder than playing a line across the strings. In fact I would say it requires a different use of muscles. Which is to say the why I do a tremolo or a fast alternate picking chromatic scale along one string requires a different type of movement to the one I normally use.

    You may find it easier to play actual lines, scales and arpeggios etc.

  17. #16

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by timmer
    I always appreciate your open-minded approach Christian. I catch myself being very rules-based, which can be self-limiting. The banjo roll is a good example. "I should be doing UDD UDD, since I am economy ascending, alternate descending." But as you say, DDU *does* feel better to me. Probably because it is easier to make the big jump across multiple strings going TO a down stroke.
    Yeah my natural inclination is to play alternate descending. But I do practice UUD because it is a useful move to be able to do. Particularly in bop lines with fast but short descending arpeggios of which there are an annoyingly large number.

    I have no idea why DDU works well. But it does.

    It works great with string skips too. Check out Chico Pinheiro's left hand.


    Watching him now, he is naturally a DWPS picker, but you can see how much he flexes from the smallest joint to micro-position his pick for combinations not facilitated by vanilla DWPS. But when he plays the arpeggios he is pretty straight.

    I think Chico's technique is a good model for DWPS picker who want to be able to play more diverse stuff other than gypsy jazz etc. Also his tone is really great.

  18. #17

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Looking good, that's a good angle. Really going into the guitar on the downstroke and coming out on the upstroke. Textbook!

    I might be mistaken, but I think I'm seeing some tension creep in as you speed it up.

    A suggestion:

    Try making your upstrokes differently from your downstroke. This might sound a bit weird, but it looks at the moment like you are making both these movements with a wrist rotation. Unless I keep a very loose wrist, I find this can really lock up.

    Try instead to make a straight down movement, from your forearm. Exaggerate at first.

    Reserve wrist rotation for the upstroke.

    The human body does not in general want to alternate movements - forward and reverse - with the same muscle group. Use different ones and you should start to see that tension disappear.

    Secondly, this is not as simple an exercise as you might think.

    I find alternation on one string like this is MUCH harder than playing a line across the strings. In fact I would say it requires a different use of muscles. Which is to say the why I do a tremolo or a fast alternate picking chromatic scale along one string requires a different type of movement to the one I normally use.

    You may find it easier to play actual lines, scales and arpeggios etc.
    Thanks, Christian!

    Straight downward motion from the forearm, eh? That will take some doing for me. AFAIK, I only use the forearm for strumming. (I could be wrong.)
    The upstroke is definitely a wrist rotation. No question about that.
    I was trying to use wrist both ways.
    Back to the drawing board!

    One thing I'll do today is play tremolo on a single string as fast as I can and film that, just to see what I'm actually doing when I'm playing as fast as I can. (I used to do tremolo exercises when working through a Sal Salvador book---he emphasized the tremolo.)

  19. #18

    User Info Menu

    And don't forget, gravity is doing half the work for you on the down strokes!

  20. #19

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Thanks, Christian!

    Straight downward motion from the forearm, eh? That will take some doing for me. AFAIK, I only use the forearm for strumming. (I could be wrong.)
    The upstroke is definitely a wrist rotation. No question about that.
    I was trying to use wrist both ways.
    Back to the drawing board!

    One thing I'll do today is play tremolo on a single string as fast as I can and film that, just to see what I'm actually doing when I'm playing as fast as I can. (I used to do tremolo exercises when working through a Sal Salvador book---he emphasized the tremolo.)
    There's actually not much different between strumming and the downstroke of gypsy technique. Nor all DWPS picking is gypsy technique of course.

    But OTOH I wouldn't be too downhearted, because actually what you are doing is already probably going to be an improvement. It's not back to the drawing board, it's just about refining the movements you make.

    Please bear in mind tremolo is a DIFFERENT mechanic, and you need to use pure wrist rotation. That takes some getting used to stop the wrist from simply locking up and going a bit spasmodic. I was a good Gypsy Picker for a couple of years before I mastered tremolo.

  21. #20

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    There's actually not much different between strumming and the downstroke of gypsy technique. Nor all DWPS picking is gypsy technique of course.

    But OTOH I wouldn't be too downhearted, because actually what you are doing is already probably going to be an improvement. It's not back to the drawing board, it's just about refining the movements you make.

    Please bear in mind tremolo is a DIFFERENT mechanic, and you need to use pure wrist rotation. That takes some getting used to stop the wrist from simply locking up and going a bit spasmodic. I was a good Gypsy Picker for a couple of years before I mastered tremolo.
    Christian, you're right about the different mechanic. I realized that when I worked on tremolo picking this morning. A different animal. Worth learning but not a priority right now and NOT the same thing as what I'm trying to get down. One damn thing at a time, amirite?


    I suppose I need to find some lines / patterns that work best with DWPS. For all the work I've done on picking over the years, I've never been careful about focusing on lines that are set up for certain kinds of picking. (I just want to play lines I already like faster, and those are mainly Herb Ellis lines.)

    By the way, how would you describe Herb's picking technique?
    Here he is with Kessel doing "Tangerine." They played well together but their picking is very different. Barney whacks the strings harder!
    Around :45 there's a good view of Herb's picking. (As good as can get with a camera shooting from in front of him rather than down the neck.) He certainly doesn't get caught between strings and he's not hopping around but I'm not sure what exactly he's doing. (We see his hand but not the pick...)


  22. #21

    User Info Menu

    Great points about the different muscles and mechanics needed to execute a good tremolo and Gypsy picking. I take lessons with Stephane Wrembel, and we've spent the past few months really working on Minor Swing, like REALLY working on it. That tremolo bit at the end is turning out to be the most difficult piece of the entire solo, because it is a different technique (the triplet run after it is also a bit of a bear). Christian is spot on, it takes a lot of time to really master it, which means just that run on Minor Swing is part of my daily practice routine. Stephane said a couple weeks back I had made a noticeable improvement. Still sounds glitchy to me. I've also spent nearly the last year with him breaking down my technique from an anchored picking hand into a floating hand, so I need to give myself a bit of credit. Not a lot, but some.

    Music is this beautiful thing precisely because it can't be mastered.
    Last edited by JSanta; 02-23-2021 at 05:31 PM.

  23. #22

    User Info Menu

    Oh that run on Minor Swing is a beast. I think I'll leave that to the real GJ players lol.

  24. #23

    User Info Menu

    The thing is with Django, he does those continual little deft tremolo chromatic runs ALL the time, like an ornament. Duved Dunayevsky does them a lot, naturally.

  25. #24

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Oh that run on Minor Swing is a beast. I think I'll leave that to the real GJ players lol.
    It's borderline infuriating watching Stephane casually blow through some of those passages, but I respect the years and years of practice he has put in to make it look effortless. Your other point references the frequency of which Django used those chromatic runs almost as a point of ornamentation, which means you need to learn to do them to sound somewhat authentic.

    I'm also playing the solo with two fingers, which also demonstrates (to me) not only how brilliant Django was as a composer and player, but his deep musical understanding. Incredible technician, absolutely, but it was his mastery of musical vocabulary that strikes me time after time. Django tells you everything he's going to do in the solo during the first three chords (Csus2 to Am).

  26. #25

    User Info Menu

    Maybe it depends on the song they're playing, but I would definitely prefer to emulate Herb's quieter right hand. Wonder how often Barney would break a string!

  27. #26

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Adding the rest stroke.
    Short video, simple exercise.
    Initially, my fingers are resting on the pickguard. Later, I raise and curl them. The volume immediately increases and the tone seems better. (Though I'm not plugged into an amp, so there's not much in the way of tone to begin with.)

    Thanks to all for the comments and suggestions. It means a lot.

    That's it. Maybe also try it with a bit more on the edge of the pick, i.e. edge picking slides across the string more easily. It looks like the pick gets hung up just slightly, more so on the up stroke (I watched in slow motion).

  28. #27

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Christian, you're right about the different mechanic. I realized that when I worked on tremolo picking this morning. A different animal. Worth learning but not a priority right now and NOT the same thing as what I'm trying to get down. One damn thing at a time, amirite?


    I suppose I need to find some lines / patterns that work best with DWPS. For all the work I've done on picking over the years, I've never been careful about focusing on lines that are set up for certain kinds of picking. (I just want to play lines I already like faster, and those are mainly Herb Ellis lines.)

    By the way, how would you describe Herb's picking technique?
    Here he is with Kessel doing "Tangerine." They played well together but their picking is very different. Barney whacks the strings harder!
    Around :45 there's a good view of Herb's picking. (As good as can get with a camera shooting from in front of him rather than down the neck.) He certainly doesn't get caught between strings and he's not hopping around but I'm not sure what exactly he's doing. (We see his hand but not the pick...)

    After watching the close up shots at 25%, Herb looks like he is using DWPS/USX (upstroke escape). His upstrokes take his pick above the plane of the strings and his downstrokes take the pick towards the body of the guitar. I also noticed some rest strokes. There were also down-up-pulloff lines when he would play 3 notes on one string.

  29. #28

    User Info Menu

    I struggle with the idea of DWPS and economy picking. I can and do use it but I'm thinking it sure would be nice to use a Molly Tuttle type of technique where she escapes on both upstrokes and downstrokes.

    I like this as a picking exercise (right hand of this piano excerpt only, first note on the 4th string 7th fret 3rd finger). Play on the 5th position for the A section and 4th position for the B section. Strict alternate picking so that measure one starts on a downstroke, measure two on an upstroke, every measure alternates that way. For me that is the only way I can get it uptempo. This would be so hard with DWPS and rest strokes.
    Attached Images Attached Images DWPS: downward picklslanting-blue-rhondo-jpg 

  30. #29

    User Info Menu

    u-d u-d u-d u-d-d
    u-d u-d u-d d-u-d
    u-d u-d u-d u-d-d
    d-d-u d-u-d u-d-d

    And similarly for the other four bars.

    Notice the double-down I did going from the end of the third line to beginning of the fourth, i.e. from the G to the F. Snuck in some gypsy. Could do alternate, but sometimes beginning with that down stroke just seems crisper somehow.

    Seems fairly straightforward for DWPS. I guess the key is making sure to do the high/low string pairs with up/down.

  31. #30

    User Info Menu

    Oh I also wanted to comment, there is no *requirement* to do rest strokes with this style. Just depends on the situation and desired effect.

  32. #31

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by timmer
    Maybe it depends on the song they're playing, but I would definitely prefer to emulate Herb's quieter right hand. Wonder how often Barney would break a string!
    I've wondered that too! He really does whap the strings. Not just in this video. And he seems to hit a bunch of them sometimes even when playing single lines----his left hand muting must come into play there.

  33. #32

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by geese_com
    After watching the close up shots at 25%, Herb looks like he is using DWPS/USX (upstroke escape). His upstrokes take his pick above the plane of the strings and his downstrokes take the pick towards the body of the guitar. I also noticed some rest strokes. There were also down-up-pulloff lines when he would play 3 notes on one string.
    Herb does a good bit of pulling-off. I hear it in his playing. I never thought much about from a mechanical POV. (I mean, I know how to do pull-offs, but I never thought much about doing a pull-off in order to make a string change smoother. This may be why I struggle with certain passages...)

    Here I am playing one of Herb's 8-bar phrases over rhythm changes (the A section). I've known this line for some time, so I'm NOT playing it with any thought of which stroke I switch strings on or anything like that. It's taken pretty slow just so I can see what the heck I'm doing and maybe figure out what I need to do better.


  34. #33

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by JSanta
    It's borderline infuriating watching Stephane casually blow through some of those passages, but I respect the years and years of practice he has put in to make it look effortless. Your other point references the frequency of which Django used those chromatic runs almost as a point of ornamentation, which means you need to learn to do them to sound somewhat authentic.

    I'm also playing the solo with two fingers, which also demonstrates (to me) not only how brilliant Django was as a composer and player, but his deep musical understanding. Incredible technician, absolutely, but it was his mastery of musical vocabulary that strikes me time after time. Django tells you everything he's going to do in the solo during the first three chords (Csus2 to Am).
    That sounds proper. Maybe I’ll get back in Django at some point and that sounds like a good thing to do. I did a few of his solos and it’s always amazing what he gets up to. A very progressive player harmonically as well...

  35. #34

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    That sounds proper. Maybe I’ll get back in Django at some point and that sounds like a good thing to do. I did a few of his solos and it’s always amazing what he gets up to. A very progressive player harmonically as well...
    I think you're a very accomplished musician, revisiting the Django stuff is nice to delve into different harmonic territory and open up new ideas. I don't have near the skill/knowledge level you do as a musician, but it never hurts to learn some Django

  36. #35

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by JSanta
    I think you're a very accomplished musician, revisiting the Django stuff is nice to delve into different harmonic territory and open up new ideas. I don't have near the skill/knowledge level you do as a musician, but it never hurts to learn some Django
    Thanks and, yes, I totally agree. It’s all there in the work of your favourite musicians.

  37. #36
    I'd just like to bring up the fact that pickslanting is now deprecated terminology within the system Troy uses for analysis.

    There's a thread on his forum where he explains how he categorises things now: One-page explainer on playing scales with alternate picking — overview of what we know! - Playing Technique - The Cracking the Code Forum

  38. #37

    User Info Menu

    I like that Troy has evolved his ideas over time and as he learns more.

  39. #38

    User Info Menu

    As I understand it all DWPS are UPX players, but not all UPX players are DWPS players. Troy seems quite keen to clear up this confusion between DWPS/UPS as he actually answered one of my comments about in on his YouTube channel. Obviously his ideas are revision constantly, but a lot of his older ideas are in circulation among guitar players.

  40. #39

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow of the Sun
    I'd just like to bring up the fact that pickslanting is now deprecated terminology within the system Troy uses for analysis.

    There's a thread on his forum where he explains how he categorises things now: One-page explainer on playing scales with alternate picking — overview of what we know! - Playing Technique - The Cracking the Code Forum

    It's just a question of putting the horse in front of the cart of the cart behind the horse in my humble opinion.

    Old terminology:
    If you use use one of these two tecniques (DWPS,UWPS) then at this point in time your pick is going to be buried or escape the strings. If it is buried then you're forced to use some sort of solution (Sweeping, Swiping, Hammer-on, Pull off).

    You can combine these two and switch mid sequence (two-way pick slanting), but that can get awkward at times or you can choose a technique that never gets buried like cross-picking, but those come at a cost of lower maximum speed.


    New terminology:

    At this point in time you're going to perform an upstroke (or alternatively a downstroke). If you want to be able to change strings without any obstacles then you need to choose a technique that is UPX. Your possibilities are (insert UPS picking styles)


    New vs. old

    The strength of the new terminology is that it focuses on escaping the strings, but has the alternative solutions as secondary (sweeping, swiping, hammer-ons, pull-offs).

    The old terminology was more practical or player based and thus ended up with the alternatives to string escaping on the center stage.


    The only reason to prefer new terminology is that you don't risk getting the impression that you need to look yourself into a DWPS style or similar. Troy's Cracking the Code was 100% DWPS focused and had a lot of players going "FUCK I'm slanting my pick wrong .. I need to relearn everything!". Now the different techniques be it pickslant or what not are offered like a tasty buffet.

  41. #40

    User Info Menu

    True about the lingo change. And in my own efforts to use DWPS/USX/whatever, I quickly found myself backing off the intentional, aggressive forward lean of the pick. Mainly because I was having trouble avoiding muting the playing string with my middle finger.

    So I'm using a close to neutral pick slant, close to what I've always used in the past, and find that clearing the strings on the upstrokes still works just great. On electric for sure. If I ever had to play more acoustic, I suppose I might want to dig in more.

    We just need a catchier phrase to refer to this general technique.

  42. #41

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    As I understand it all DWPS are UPX players, but not all UPX players are DWPS players. Troy seems quite keen to clear up this confusion between DWPS/UPS as he actually answered one of my comments about in on his YouTube channel. Obviously his ideas are revision constantly, but a lot of his older ideas are in circulation among guitar players.
    It's USX: UpStrokeXscape. ;o)

    I agree that once can be a DWPS player without being an USX player. I like the USX motion. That seems most natural to me. I think it's what I was actually doing before---years ago---I tried to "fix" my picking! I did have bad habits but they had more to do with hand position (--I DID "string hop"---too much Keith Richards visual influence in my youth???) than with actually picking.

    But I think DWPS is good for me too. It really cuts down on the wayward hand motions to which I long was prone.


  43. #42

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow of the Sun
    I'd just like to bring up the fact that pickslanting is now deprecated terminology within the system Troy uses for analysis.

    There's a thread on his forum where he explains how he categorises things now: One-page explainer on playing scales with alternate picking — overview of what we know! - Playing Technique - The Cracking the Code Forum
    I pasted that into a Word document and printed it for ready reference.

  44. #43

    User Info Menu

    You could always try to do all these options at once, a la Mark O’Connor ?

    Login • Instagram

  45. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    As I understand it all DWPS are UPX players, but not all UPX players are DWPS players. Troy seems quite keen to clear up this confusion between DWPS/UPS as he actually answered one of my comments about in on his YouTube channel. Obviously his ideas are revision constantly, but a lot of his older ideas are in circulation among guitar players.
    Not necessarily - analysing Andy Wood's playing is what got Troy to reconfigure his lingo, and he realised that even with a pronated wrist (what we'd think of as DWPS) you can do down-stroke escape pickstrokes by using wrist extension and flexion.

  46. #45

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadow of the Sun
    Not necessarily - analysing Andy Wood's playing is what got Troy to reconfigure his lingo, and he realised that even with a pronated wrist (what we'd think of as DWPS) you can do down-stroke escape pickstrokes by using wrist extension and flexion.
    Good point. It’s actually what I’m trying to do for things like 26-2 which are flatly unpossible with Dwps

  47. #46

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    It's USX: UpStrokeXscape. ;o)

    I agree that once can be a DWPS player without being an USX player. I like the USX motion. That seems most natural to me. I think it's what I was actually doing before---years ago---I tried to "fix" my picking! I did have bad habits but they had more to do with hand position (--I DID "string hop"---too much Keith Richards visual influence in my youth???) than with actually picking.

    But I think DWPS is good for me too. It really cuts down on the wayward hand motions to which I long was prone.

    I still think UPX makes much more sense than USX.

  48. #47

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I still think UPX makes much more sense than USX.
    To eech his oan.

  49. #48

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Good point. It’s actually what I’m trying to do for things like 26-2 which are flatly unpossible with Dwps
    If push comes to shove, there is no legato to help you or anything ... Can't you just swipe?

  50. #49

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov
    If push comes to shove, there is no legato to help you or anything ... Can't you just swipe?
    I don’t think I really know what that is.

    Does that help with descending triad figures?

  51. #50

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I don’t think I really know what that is.

    Does that help with descending triad figures?
    Oh descending triads in DWPS ... That's challenging to say the least


    It was tongue in cheek, tho serious enough ... A swipe (not to be confused with a sweep) is just ignoring string hopping and picking right thru the string that is in the way. Some players will mute this strings (mainly the rock crowd like Michael Angelo Batio) and some don't give a f... (Acoustic players like late 70s Al Di Meola when he was playing with McLaughlin and Paco, but someone like Paul Gilbert will do it unmuted too )

    4 min vid


    24 min vid


    Edit: I doubt that it is useful for descending triads in DWPS tho, but knowing that it exist is fun
    Last edited by Lobomov; 02-27-2021 at 03:10 PM.