Pickslanting and escapes

Hi: Am still trying to improve my picking and have spent time on Troy Grady’s Pickslanting webpage. Kinda seems most of his stuff is directed to real fast playing. Saw alot of info I didn’t know existed. Do you advanced guys worry about and practice “downward’ or 'upward” escapes? As an intermediate/beginner player that’s more info than I wanted really.

Hello Harry,

Yes, I’ve been practicing alt picking, as a dedicated, structured practice item for several months now; including work on pick slanting, escape techniques etc. I wouldn’t consider it at all to be only in the domain of fast playing or shredding.

Troy Grady is too over the top for me; too OCD when it comes picking, and sucks much of the ‘feel’ out of it. Dont get me wrong; I think he’s got some brilliant stuff. Just an opinion.
Recently, I’ve been learning mainly via a coursebook from an Aussie guy called Chris Brooks. Works for me.

The great overall benefit I’m finding with trying to ingrain and automate this stuff is the impact it has on my timing and accuracy, and how it feeds into economy, hybrid picking etc. My main playing styles is Blues, and these methods are proving very fruitful.
I find I have to be very purposeful and robotic at first to eventually get to a point where things become more fluid and automatic.
I also find when learning say, a fast, tricky section of a solo, planning on how I’m going to be pick it is as important as the notes I’m playing. The above practice helps out a lot in these situations, as I’m more mindful of having that next string in a direct pathway.

Cheers, Shane

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Hi Harry -

Like @sclay I am also working on this stuff, but trying to find some sort of balance. I think there is definitely value in an ‘in/out’ picking style, but I have come to the conclusion that unless you want to shred constantly then it’s not worth going too far down the rabbit hole. To get to Troy’s level you will need to analyse every line, decide whether to start with an up or down, when to skip strings or pull off/hammer on. For me the cost/benefit of that level of thinking isn’t there. I’m focusing on trying to get a good slant so that I pick in/out on the whole, combined with solid alternate picking and my general rule of thumb is to down pick on the beat.