The ProblemDespite fifty years of rock guitar and nearly eighty years of jazz guitar, only a small fraction of players have ever
here. (8.92MB Quicktime)developed truly virtuosic technique. This low percentage of guitar masters is at striking odds with other areas of music study. While almost any conservatory can produce a pianist capable of nailing Chopin's Revolutionary Etude, how many guitar students anywhere have mastered Yngwie's I'll See The Light Tonight? Or Steve Morse's Tumeni Notes? Or Django Reinhardt's Nuages?
The reason is that guitar mechanics are not well understood. The cause is the anecdotal, unstandardized, and largely unscientific nature of guitar instruction. Ask ten accomplished shredders, jazzers, or bluegrassers how they hold their picks, and you'll get at least ten answers. What's been missing is an objective investigation of what constitutes efficient guitar playing, and how celebrated masters actually achieve it.
Missing that is, until now.
The InvestigationIntroducing Cracking the Code, a first-ever documentary of picking technique. Cracking the Code is not simply a compendium of performance footage. Nor is it a collection of licks demonstrated by masters. It is a unique ShredCam software slows the footage down for further scrutiny.
The SolutionRemember those movies in science class of bullets shattering apples in slow motion? Or droplets exploding into unusual coronas as they pierce the surface tension of a glass of milk? ShredCam footage is similarly revealing. It turns out that there's a good reason master players don't often agree on what constitutes correct technique: they're not
Rusty Cooley tearing it up on a sevens-based lick. (9.33MB Quicktime)and cleanly. This is also the reason why so-called "average" players have difficulty replicating the performances of virtuosos, even after years of practice.
In other words: There's a trick to it. A bunch of them. The guitar was designed to be picked with your fingers, not a little plastic wedge. The difficulties this creates are significant, and naturally gifted players instinctively employ a range of methods to overcome them. Some of these methods, like sweep picking, have become mainstream. Others have never been noted or explained before now. Cracking the Code will describe how they work.
UpdatesCracking the Code is still in production, and there is much more yet to come. There will likely be numerous additions to both the cast and structure as work progresses. If you'd like to receive emails with movie updates, click the mailing list link above and enter your email address in the box provided. Your address will not be used for any purpose beyond sending update notifications from this site, and you can unsubscribe at any time.