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Season 2 Arrives!

The season premiere unlocks the secrets of Yngwie's technique

By July 24, 2014codenews, News

Cracking the Code, Season 2

8 episodes and 2+ hours of groundbreaking technical insight. The Season Pass gets you:
Ad-free, HD downloads of all 8 episodes
Tablature from our episodes and features
Your choice of 1080p or 720p files
Special video downloads, like slow-motion footage of our new “Down Around the World” series
And to catch you up, we’ll even throw in a Season 1 Pass for free!

UPDATE: The Season Pass is now the Pickslanting Primer! Learn more here:

Cracking the Code Pickslanting Primer

We’re launching Season 2 of Cracking the Code, and with it, a truly groundbreaking exploration of picking technique.

Throughout history, great players — much like great athletes — have worked their magic by feel rather than by analysis. These gifted geniuses rely on mechanical optimizations to do things with picks and strings that they themselves may not even be aware of. In Season 2 of Cracking the Code, we’ll dive deep into what those optimizations are, and how they work.

Along the way, we’ll elaborate, for the first time, a complete system for advanced picking that unites a vast roster of all-time great players. Season 2 follows the thread that connects Yngwie and Eddie Van Halen, Eric Johnson and Albert Lee, Shawn Lane, Michael Angelo Batio, John McLaughlin, Steve Vai, Rusty Cooley, Al Di Mieola, Paul Gilbert, and so many more. It’s going to be an amazing ride.

The complex overlap of the masters' preferred picking styles.

SHARING IS CARING: It’s a Venn diagram world out there, and you and I are just trying to get a slice. Hey, Rusty, leave some for the rest of us!

We’re really excited to release Episode 1, “Get Down for the Upstroke”. The episode is over 20 minutes long, produced in our signature style with custom animation and in-house soundtrack production. It ties together many of the investigative threads from Season 1 to arrive at one of the most fundamental concepts in advanced picking: downward pickslanting. Along with chunking, downward pickslanting forms the foundation of Yngwie’s technique, and powers his neoclassical innovations by enabling effortless string changes, repeatable and accurate picking movements, and flawless hand synchronization.

Preorders and Production Details

If you visit the Season 2 page, you’ll notice a fresh coat of paint. In addition to more detailed episode descriptions and a killer Season 2 Preview video, we’ve eliminated the daunting preorder counter at the bottom of the page. For those of you who have been following for a while, that deserves a bit of explanation.

Views, subscribers, minutes watched — our numbers keep on climbing!

MOVIN’ ON UP: Views, subscribers, minutes watched — our apologies to Gato Maru, but we’re eating into your airtime buddy!

We’ve received over 100 preorders for Season 2 at this point. As many of you have surmised in emails to us, this is not a number that comes close to covering our production costs. But in combination with the enthusiastic response the show has received (almost 150,000 YouTube channel views in the last three months!), it’s a heartening indication that there are many of you who value what we’re making, and really want to see our show continue.

So we’ve decided to go ahead and produce and release the first episode of Season 2. While this partly a way to promote the show as widely as possible, it’s also much more than that. We know the promise that even this single episode holds for your own playing. And we started this show not just to make a buck, but to make a difference. So far it seems to be working. Season 1 was a nostalgic and fun flashback to a golden age of years past that resonated strongly with many of you. (Thank you so much for burying us in thank-you notes!) But we’re really just getting started. Season 2 has the power to completely transform the way you play, and we really wanted to start that conversation now, no matter what.

What’s Next?

FRAME THROWER:  The latest prototype of our high-speed camera phone mount.

FRAME THROWER: The latest prototype of our high-speed camera phone mount.

In addition to the Season 2 premiere, we’ve got a few other publicity and funding ideas cooking. Very soon you’ll be reading about us in a major guitar publication, in a two-part profile of the show and the Season 2 techniques in particular. We’re also weighing the option of a Kickstarter campaign for the show, which we may decide to pursue depending on how the next couple months unfold. And we’re hard at work developing an awesome guitar camera mount, which we think will be a home run for anyone who’s ever attempted to understand their own playing technique. We’re in advanced prototype stages and are learning about how to launch full-scale production on this innovative device. It’s been super useful to our own production, and we want to get one into your hands as soon as we can.

All that being said, if for any reason we’re unable to deliver the remainder of Season 2, rest assured you’ll absolutely get a full refund. But our ideal plan — and hopefully yours too — is to figure out how to get the rest of the show produced.

Some of the legendary players who apply downward pickslanting.

GET DOWN WITH THE FAMILY: The vast adoption of downward pickslanting throughout history and across diverse musical styles makes it the largest branch of the plectrum family tree.

As you know, it takes about a month of intense focus to produce each one of our episodes. It’s a huge amount of work, but we think the results are worth it. In Season 1, we built a production pipeline that allowed us to air episodes every two weeks, while production continued behind the scenes. Production overlapped our broadcast schedule so that the season finale aired just as we finished it. In similar fashion, we’ll need to take a few months off to build the Season 2 pipeline, so that we can start airing episodes at regular intervals. When we come back, you’ll be able to watch the rest of the series straight through, just like we did in Season 1.

The premiere episode of Season 2 represents a treasure trove of mechanical breakthroughs. Indeed, the techniques of legends like Yngwie, Eric Johnson, Shawn Lane, and so many others are built almost entirely on its foundations. You could spend an entire playing career exploring the wealth of creative possibilities these techniques afford.

We hope you enjoy the season premiere as much as we enjoyed creating it for you, and we look forward to taking this exciting journey together.


  • Andrew Autin says:

    Awesome work Troy….I look forward to the new episodes…your lessons are brilliant. Thank you.

  • Justin Armstrong says:

    I can’t help but be a little nervous the season won’t complete, but hopefully some media will help spread the word.

  • Daniel Ford says:

    \m/ oh yeah… \m/

  • Peter says:

    Awesome first episode of Season 2….such a little detail….such a big difference.
    Really appreciate all the work and effort that has gone into making the Code a reality, looking forward to the rest of the series.

  • Dalton Landers says:

    Best episode yet Troy – thank you!

  • Joaquín De Ferrari says:

    I know you’ll be successful, keep it up!!

  • Lorne Carter says:

    Another amazing effort by Troy and his team!!!! Great job educating and inspiring in such a creative way. Love the tidbits you can’t learn anywhere else.

    My wife doesn’t like guitar rock, but she enjoyed season 1. Good luck and God Bless……

  • Mark Myszko says:

    Troy – You can keep my $20 even if you don’t complete all of season 2. Episode 1 was great!

  • Jack says:

    Episode 1 of season 2 was very very good, i am now a very happy jack with a season 2 pass!
    Will there be tabs and stuff for the episodes just like in the M.A Batio archive? (The clarity of his playing is btw breathtaking!)


    • Brendan Schlagel says:

      Glad you enjoyed the premiere episode, Jack! And thanks for supporting the show. Yes, we’ll continue adding tabs and other cool special features for Season 2 Passholders. In fact we just sent out an update with a tablature pack for S2E1 — should give you some good material to practice!

  • Jonas Åberg says:

    any news when complete season 2 is available?

  • John says:

    If I pay the 30 bucks now, will I be able to download all the episodes of season 2 today? Or do I have to wait for them to be released and the season progresses? Awesome job, by the way.


    • John says:

      “and the season progresses” -> “as the season progresses” duh!

    • Brendan Schlagel says:

      Hi John — the first two episodes are available today, and the third (on Eric Johnson) is coming soon. We also have extensive download packs (with slow-mo video and tablature) for the first three episodes available for download. Thanks 🙂

    • Troy Grady says:

      Hi John! No – Season 2 is rolling out one episode at a time, like Season 1 did. The Eric Johnson download pack is already available as a download for Season Pass folks, and the episode will show up soon afterward, and so on. We’re getting them out as fast as we can, but it’s a ton of work and we don’t want to cut corners.

      • John says:

        Hi Brendan, Troy

        Thanks for answering! Awesome. I’ve been thinking of getting a season pass for a while now. The only thing that’s been stopping me is I’m stuck on Episode 1 (Season 2). It totally blew my mind and I’ve been doing a lot of practicing and not a lot of TV watching. Big thanks for putting that out. I will get a season pass eventually, cos I want to support you guys.

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