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New Cracking the Code Video: “Guitar Anatomy” — and a report on our progress

By November 16, 2015 September 13th, 2018 News

New Video: Guitar Anatomy

We’ve just updated the Cracking the Code Season Pass with a new video — a feature called “Guitar Anatomy: The Four Fundamental Movements”.

As we’ve gained a better understanding of how guitar technique works on an anatomical level, we’ve learned how important it is to be able to identify the component movements and describe them with precision. This video breaks down the must-know technical terms for arm and wrist motions in guitar playing, to make sure we’re all on the same page in talking about how our playing works.

We also thought it would be cool to make posters from these movements, so we’ve included a pack of five high-res images in the Season Pass! The four individual images should be good for prints up to 20 inches wide, and the poster with all four is perfect for up to 24 x 36 inch poster size.

Expanding the Season 2 Story

We’re making some big changes to the Cracking the Code Season Pass. The story format of the show was a great place to start, but as our work has evolved, we’ve found that many things no longer fit. In particular we’ve been learning a lot of amazing new stuff in Masters in Mechanics that simply doesn’t have a place in our original chronological story.

At the same time, Masters in Mechanics has also been growing. The more interviews and documentaries we do, the closer it gets to a Netflix-like experience of diving into a whole library of amazing topics and players in any order you like. But you shouldn’t have to read every book in the library just to figure out how basic techniques work. As a result, we’ve had a lot of you ask if we can type up some kind of PDF summary of the techniques we’ve covered so far.

Well, we think we can actually do even better than that.

Amping Up The Season Pass

Wouldn’t it be great if there a way to take all the topics from the original Season 2 script, as well as all the nuggets of wisdom we’ve extracted from all our Masters in Mechanics investigations, and store them in one conveniently organized reference? That’s what we think the Season Pass can be: everything about picking technique, collected in one place. A “Pickipedia”, if you will.

What this means is we’ll still be including all the original Season 2 topics like the techniques of Shawn Lane and Michael Angelo Batio, but we’ll be able to add much more: the elaborate sweep and two-way pickslanting techniques of Marshall Harrison and Jimmy Bruno; the crosspicking techniques of Steve Morse, Albert Lee, and the bluegrass masters; insights on speed training from our upcoming interview with world record holder John Taylor; and all manner of anatomical and motion mechanic references, like “Guitar Anatomy”.

It sounds like a lot, but much of this is work we’re already doing. And now we’re going to have a great new way to summarize it all. Not only that, but by breaking from the strictly chronological structure of the original story, we can make these videos smaller and more topic-focused, and we can add them more frequently.

Of course, the full-length interviews and investigations will stay in Masters in Mechanics for those who want to dig even deeper. But the bottom line is that the Season Pass will perform a function that even Masters in Mechanics subscribers need, allowing us to create a convenient, one-stop reference for all our fundamental knowledge about picking technique.


“Guitar Anatomy” is the first step in this new direction. Our next video will be our feature on Michael Angelo Batio and two-way pickslanting. This was originally slated as Season 2 Episode 6, “Antigravity”, so, yes, we’re skipping ahead here! This is because two-way pickslanting for scale playing is the most important technical topic we haven’t yet covered in the Season Pass, and we want to get to it as soon as possible.

And again, by breaking free of the strict chronological order of the story, we’ll be able to include actual material from the Batio interview, which hadn’t even happened yet in the original Season 2 script.

All Aboard!

Right now, Season Pass holders will find the “Guitar Anatomy” video and poster images near the top of the Season Pass file list, alongside “What is Stringhopping?” and the chapters of the DWPS Pack. As soon as we can, we’ll debut a new structure to match — we plan to implement a “folderized” hierarchy to make it easier to navigate all the material.

We’ll be the first to say that it’s taken longer than we’d like to figure this all out — not making the videos, but the bigger question of actually figuring out how to organize it all and how the two products should relate to one another.

Cracking the Code is definitely a work in progress, and we’re learning as we go. If our goal is to collect the world’s knowledge about guitar technique, well, that’s not really a thing that ever ends. But our commitment remains to improve everything we do, one step at a time.

We’d like to thank you for your patience and support. We’ll have more to share soon!