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Welcome to the Pick-ipedia!

By July 31, 2020 August 16th, 2020 News

For a long time now, you’ve asked for an easy way to find and read about core Cracking the Code concepts, and we’ve delivered on that with a brand new section of the Pickslanting Primer: the awesome new Picking Motion section.

21st-Century Textbook

The Pickslanting Primer is Cracking the Code’s core instructional product for picking motions, and until now we’ve delivered it in a relatively conventional way, through video tutorials and guitar tablature. But we’re taking a big step forward with this new section, assembling all of the most important core concepts in picking motion in a multimedia format that’s only fitting for the type of camera-enabled citizen science that we like to conduct.

The new material includes easy-to-read one-sentence definitions and tons of slow-motion examples from our interviews, like this one illustrating how the amazing Andy Wood combines two different picking motions to play a scale:

You’ll also find a collection of awesome animated diagrams illustrating core picking motions, like this one for upstroke escape or USX motion:

Designed For The Web

If you’re a subscriber or if you already own a copy of the Pickslanting Primer, you can find all this great new stuff right here:

Alternate Picking Reference

Understanding the most fundamental skill in picking technique


Just keep in mind that the multimedia nature of this section of the Primer, and future sections like it, makes it a web-only affair. There’s just not any way to make a static, downloadable version of this material that would do it any justice at all. Trying to do that would be painful for us anyway, since we’re still adding more pages and video examples as we come up with better ways of communicating these tricky concepts. But never fear, these new pages work great in a browser or on a phone or a tablet, and we use them that way ourselves.

Pay less, Play More

Although the Pickslanting Primer is a product we sell, we made the deliberate choice not to completely paywall these pages. So the pages are readable by everyone, even if you don’t have an account on our site. Many of the video examples still require a subscription or a copy of the Primer to watch, which we think is fair. However, in many cases we’ve extracted key elements of those videos as animated GIFs that will play right in your browser, like this clip of David Grier’s awesome DSX motion:

Are we crazy to put all this out there? We don’t think so. If you stop by our forum you know that we offer advice to everyone in our “Technique Critique” section, whenever we can find the time to do it, paying customer or not. So this is an extension of that philosophy. In fact, many of the pages were designed specifically for those who are new to us and looking for answers, with helpful topics on how to identify different common picking motions:

Identifying Wrist Motion

The most common joint in picking technique takes many forms


If this means you’ll show up to “Technique Critique” already well versed in the concepts, you’re going to ask much better questions, and that allows us to give you much better answers.

So for now, just head on over to the Picking Motion section and check it out. If you have any questions, or find anything that we’ve missed, by all means, head over to the forum and comment on the thread linked to this post. We’re excited to make the Primer the best and most comprehensive resource for picking technique that’s ever been created.

Top Comments

  1. Avatar for Troy Troy says:

    If you’ve been poking around the Pickslanting Primer recently, you may have found your way to the new “Picking Motion” section. This is a new Wikipedia-style section covering many of the concepts that we discuss here on the forum, like escape motion, pickslanting, different joint / motion mechanics, and picking styles like economy picking, single escape picking, primary picking motion, and more.

    We’ll be adding more to this section over time to fill in some blanks but a good portion of the most important stuff is here already. Each core concept gets its own page and handy one-sentence definition at the top. This section will eventually have a few traditional lessons / tutorials for things like taking the table tap test, understanding what kind of escape motion you’re using, and more.

    We don’t have an index yet, but we’ll add one, so you can quickly look up which pages have the definitions you’re looking for. I’m not in favor of a “glossary”. Try explaning concepts like escape motion without some kind of diagram or better yet something that moves, like a video or animation — it ain’t easy. Once you start adding that kind of stuff, you basically arrive at what this section already is. So an index should be all you really need to locate the concepts you’re looking for.

    Notably, most of these pages are not paywalled. At least not at the level of the pages, so the textual material is readable by everyone. You still need a Primer purchase or subscription to play the videos, but you’ll notice that in lots of cases we’ve extracted animated GIFs of the good parts which should play right away, no login required. Once you’ve watched the videos, the GIFs are a great way to zero in on just the technical concepts and honestly they’re probably the ideal solution for this, business concerns aside.

    In general, we’re always trying to strike a balance between running a business and helping as many people as possible. The good news is that the more people you help, the better your business works. So these things actually work together much better than you might imagine.

    Let us know what you think of this section and if you have any other feedback.

  2. I love it! I fully retract my already rejected request for a glossary lol!

    My only feedback would be to make sure people can find this quickly and easily, especially from the forum. Maybe a link in the top box where you’re welcoming users to the forum? You’ve put some great work together here, let’s make sure people find it!

    It’s nice and visible on the home page of the site, provided I scroll down far enough to see the news feed. It would be cool if it had even more prominence, like maybe the menu nav. Thanks again for putting it together, it’s well done.

  3. Avatar for Troy Troy says:

    The trick here is this isn’t just one thing. These pages are just for picking motion, and there happen to be a lot of them — probably more so than in any other single section of the Primer. But notice there is no one-pager here about edge picking or the difference between leading and trailing edge grips, because those concepts are in the pick design and pick grips sections. Currently they are videos, so they have not received the wiki treatment yet. But they easily could, it’s just a matter of time. This took a ton of work. But we can do that, and the index link for “edge picking” would simply point the user there.

    TLDR the “link” people need is the Primer itself, and it’s the first clickable thing on the homepage. Maybe there is some very general way to make it more obvious that things can be looked up in the Primer, and that anything picking concept related should be searched for there.

  4. That’s a great addition! Now I desperately need some kind of progress indicator for the Primer, or just a “watched/not watched yet” status for the videos. It’s fantastic that the Primer is getting constantly expanded and updated, but I’m trying to “do” the whole thing and everytime I come back to it there’s something new! That makes it hard to keep track of where I am.

    I tried the bookmark feature but it’s not enough, especially if new sections are added in previous sections.

    I think I’m going to put together a spreadsheet to map the Primer so I never get lost again. :slight_smile:

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