About Cracking The Code

At Cracking the Code, we apply evidence-based methods to musical teaching, to help guitarists master technique and unleash their creative freedom.

We are known for our innovative teaching of picking technique. Prior to Cracking the Code, it was not widely understood that elite players optimize their musical vocabulary to match their choice of escape motion, or string-switching joint motion. The technical explanation for this, and how to do it in your own playing to increase smoothness and accuracy, were simply not part of mainstream guitar teaching.

Our pioneering use of slow-motion video to film world-class players was the first systematic attempt to understand and categorize the different picking motions they make. Along the way, we created many of the concepts and terminology that are now used by players the world over to understand and perfect their own picking technique.

Our History

If you’ve spent any time searching for answers about picking technique, you’ve probably run across terminology like escape motion, pickslanting, stringhopping, edge picking, swiping, and more. All of these were created by us to describe fundamental form, motions, or techniques that were not widely addressed in mainstream instruction, and in some cases, never even seen up close until we filmed them. Learn how these breakthroughs came to be:

Cracking The Code: Our History

How Cracking The Code Came To Be


World-Class Instruction

We didn’t stop at research. We’ve used everything we’ve learned to create simple and effective methods for diagnosing your own technique and learning new ones. On the site, you can dive into our instructional products like The Pickslanting Primer, our core instructional guide to learning picking motions, and watch our longer-form Seminars on specific musical topics:

Pickslanting Primer

Cracking the Code's guide to learning picking motions



In-depth multi-chapter investigations of select musical topics


World-Class Conversation

You can also watch dozens of interviews with world-class players and researchers. Our musical interviews are filmed in revealing slow-motion video and documented with exhaustingly detailed transcriptions in Soundslice:


Conversations with elite players and researchers


World-Class Feedback

Subscriptions also include Technique Critique, a collaborative review of your playing by our team of instructors. Our unique team-based approach to teaching mechanics applies our collective experience and data gathering to the problem of making you better:

Technique Critique

Get personalized feedback on your playing from instructors and community members


The forum is free, and filled with a wealth of playing and experience and knowledge. All you need is a basic account on the site:

Great! How Do I Get Started?

Products like the Primer, Seminars, and Interviews are available via subscription or download. The download version offers lifetime free updates, as well as lifetime access to the web versions of all these products. But the web versions are actually the better versions. They include reference sections unlike anything in any other instructional product, that mix printed content, video clips and images that aren’t technically possible to download. They also contain additional features like timestamped tablature examples powered by the awesome Soundslice player.

A Cracking The Code subscription offers unlimited access to all this amazing stuff, including all instructional products and interviews. When you’re ready to dive in, check out our signup page: