Cracking the Code members, our latest release with jazz and Gypsy swing wizard Olli Soikkeli is here! Olli Soikkeli’s tasty vintage stylings wouldn’t be out of place at a jazz age lawn party with linen suits and coupe glass cocktails. But when he fires up his 21st-century alternate picking technique, you’re about to take a ride in a DeLorean time machine of jazz guitar.Read More
Man, it’s rough out there right now! There’s a lot going on in this country, and we at Cracking the Code wanted to do something to help in whatever small way that we can.
On the one hand, we’re facing a viral invader that simply won’t take no for an answer, and on the other, the spectre of systemic racism that we still struggle to vanquish. Both have impacted our country in significantly real and material ways. The virus in particular has delivered a one-two punch in poorer communities, and specifically communities of color, where long-standing economic disparity has made worse health outcomes an unfortunate reality and an especially impossible challenge this year in particular.
So we decided to see if we can get some cash into the hands of COVID-affected families, and also families of color who need it most right now, especially since these two groups often overlap in poorer urban areas. So for the week starting on Juneteenth, or Friday June 19th, we’ll be donating all revenue from our store to GiveDirectly, a very cool online platform that facilitates electronic cash payments directly to needy individuals.Read More
The Magnet, our custom designed guitar mount for smart phones, is currently speeding toward the successful conclusion of its Kickstarter campaign. If you haven’t yet checked out the project, now’s the time! As of this writing, you have about five more days to get in on the first batch of these liberating little devices, and unravel the mystery of your own technique.Read More
The amazing David Grier returned to Cracking the Code for a second meeting, and that interview is now live on the platform! At just over an hour, it contains 31 musical examples, including a handful of David’s trademark beautiful full-song playthroughs. It was an awesome conversation on a sunny summer day where we learned some fascinating things about his creative and mechanical process. This includes a valuable peek into David’s higher-speed mechanics that we didn’t get the first time around.Read More
Is it important to use a consistently small amount of pick on the string? Design pioneer Floyd Rose thinks so, and he’s designed a guitar with precisely this challenge in mind.Read More
The forearm is one of the most important joints in all of picking technique. And in the newly updated Forearm Motion section of the Pickslanting Primer, we’ve rolled out over one hour and forty minutes of in-depth, hands-on tutorials for getting its many superpowers working in your own playing.Read More
Our Cracking the Code interview with the legendary Albert Lee is a great example of why it’s important to go out and gather raw data with an open mind. You can only really see what you know, and at the time we did this interview, we “knew” what downward pickslanting was — or at least, we thought we did.Read More
It’s one thing to know about chords and harmony, and another thing to access that knowledge on an actual guitar. Unlike sight-reading approaches, which are designed for quickly locating specific pitches on the fingerboard, guitar improvisation relies on a system of shapes that work in any key.Read More