Getting Started With Cracking The Code

Thanks for choosing Cracking the Code! If you’re here to level up your instrument technique, you’re in the right place.

You’ll need to make an account to access most of our stuff, but you can start off with a free account if you like. This lets you browse our instructional content and get a sense of how everything works. It also gives you full access to our forum, including playing advice from our community of friendly and highly technical players. To get rolling, join here, or if you already have an account log in here.

Site Overview

If you’re new to Cracking the Code, here’s a great overview of what we do:

Important Places

The Dashboard is your user homepage on the Cracking the Code site. Start here to check out your viewing history and bookmarks, upload videos of your playing for Technique Critique, and view and edit your results on Cracking the Code tests.

The site homepage is the main directory of all our interviews, lessons, and seminars. If we’ve filmed it, you should be able to find it with only a few clicks from here.

In your account you can edit your contact information, email address and password, easily start and stop your subscription, and locate your downloads

Finally, the Cracking the Code store is where you can sign up for a membership, or purchase any of our downloadable interviews and lessons

Finding Your Purchases

If you have any previous Cracking the Code purchases, you’ll be able to access those downloads in your account. You can still view your purchases and downloads even if you’ve downgraded to a free account for the time being. We’ve made it as easy as possible to turn on and off your subscription as you need.

As the owner of a Cracking the Code product, you also have free access to its online version. These versions contain extra features which are not possible with downloads. This includes:

  • Detailed timelines with clickable links between musical examples, right inside our interviews and lessons
  • The awesome SoundSlice player for synchronized, loopable tablature
  • Multimedia web pages with helpful Wikipedia-style explainers on common technical topics

Learning Technique

If you’re here to work on your playing technique, we strongly suggest starting with the Pickslanting Primer. This sequence of lessons contains fundamental tests of joint motion and picking technique performance that are invaluable in diagnosing common problems related to speed, fatigue, efficiency, accuracy, and more. You’ll also learn about critical topics like escape motion, and which type you’re using:

Pickslanting Primer

Cracking the Code's guide to learning picking motions


Once you’ve got a handle on your core mechanics, explore our collection of seminars for in-depth investigations on specific musical and technical topics:


In-depth multi-chapter investigations of select musical topics


Our growing collection of interviews with world-class players is a great place to find ideas for building your technique and your musical vocabulary. The interviews include thousands of expertly-transcribed musical examples, with synchronized timestamps, that pop up when they’re played in the discussion:


Conversations with elite players and researchers


Feedback On Your Playing

For customized expert-level feedback on your playing technique directly from us, you can check out our Technique Critique feature, included with every membership.

The dashboard is your command center for Technique Critique. You’ll find links to your TC library for feedback from instructors, along with a directory where you can browse and learn from Technique Critiques created by other users.

Technique Critique

Get personalized feedback on your playing from instructors and community members


Another valuable resource is our forum. It’s a great place to get advice from our community of helpful and highly technical players, and partake in discussions of all things music and mechanics. When you’re ready, head over and introduce yourself!

Cracking the Code Forum


Getting Help

For more about how the site works, head to our Help Center at any time. There, you’ll find information on navigating the site, using the video and tablature players, creating and uploading video Technique Critiques, using the forum, and troubleshooting issues with your Magnet phone camera mount:

Cracking the Code Help Center


For more specific requests about your account, past purchases, username or password, or to troubleshoot technical issues you encounter on the site, just send a note to our support account and we’ll get on it asap. We usually respond the same day on business days, and somewhat less frequently on weekends.