Pickslanting Primer

The Pickslanting Primer is Cracking the Code’s comprehensive guide to developing clean, accurate picking technique.

It is evidence-based, and derived from our groundbreaking slow-motion interviews with celebrated players.  These interviews revealed, in some cases for the first time anywhere, the remarkable mechanical adaptations that great players make to get from one string to another with a pick.  In doing this work, we standardized concepts like escape motion and pickslanting, which practically redefined how picking technique is understood, studied, and taught.  If you’ve heard these terms in use, they were created here.

The techniques in the Primer are continually tested and updated through extensive Technique Critique teaching with awesomely dedicated learners from around the world.  In the Primer you’ll learn about:

  • Unlocking your true maximum efficiency and speed
  • Using escape motion for clean string changes
  • Different joint motions and their capabilities
  • The influence of mechanics on musical vocabulary and improvisation
  • Notable players and how their techniques work
  • Mechanics for specific musical styles, from bluegrass to metal

…and more.  If you’re ready, let’s get started!

Pickslanting Primer Lessons

Getting Started

Learn more about the Pickslanting Primer and how to use it!


Choosing A Pick

With so many options available, how do you choose?


Pick Grip

Getting familiar with the many ways to hold a guitar pick


Core Concepts

What exactly can you do with a pick?


Motion Mechanics

Learn to identify the most commonly used joints in picking technique


Testing Your Motions

Test drive common picking motions with these diagnostic speed tests


Understanding Escape Motion

Picking motions don't just go back and forth — they also go up in the air


Primary Motion

This largely subconscious choice is the anchor of your technique


Choosing A Technique

How to select a technique that really works for you


Picking Motion Tutorials

Learn efficient motion with these powerful instructions


Downward Pickslanting

Switching strings with the escaped upstroke


Upward Pickslanting

Switching strings with the escaped downstroke


Technical Reference

A comprehensive reference with additional technical detail on core concepts