Picking Motion

Picking motion is the core of your technique, and you can do it in all sorts of surprising ways. In this section, we’ll learn how to recognize these motions and understand the differences between them.

We’ll take a look at fundamental concepts like alternate picking, and learn what a picking motion needs to accomplish to be a true alternate picking technique. We’ll also introduce groundbreaking Cracking the Code concepts like escape motion and pickslanting. We’ve tried to make this big-picture overview as simple and visual as possible, with lots of examples from the interviews we’ve conducted.

To follow along with our tutorials, it’s helpful to have some familarity with the concepts we cover here, but you don’t have to tackle them all at once. We’ve included the important terms right in the title of each page, to make it easy to look them up later on if you need a reference.

Escape Motion

Alternate Picking

The most basic concept in picking is moving back and forth

 

The Problem of String Switching

Picking across the strings is one of the most fundamental challenges in guitar

 

Escape Motion

An overview of the four fundamental pickstrokes

 

USX Motion

In the motion of Yngwie, Benson, Johnson, and Django, upstrokes do the string switching

 

DSX Motion

Al DiMeola, Andy Wood, and Michael Angelo Batio's motion for downstroke string changes

 

DBX Motion

Powering the two-directional string changes of Morse, Miller, Grier, and Tuttle

 

Trapped Motion

The pickstroke of sweeping and swiping

 

Pickslanting

Pickslanting

Matching the pick's orientation to its motion

 

Downward Pickslanting

The pickslant of USX Motion

 

Upward Pickslanting

The pickslant of DSX Motion

 

Zero-Degree Pickslanting

The pickslant of double escape motion