Testing Your Motions

Test drive common picking motions with Cracking the Code’s hands-on speed tests!

Learning picking motions is a tricky process made all the more complicated by having to operate an actual guitar while you do it. In this section, we simplify the challenge with a collection of fun, hands-on tests that don’t require a guitar at all. With nothing more than a flat surface and a few common props, you can try your hand at several common picking motions to see how they work.

Along the way, you’ll also get a sense of your base capability for fast motion. Have you’ve ever wondered whether or not you have enough raw athletic power for fast picking? Well buckle up, because you may discover that you have more than you think.

Finally, we’ll grab a guitar to find out how a simple tremolo can be used to test your picking motion for optimal efficiency, from complete beginners to advanced players alike.


Chapter 1 - Starting With Speed

The first step in learning new motions is trying them fast


Chapter 2 - Alternate Picking

The most fundamental motion in picking


Chapter 3 - Testing Your Speed

Measure your potential for fast motion with this simple test


Chapter 4 - Testing Van Halen-Style Wrist Motion

Test drive Eddie's famous and super effective wrist motion


Chapter 5 - Testing Di Meola-Style Wrist Motion

Al's wrist approach is one of the most common picking motions of all time


Chapter 6 - Testing Elbow Motion

Fire up the fastest joint in picking technique


Chapter 7 - Testing Forearm Motion

Going for a spin with the rotational joint


Chapter 8 - The Tremolo Test

The simplest phrase in music is a powerul diagnostic test


Chapter 9 - Beginner Tremolo

Taking the first step in learning picking motion with a total beginner


Chapter 10 - Stringhopping

Avoiding the most inefficient motion in picking


Chapter 11 - Solving Stringhopping

Avoiding the most inefficient motion in picking technique


Chapter 12 - Choosing the Best Motion

Learning what correct motions look like and how to choose them


Chapter 13 - Improving Fast Technique

Finding and fixing inefficiency in technique that already works