Technique Critique

Technique is complicated, and it can be tough if something isn’t working but you can’t tell why. When you get stuck, one of the best things you can do is figure out what’s actually happening, so you can compare that to what you’re trying to do, and adjust accordingly.

That part — actually seeing what’s going on with your playing — can be surprisingly tricky too, especially if you’re not used to thinking and looking in a particular way. That’s where Technique Critique comes in! This is a section of our forum where members of the Cracking the Code community can help one another out with specific technical feedback, and collectively get better at demystifying our own playing.

First things first: we’re assuming you’ve gone through the previous pages in this section, watched the Intro to Picking Motion video, and spent at least a week or two practicing one or more techniques. If not, please start there before you continue.

Ready to share video of your playing for feedback? Great! Read on for an overview of the process for recording and uploading video.

What to Include

Here’s what to include in your Technique Critique post to ensure you’re getting the most useful feedback you can:

  • Video of your playing — see below for how to film + share it here! Best to include video if possible, but if not, give us as much other info to go on as you can.
  • Specific questions you have or things you’d like feedback on.
  • Any other detail that may be helpful, including what you’re working on, what your goals are, what you’re struggling with, and so on.
  • Please include questions / comments in the text of your post, and keep the video to just a clip of your playing, to make it easier to digest.

How to Record Video of Your Playing

If you have a decent smartphone, you have a great tool for filming your picking technique! Here’s how to get the best possible video quality:

  • Set your phone to slow-mo video mode if you have that option. Note that 120fps is plenty; 240fps is overkill and requires extra light.
  • Set up somewhere with plenty of light, either by a window or bright lamp. If you have a DIY Magnet, use that, or try to get a similar angle by putting your phone on a tripod or propped up on a chair next to you.
  • Make sure to lock focus and exposure, if you can, to keep the look of the shot consistent while filming. On the iPhone you can do this by touching and holding the screen on the spot you want to focus, before hitting record.

How to Post Your Video

Great, you’ve got a freshly made slow-motion video! Now, let’s get it uploaded and ready to share:

  • If you shot slow-mo video, please include both the normal speed and slow versions in the video you post. You can duplicate the clip in your editing software before exporting, so you have one video with regular + slow back to back, or you can just export regular and slow speeds separately.
  • If your phone allows you to set the speed range for video playback (e.g. iPhone), you can play your example twice, and set the slow-mo in and out points just for the second repetition. Then export directly to YouTube, making sure the final video has the slow-mo part correctly “baked in”. This is probably the simplest method if you don’t have desktop video editing software.
  • It’s not possible to upload video files to the forum directly. The best way to share video of your playing is to upload to YouTube, then paste the link right in the forum post. Make sure it’s on its own line, with an empty line before / after, and it will display nicely embedded here automatically.
  • Note that you can mark the video “unlisted” when uploading if you don’t want it to be publicly discoverable on YouTube.