Breaking Down “Cracking the Code”

This is a much-hyped series on YouTube that analyzes picking speed on guitar. It includes a lot of great guitar history, as well as really interesting graphics telling the story. However I’ve found it to be a bit too full of filler.

Here’s my breakdown:

Episode 1:
  • It’s easy to just pick with right hand. Harder to pick with synchronization of L/R.
  • This is why tremolo picking is easy.
Episode 2:
  • Nothing regarding picking.
Episode 3:
  • Yngwie’s Descending 4’s scalar runs by playing three notes per string. Fingers repeat on sequences of threes (4-3-1, 4-3-1, 4-3-1).

Episode 4:

  • He discovered (on his own) slowing down fast passages in order to hear fast runs. Sequencing loops of slower music in order to transcribe the notes played.
  • Most of EVH playing is pentatonic.
  • EVH utilized pull-offs and hammer-ons and it can be heard while transcribing.
  • But Yngwie picks everything, utilizes similar shapes across the neck for his scalar runs.
  • Started to “fake it” in his playing by omitting the third pick on a three-note sequence. Speed came quickly after that.

Episode 5:

  • Talks about how he discovers Vai, Albert Lee, and Eric Johnson.


More episodes to come!‚Äč

Going back over the mini-series; you can see it jumps around quite a bit, but focuses on a few core concepts:

  • Pickslanting (angling the pick one way or another based on the direction of the pick stroke in relation to the strings being played on)

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