I'd first seen Troy doing some covers on youtube maybe 4 or 5 years back (just checked it might have been 9 years back...wow where does the time GO??!) and then a year or so back a friend told me to check out his cracking the code series...I thought it was really entertaining and well done...but at the time I did kind of think he was "over thinking" things. I just couldn't picture the players he was dissecting thinking about things the way he was breaking them down. This was just my first impressions and not how I see him now to be clear.

coming back to playing now in a more serious mindset...I found myself checking out his work again.

anyone used his series or techniques (learning from him) not so much yeah I do the same thing...

but what do you all think?

anyone used cracking the code or masters in mechanics as a learning tool? How did it go...what were your results?

How useful have you found his research.

thought this might be fun to kick around./
I really dig his Cracking the Code videos. They're really well put together, and have a lot of great info. The one he did on MAB's upward-slant picking was mind-blowing for me, and helped me put another technique in my guitar playing toolbox.

it's funny because I'd always written off MAB as like a circus act back in the day...it seemed so non musical...I checked out all his speed kills videos and a few of his original songs just these past 2 weeks. I am enjoying his stuff a lot...and he seems like the nicest guy on the planet.

man his pick hand is freaking INSANE...

this video is a bit cheesy but the song is actually quite good.
Yeah, MAB is definitely super cheesy and excessive at times (his work with Nitro in the 80's is insane, and the band is pretty cheese but so over the top it's good IMO), but his sheer technical ability is amazing, and like you said, in interviews, he comes off as super chill and pretty humble. I really like a recent interview he did with the Music Is Win guitar channel at NAMM, where he was really down to earth. The Speed Kills and Speed Lives videos are way too fast for me to comprehend, but back on topic, Troy Grady has done an awesome job taking the techniques of guys like MAB and breaking them down so even a mortal such as myself can understand them haha.
Quote by Nadda2

it's funny because I'd always written off MAB as like a circus act back in the day...it seemed so non musical...I checked out all his speed kills videos and a few of his original songs just these past 2 weeks. I am enjoying his stuff a lot...and he seems like the nicest guy on the planet.

man his pick hand is freaking INSANE...

this video is a bit cheesy but the song is actually quite good.

man i miss these videos

"ba doo doo ba doo doo ba doo daa"
- earth,wind, and fire
I honestly believe we lived in a dark age of instructional material before Troy Grady. Since I started playing over 10 years ago, I watched hundreds of videos and read hundreds of articles on "playing fast", and I never felt like I learned anything useful from them. Most were basically just "practice these extremely difficult exercises until you get used to them" type of lessons without ever giving you any specifics on the how. I discovered the Cracking the code documentary 3 months ago, and I think I've made more progress in my playing since then than in the previous 7 years (played on and off though). I haven't actually purchased any of his material though. Just understanding the concept of pick slanting from his youtube videos and applying it to stuff I've been wanting to learn has been more than enough.

While the entire Cracking the Code documentary is great, and everything taught in it is still extremely important to understand, I think learning/practicing Yngwie Malmsteen's and Eric Johnson's style of downward pick slating is a bit of a waste of time. There's just all these extra rules, and it limits the type of things you could play. And in order to maintain a downward pick slant, you have to integrate legato and sweep picking instead of using strict alternate picking. I really don't like the idea of of needing to plan out the picking pattern ahead of time with downward pick slanting. I think it's better to jump straight to 2-way pick slanting and cross picking. The Steve Morse, Batio, Mike Miller, and Albert Lee interviews are my favorite videos for that reason.

The Mike Miller interview inspired me to try to learn the Glass Prison arpeggio solo with strict alternate picking. It's a challenge/goal I've set out for myself. Single note per string alternate picking? Fucking nuts! A year ago I would have thought never in a million years I would be able to do it. I'm not quite there yet in being able to play it masterfully, but I've made ridiculous amount of progress, and I feel it's within my grasp.
Last edited by Phallic Tractor at Feb 25, 2017,
I saw his video on the Crossroads movie guitar stuff, it's very well produced and articulated along with entertaining, the guy is a great player and uses a real methodical approach to analysis and instruction. That said I think he tends to overstate the significance of how impressive some of these techniques are, in such a way that something simple can sound daunting to a newbie. I've subscribed to his channel though, some of the best guitar youtube.
Cornford Hellcat
Peavey 5150
1994 Ibanez Jem 7V
Cool thanks for the replies. I am going to watch/ listen to some videos today while I work. I draw for a living so I am a captive audience at my desk all day. The upside is I can listen to anything I want for hours on end. Then my reward at the end of the day is I can play my guitar. Right now my head is spinning a bit with all the different techniques that he talks about so I do partially agree that everything sounds super complicated when I watch the videos I've been playing for a while so I am nowhere near a beginner. I have a more seventies Hard Rock approach to my picking and so it's just something that I'm going to have to learn to discipline and eliminate a lot of exaggerated movements that I just naturally picked up over playing the instrument and not really thinking about the articulation as much. I was actually a pretty good bass player for a few years but only played with my fingers.

I mentioned in another thread I had two friends specifically that got really good at playing fast when we were all about 18 or 19. One guy it was kind of like that Michael Angelo sort of look when he would play. There was so little exaggerated movement and he was so efficient with not only his fretting hand but his picking hand it was really surreal to watch. How quick he could move but how little movement there seemed to be.

Keep posting replies. It's worth breaking down...and interesting to read.

Which videos clicked with you? Which techniques are you incorporating?
Decided to subscribe to Master of Mechanics last night, and Grady is somehow still continuing to blow my mind. I didn't quite understand the concept of swiping from his youtube videos, but it finally clicked watching his anti-gravity seminar in the context of Micheal Angelo Batio's technique. Because MAB is a primary upward pick slanter (just like me), it turns he only uses two way pick slanting when ascending, and uses one-way upward pick slanting in conjunction with swiping when descending. Swiping only works when descending if you're an upward pick slanter in the same way it's easier to sweep pick descending with an upward pick slant since there's less resistance that way. It also turns out I've probably been doing this all along myself. I just didn't notice it because the swiping is inaudible. I discovered Grady when someone mentioned him in this reddit post ( https://www.reddit.com/r/Guitar/comments/5drwcr/question_did_everyone_have_a_harder_time_playing/ ) I made asking if anyone else found it easier to play scales descending than ascending. Now I finally got my answer why that is.

Not sure if any of that made sense, but this is some exciting stuff for me.
Last edited by Phallic Tractor at Feb 25, 2017,
no dude that is awesome. a friend of mine bought the course...he sent me 3 or 4 files to check out.

Like I said for me right now. I am kind of trying to wrap my brain around which approach might (truthfully) be useful for my playing goals.

so weird question but I think there are people far enough along that might be able to field this question

is Yngwie in fact limited by his picking approach? I was trying to figure that out. The gist I got I think either reading something here
or in maybe one of the videos was he might be. Sounds weird because he's so good...but like would there be runs he would struggle with
or avoid altogether because he really doesn't pick in a way where it would be possible?

Hopefully that makes sense.
I very very much doubt it, Malmsteen is a talent beyond 99% of players. He got that good because of his natural and critical ability to get around problems, he's not limited in his playing.
Cornford Hellcat
Peavey 5150
1994 Ibanez Jem 7V
I think technically you could adopt his picking style to play most things, but you have to sort of plan it out using those 4 rules. With the extra legato, it may have a bit of a different sound, but not that dramatic. Troy Grady said he played Yngwie's way for 10 years, and it eventually became second nature to him without him needing to think about it much. So there's that.

I think you might as well go straight for 2 way pick slanting though. If you could do 2 way, you could do 1 way.
I''m watching the 'Cracking the Code' series and I'm enjoying it immensely. I'm currently at episode 6 or 7 and it's nice to get such a history of rock guitar playing in a concise package. It hasn't done anything to my playing yet, as there has been no explanation whatsoever. Maybe in the last couple of lessons he actually gets to teach some picking techniques.

I'm highly doubting whether it would be worth it to pay for his stuff, even though the production is phenomenal. That said, the Cracking the Code documentary is really good.

Are there people here that have subscribed to either the 'Pickslanting Primer' or the 'Masters in Mechanics'? And if so, is there anything you've learned from it?
I do not want to have a signature anymore.
A friend bought Masters in Mechanics and sent me 3 files he thought might help me. I am trying the techniques but it's too early to know. I am improving just in general from playing more and being focused. Using a metronome and being aware of when I pick up or down.

I'll keep you posted.
I don't really know what the subscription based videos are like, to be honest. I haven't gotten to the point in the Cracking the Code series where he actually explains right hand motions, but from what I've seen around, it's generally about a different way of holding the guitar pick in combination with alternative and economy picking, right?
I do not want to have a signature anymore.

I find it a little hard to see what the pick slant is. I feel dumb but it's just tricky for me. I've always kind of come at guitar looser and more like 70's hard rock.
There was a video I saw on youtube...not a teacher but I thought this guys video (to me at least) showed how to hold the pick better and he was getting some really solid speed.

He's using Troy's technique. More advanced players might not agree...but this helped me a little/

I am kinda bummed I missed the first 45 minutes.

Hopefully he uploads the full stream as an archive after./

They are still live right now though!
The livestream was really disappointing.  The technical difficulties they had cause the interview to be cut like by an hour.  Of what time remained, Batio spent half of it telling stories, and the other was spent answering some meh fan questions. I was really hoping Troy would dive into picking technique more, which was his original plan I think.  Also, Batio mentioning he's now mainly an economy sweeper instead of alternate picker probably messed up some of his pre planned questions.