Troy Gradys premium pay-video-lessons, is there more than whats on youtube?

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by MetalHex, Apr 11, 2019.

  1. MetalHex

    MetalHex SS.org Regular

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    I watch the videos on pickslanting, in/outside picking and think that this is what I should be studying/practicing in order to be able to shred like he does in the videos. Since I've been unsuccessfully trying other techniques and routines, this series seems to be the key. As I get more involved in this video series on youtube, he keeps leaning towards, that I should spend the $100 or whatever it is to gain access to his slowed down lessons and all the other stuff thats apparently not on youtube for free.

    So has anyone subscibed to these premium videos and have had success? Has it helped you a little or alot? Can you now shred like Yngwie or MAB or Teemu, when you were unable to before? Is there much much more to the premium videos than whats already on youtube for free?

    I can shred pretty good on one string linear patterns, and some string skipping patterns like 6 note per string patterns because they happen to land on either inside/outside. But I need a sure fire way to practice this and guide me.

    Thanks.
     
  2. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    Subscribe for a month, watch as much as you can, decide if you want to keep paying after that.

    The free stuff only really gently tickles the surface of what's on there.
     
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  3. MetalHex

    MetalHex SS.org Regular

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    So you can say that you have vastly improved your picking technique, and can now/or on the road to be a super shredder, because of these videos?
     
  4. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    I've been a member over at his site a little more than a year now, and I've made some pretty major breakthroughs in my picking since then. Super high level thoughts:

    • The Youtube videos are, for the most part, enough to get the concepts down.
    • What the membership does is provides you a ton of practical examples - the Youtube series explains escaped pickstrokes and walks through a couple Yngwie licks, the site does a pretty deep dive on his style, and uses licks to progressively add in additional elements.
    • I don't know how much stuff on two-way pickslanting and crosspicking is on Youtube, I honestly don't rememebr and had signed up before I really started looking (and while they were working on crosspicking materials).
    • That said, for me the single most beneficial part of the site was the forum, which you don't have to be a member to post in. Troy's pretty active and he and a bunch of the other members who have this stuff down pretty well are great about providing feedback.
    I'd say on the measure it's probably worth it, though if you're super motivated you can work out most of what you need to know on Youtube.
     
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  5. prlgmnr

    prlgmnr ...that kind of idea

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    I'll say I'm 34 years old, and have been playing guitar since I was 12, but have made more technical progress in the 2 years since I started on Troy's material than all the previous years put together.
     
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  6. Element0s

    Element0s Low Fantasy/Black Denim

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    I was a subscriber for about a year and I've been a member of the forum since it was created and it's the single most useful piece of guitar instruction I've ever experienced. If I had to go back in time and give myself a single instructional video to watch as a beginner/intermediate guitarist, it would be Troy's "Pickslanting Primer".

    Troy's material is NOT about teaching you to shred like Malmsteen or Teemu or anyone else, even though it might seem that way. It's research into the physics and biomechanics of guitar playing (specifically picking movements) documented by observing video footage of them and delving into the actual anatomy of the hand/wrist/elbow/forearm and so forth. Granted, it's presented in a way that looks very instructional but ultimately it's more self-help than anything else.

    In my experience, the people who have seen the biggest results from Cracking The Code are those who used Troy's videos to figure out what motions and techniques they're already using. Then it's off to the races using examples from the Masters In Mechanics interviews to find examples of high-level players using similar motions and borrowing their ideas to practice and develop their own vocabulary.

    The challenge that I see with lots of CTC neophytes is that they see Troy's work with MAB, Malmsteen or Teemu and try to copy what those players are doing when they've already got years (or even decades) of experience of playing with a picking method completely at odds with those guys. This was me for a long time when I first got into the community.

    My suggestion would be to pitch $25 for the month-long subscription and tool around. I'd start with the Pickslanting Primer, then move on to interviews with players who you enjoy and/or share similar physical playing styles with. The folks on the forum are pretty helpful if you're feeling lost. There's a lot of content!

    Hope this helps make sense of the whole thing.
     
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  7. MetalHex

    MetalHex SS.org Regular

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    Yes it does help!

    I know for instance, that I do the string hopping thing when string changing.....so I believe that learning the pick slanting/in-out technique will help me. But I feel that trying to teach it to myself wouldn't be enough. I would want slowed down examples and tabbed out walkthrough-licks.

    Basically, I need aomeone to hold my hand through it all
     
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  8. Element0s

    Element0s Low Fantasy/Black Denim

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    Yup, then I suspect the Pickslanting Primer would be the thing you should look at first. The first thing you'll want to figure out is which direction your pickstrokes are escaping the strings from. An easy way to do this is to take a simple, 6-note-per-string pattern and try it with a couple variations.

    For example, take this:

    ------------------5-7-8-5-7-8
    ----5-7-8-5-7-8-------------- (repeating)

    Try playing this at a fast tempo starting on a downstroke. "Fast" meaning fast enough that you don't really have time to think about each individual pick stroke so much. Are you able to change strings cleanly starting on a downstroke with strict alternate-picking? If yes, you are escaping the strings on an Upstroke, which may classify you as a "Downward pickslanter" similar to Malmsteen and Troy himself.

    If you find that your pick is getting "stuck" in the strings and that the string switch feels super janky and erratic, try reversing this. Start the pattern on an upstroke. If you're not used to this it might take a few tries, but the string changes should be noticeable cleaner right away. This means that you escape the strings using a downstroke, which might class you as an "Upward Pickslanter" like John McLaughlin or Andy James (this is my situation).

    One of these will probably "feel" smoother and faster than the other right away. Once you know which direction you're naturally escaping the strings from, you're in a good spot to open things up.

    If neither of these is working for you, then you may be using an inefficient picking motion right from the get-go or the path of the pick is moving in too neutral a direction to escape the strings cleanly. That's a different problem and your best bet is to film some footage of your picking hand and bringing it to Troy's forum and the folks there can give you some better advice than myself.

    Anyways that's probably the most concise way I can sum up the principles. Give it a whirl!
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
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  9. MetalHex

    MetalHex SS.org Regular

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    Great advice thanks!

    So for the pattern you are talking about I have tried before as these are common excersizes. I guess its easy to deduce what you are doing when you are playing 6nps patterns because it usually lends itself to the next string efficiently, depending on starting with an up or downstroke. (I hope that makes sense I am not the best at formulating my thoughts into sentences)

    I have gotten THIS far. But not any farther than this; for an example, odd nps patterns and such and integrating them along with patterns like 6nps.

    How to build this into muscle memory so that when you are improvising, and you come upon all types of odd nps patterns and string changes, you play it cleanly without thinking. Its like you always have to conciously come up with patterns that lend itself to suit this approach. I'm sure that would take practice of course, but I need to be shown how to practice it.

    Even though Yngwie used to practice 8 hours a day I dont think he ever paid too much attention his own technique and wondering what is the most efficient way to change strings and such. I could be wrong but I doubt he dissected his technique that much. I think it just came naturally for him. But then it would make alot of sense if he did dissect his playing because he either did that, or got lucky and did everything thr most efficient way the first time by accident. Why didn't he have poor technique and struggle for 15+ years like alot of other players? (Now I am thinking outloud too much haha)

    That last paragraph is nonsense jargon. I will shut my mouth now!
     
  10. Element0s

    Element0s Low Fantasy/Black Denim

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    I think that "accident" is the reality here. That, and a bit of physical intuition. Lots of these players did something "right" by trial and error and were able to replicate those motions and burn them into their memories with practice. There's a lot of material about this on CTC too. In the Marty Friedman interview Troy explains Marty's picking formula to Marty himself and he almost has a meltdown on camera. Most of the guys that Troy interviews don't really know how their own techniques actually work and they're usually surprised by what the footage shows. It's fascinating!
     
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  11. Crundles

    Crundles SS.org Regular

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    What I did (I've been a paid subscriber for 1 month and a half lol) was:

    1. Get slow-mo video of my pre-existing picking motion - I don't have a phone with slow-mo camera, so I got a mate of mine to come and help me film a short (~30 sec playing) clip, trying to get as close as possible to Troy's Magnet videos in what parts of my picking hand and the guitar are visible
    2. Post the video on the CTC forum, got feedback from some random folks and Troy himself, figuring out how I was currently picking
    3. Go through the Pickslanting Primer and forum threads - From here on I found the most common advice was to focus on 1 and 2-string stuff, getting my hands coordinated, found some neat patterns to use, and worked on tiny changes to my picking motion to make things both more comfortable for me, and more like other players using this motion.

    So now I'm slowly working into a standard practice routine, focusing on getting my picking and fretting hands synchronized, with simple 1 and 2 string patterns specifically tailored after my existing picking style (even note patterns starting with an upstroke, and uneven note patterns starting with a downstroke - I want to end every phrase with a downstroke so I can change strings easily).

    After I feel happy with the state of my existing picking motion, I'll try to get a completely new motion going (crosspicking, since it seems most useful for 1 note per string stuff, and that's what I ultimately want to play). The general advice seems to be, get your current picking motion as fluid and effortless as possible at high speed (since every motion works at slow speeds regardless of how inefficient it is), work on synchronisation with a metronome, and then maybe move to another motion if you have things you want to play with it.

    HOW IT HELPED ME: The slow-mo video quite obviously showed I'm doing what Troy calls "escaped downstroke", i.e. the plane of my picking is diagonal to the strings, in a way that I can only get above the strings for an easy switch after a downstroke. Unfortunately I had always been under the impression I do the exact opposite, so I'd been doing the standard metal stuff of starting a lot of phrases with a downstroke, focusing on downstrokes etc. While this worked well when I picked slow, as soon as things got faster and I subconsciously moved into my standard picking style, a lot of string changes had to happen at very uncomfortable positions ruining my picking flow. I had no idea why - everything worked well when I slowed down, and my motion looks and feels different at slow speeds so it never occurred to me I might be doing different things at different speeds.

    Am I a speedpicking god now? No. I still don't practice half as much as I should.

    Do I know what to focus on, whenever I stop being a lazy sob? Yes. And this is something I didn't have before.

    Is CTC the only road? Of course not. It just showed me, personally, something I was lacking for years and years and years.

    IN SHORT: If you're curious, get a month of subscription, post a video of your current picking style, figure out what's the motion you're doing, make tiny changes to it if needed to make it more fluid and "optimal", and practice your two-hand synchronisation
     
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  12. MetalHex

    MetalHex SS.org Regular

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    Thanks for this helpful post. I think I shall at least try it for a month. The hard part will be the filming my technique since I will have to find someone with a quality camera to do this, and to set it up properly.

    The camera that your buddy had had slow mo on it I assume? What kind of camera was it?
     
  13. Crundles

    Crundles SS.org Regular

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    Wasn't an actual camera, it was an iPhone. I think all recent iPhones have 120 fps slowmo, which is what we used. In fact I'm pretty sure all recent phones have 120 fps, I'm just using a 5 year old Xiaomi, which doesn't.

    My mate basically sat uncomfortably close to me, holding his phone nearly on the fretboard, resulting in this:



    Nothing fancy, one-string relatively fast tremolo, to see what my picking hand is doing.
     
  14. pfizer

    pfizer SS.org Regular

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    The paid stuff is pretty extensive and you also get the Guitar Pro files to practice with.

    If you want some additional resources, check out some of Ben Eller's videos; he's an admitted proponent of Cracking The Code and has done some lessons on pickslanting. Ben's stuff is quite a bit more concise than Troy's Youtube vids; no fancy graphics, he goes right into exercises and licks you can use to practice the concept.



     
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  15. Drew

    Drew Forum MVP

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    This is excellent advice, and has been my experience too.

    Basically, most of us with a decade or two of experience under our belts probably have a picking system that works well enough, but may not be fully optimized and we may not know why it works for some things, and what it DOESN'T work on. I'm definitely in this camp - I showed up convinced I was an awful alternate picker (which I was, but not for the reasons I suspected), with a whole bunch of little quirks and inefficiencies in my technique, which only over time as I started sharing good close-up videos I realized were actually fairly decent building blocks for crosspicking and two way pickslanting, and in particular this little winding up motion I knew I'd done for years but thought was a problem actually WAS the rotation needed for me to play escaped upstrokes in a picking mechanic that was primarily upwards-slanting/downstroke escaped.

    Simply knowing what my hand was doing, accepting that and not trying to fight the motion, and then knowing what sort of lines I SHOULD be able to play with a primarily upwards slant/escaped downstroke orientation was pretty game-changing. It was also pretty funny where over time I realized some of the DWPS stuff I'd tried to learn in the Yngwie breakdown, I'd actually been picking with an UWPS orientation, but using my two-way mechanic to handle the string changes, which is perfectly effective but kind of hilarious if you think about it. :lol:

    Well, I think there's valuable insight in here too - Yngwie never really thought much about his technique, but seems to have focused on playing stuff that came pretty naturally to him, and got blisteringly fast at that. The full "Inside The Volcano" seminar is fascinating in this respect because of the way you can see how Yngwie was able to build a fairly "complete" picking mechanic out of just a few components, but then how much of his "signature licks" that seem really weird and hard (lots of 7-note patterns for example) are actually things that are super easy if your picking hand moves by default like Yngwie's does, and a lot of the weirder elements are in there precisely because they DO allow Yngwie to pick them so fast.
     
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