I’m pretty new here too. I was hoping my experience can help you with yours!
I wouldn’t classify my picking as poor prior to finding CtC, but I was definitely working against myself. I’ve still got a ways to go before I’m satisfied. My goal is sustained 16th notes at 200 bpm. Right now I’m in the 160 - 180 range. In my formative years, I used to peak around that speed and couldn’t sustain it. This was due to poor efficiency (string hopping) and brute force, rather than using the elegant solutions outlined on CtC. Now I feel controlled in those ranges, even with little to no warmup. I haven’t been playing much the past 4 years, but just since mid January when I got my membership I started playing almost daily, just about 30 - 60 minutes. At that point, I was struggling with 16th notes much above 150 bmp, so I’m really happy with my progress.
For me, the initial success I’ve enjoyed came in 2 parts:
- After learning the different grips and orientations, determining what my default technique was over the years. For me, I was a rigid upwards pickslanter, but getting very little ‘escape’ on my downstrokes. Also, I played mostly with the trailing edge…sort of weird, after seeing how much more comfortable the leading edge.
- After coming to terms with the above, reverse engineering any patterns I wanted to play and figuring out how to solve them. Just about any picking problem can be solved by either downward pickslanting with an escaped upstroke; upwards pickslanting with an escaped downstroke; a combination of these 2; swiping; crosspicking. Now, crosspicking I am not interested in. So for my playing, I just take that off the table. I have the utmost respect for those who have mastered it, but I’m classically trained and there is nothing I’ve heard crosspicked (that I’m interested in playing) that I can’t replicate with my nails or sweeping, as appropriate.
It turns out most of what I wanted to play was more suited to downward pickslanting. So it was jarring to undo what’s been comfortable for me these past ~25 years. I did a lot of practicing tremolo picking with downwards pickslanting and it felt more and more comfortable. I rely heavily on rest strokes and honestly things didn’t really ‘click’ for me until I did this. I didn’t throw away my upwards slant altogether, as there are passages where it’s beneficial. I did switch to leading edge picking, as well as using a bit more of the edge.
Anyway, sorry that was long. If I had more time, I would have made it shorter
I offer you great encouragement and I’m confident you’ll enjoy success here if you carefully follow the material and, when in need, reach out to any of the helpful members on here. Best of luck!