Bryan Baker, guitar. Does anyone else know this guy?


Hey guys, how’s everyone?

So, check out this guy, Bryan Baker, blowing on the guitar. I’ve rarely seen someone with this much technical control.

I mentioned this guy to Troy a few years ago on an email, but it must have got lost.

His playing is an acquired taste, his note choice is weird, but he always has a ton of energy. Link is from Facebook, I hope it works… Enjoy!


Hard to tell what’s really going on in this clip with the video quality, but he looks like a great player with some super tasty jazz chops:

Just as an FYI, In general, we’ve written down almost every name people have sent to us over the years, and that spreadsheet now has hundreds of people in it! Just because we don’t turn around with an interview of said player the following month doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate the suggestions. We totally do! But the reality is there are way more amazing players than we’ll ever be able to get to with less than Tony Stark-levels of resources.


Yep, I’ve been organizing said spreadsheet and can confirm! We’ve got something like 300 incredible players on the list at this point. Always fun to discover great players and we do reach out to a good number of them eventually. And thankfully now we have the forum where there’s no limit to the discussion / analysis to be had!


Hi Troy. Hey, sorry if I gave the impression that my suggestion to you regarding Bryan some time ago was ignored, that was not my intention at all. I realize there’s a bunch of interesting people out there that are worth discovering and you can’t possibly get to them all. So, my apologies if I came out wrong.

Regarding Bryan, I just decided to mention him because I really find his technique mind blogging in a way that’s very different from most players, in the sense that it’s not only how fast he plays but the actual stuff he plays sounds to me more “impossible” than the more typical rock based shred that, while also extremely difficult to master, seems to me more “guitar-friendly” than what he plays. So, that’s why I’m really intrigued by his technique.

I’ll try to compile some of his older videos and I’ll add them here because unfortunately there’s not a lot of stuff available from him.

Anyway, thanks for all your work throughout the years, and believe me, I tell everyone that your analysis of guitar playing technique is truly the only one I’ve seen throughout my years of guitar playing, that has a structured, evidence based approach to the subject. I would never come to these conclusions by myself without your work and it has improved my playing in the last few years way more than in the 10 years before.

So, a big thanks to everyone behind Cracking The Code!


Yes, I know Bryan. I ran into him a few times, and am friends with the main guy he studied with at Berklee. His teacher will be the first to tell you that he didn’t teach Bryan anything about guitar – all his chops were well in place before he ever stepped on campus.

All his technical studies were done when he was a kid, including a period where he was essentially practicing every combination of intervals possible at every waking hour of the day. I sincerely doubt he’d be interested for a sitdown with Troy, if only because he seems extremely disinterested in going over “chop building” or the like – partially because it bores him at this point, and he’s much more interested in exploring the broader, deeper elements of music-making, and partially because he (probably correctly) thinks that virtually no one will have the time or discipline to do what he did to get to that point.


In general, when you see someone do something on a musical instrument that just seems impossible, I think you’re more likely to be right if you assume they just figured out a way that works really easily that isn’t obvious to other people. You won’t always be right. But I think you’ll be right more often than you’re wrong.

The “search for easy”. It’s the Cracking the Code way!


Bryan is an amazing player.Great chops and very unique vocabulary. I have both of his books and looking forward to the instructional thing he’s announced he’ll be doing. Check this clip out…the head is based on a 12 tone row. His solo is highly chromatic-very few guitarists can sustain that kind of phrasing for this long and being this convincing.


This guy is so boring - I’m so tired of hearing nothing but the pentatonic scale all day long!

Ha, j/k of course. I really dig this and for whatever reason I don’t find the dissonance too much of an acquired taste. There’s still a lot of dynamics going on here and it ends all punk rock-ish hard-hitting. I feel like any rock or metal fan could get into this whether you know anything about jazz or harmony or even like that stuff. Edit: Maybe that’s why the jazz crowd seems so polarized when it comes to Bryan.


This one is cool, also…