Glossary of CTC Terminology?

Hi, I’ve been watching Cracking the Code since it first started appearing on Youtube and although I love the videos and the site I can’t always keep up with everything.

Is there a glossary of all of the terminology - and abbreviations - somewhere on the site?

For example I know what DWPS is but newer members may be confused by this and I personally sometimes want to verify that my understanding of certain terms are correct. Today I was a little confused by what specifically is meant by “swiping” and although it was easy enough to find a video that explained it, I would love to have a video or PDF document with everything in one place. Thanks!


Hi John! We don’t have that yet, but we have generally spec’d out a wikipedia-style section of the site with text descriptions, images and video examples, all interconnected in the usual intertubes fashion, which we think will eventually be far superior to the printed materials of yore. We’re still in the formative stages on that but will probably get bits of that up over the next six months or so.


Thanks Troy! Looking forward to that. I know you’ve got your team for this stuff but if I can ever do anything to help let me know.

I realize a thread was made already on this, but I can’t help but wonder if it would be a lot more user-friendly if there was a stickied thread at the top of the forums with a glossary of terms and acronyms.

And for some of the terms, which may harder to describe with technical writing, maybe some contextual support in a picture of tab, or a snippet video to see how it’s done would be helpful. Just a thought.

We’re building a Wikipedia-style multimedia reference section like this - not a forum thing, a separate area of the site. But yes it’s in the works…


Good question. Also FYI I merged w/ the existing discussion to avoid redundancy. No worries re: resurrecting an old topic, I think makes sense in this case.

As Troy mentioned one of our medium/long-term projects is creating a much better technical encyclopedia on our site for all this stuff. But for now maybe we could try an experiment —

I’m making the post just below this one a “wiki” post, which means it will be editable by anyone on the forum with Trust Level 1 or above (i.e. functionally everyone except brand-new members). Click “edit” and add to the structure of things you’d like to see included in a Cracking the Code glossary / quick reference guide.

We have some ideas for this already, but curious to hear your thoughts as well!

I think this will be a cool experiment in collaborative editing. If this works well we can try other “wiki” topics on the forum to gather collective knowledge wherever it makes sense.

Note: I believe only one person can edit the Wiki at once. If you see an indicator like “[x] is editing…” just wait a minute to avoid potentially overwriting other users’ edits.

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Suggestions for Cracking the Code glossary / encyclopedia / quick reference

Please add to the list below with anything you’d like to see included…terms to define, concepts to clarify, etc. We’ll work on eventually building out a section of the site for this!

basic terms

  • picking concepts
  • picking mechanics
  • stringhopping
  • alternate / tremolo
  • pick attack

picking concepts

  • downward pickslanting
  • upward pickslanting
  • two-way pickslanting
  • crosspicking
  • hybrid, sweep, economy…

picking mechanics

  • wrist
  • elbow
  • forearm rotation

body / anatomy

  • joints
  • muscles
  • positions (pronated / supinated)

common misunderstandings

  • pickslanting as describing path, not just the pick angle
  • different pick angles/orientations e.g. pickslanting vs. edge picking


  • from MAB to TWPS!
  • potentially problematic/confusing:
    • NPS can mean “notes per string” OR “notes per second”

overview re: main concepts:

  • “works best with”
  • “can be combined with”
    • i.e. dwps combined with economy gives 3nps scales

edit credits - thanks to the below users for suggestions:
(add your name here if you’ve edited the above wiki!)

I put this in a separate post, cause it’s not really about terms, more about concept.
I’d say the main work is building categories, the terms should fall in then by themselves … more or less.
So my brainstrom would be:

  • basic terms (picking concept, picking mechanic, string hopping, alternate/tremolo, pick attack, …)
  • picking concepts (UWPS,DWPS,TWPS,crosspicking, Hybrid, Sweep/Economy)
  • picking mechanics (wrist, elbow, …)

probably add a section ‘body’ with:

  • joints
  • muscles
  • positions (pronated, supinated, …)


  • common misunderstandings (slant does not equal pick angle, …)
  • acronyms (from MAB to TWPS - we already have one problem: NPS can mean Notes per string OR per second)

I guess the long term members would basically use the body section.
For new members the concepts should be of biggest interest. I’d add an overview with 2 things:

  • works best with
  • can be combined with (i.e. dwps combined with economy gives 3nps scales)

… just the 2 cents of someone who likes this idea

Hey that’s all great, I was looking for terms, concepts, anything along those lines. I edited the stuff you listed into the wiki post above :slight_smile: Anyone else…feel free to add to this as well!

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Hi all - I’m new here (this is my first post!) - but I actually joined to ask pretty much this exact question. Is there a glossary of any kind available at this stage? Reading through the forums I see a bunch of terms mentioned and it’s a bit tricky to keep up, especially since I don’t have the time to meticulously go through all of the CTC videos that are out there.

Thanks so much for the awesome site, resources and forum! :):blush:


Welcome, and fair point! I would propose something like this: the first time an acronym is mentioned in a thread, the meaning should be recalled.

E.g. If I were to open a thread about DWPS I would write “Downward Pickslanting (DWPS)” the first time, and only “DWPS” all the subsequent times.


Thanks tommo! :slight_smile: It’s also things like two-string-escape and some of the wrist movement terminology, in addition to the abbreviations. Just to get some fundamental idea of the complete pool of ideas that fall under the CTC scope.

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Interesting that there is no mention of “trapped/escaped,” that is arguably the deepest concept that derives many of the others.