Hanky Pooh's Picking


As they say in the movies… that escalated quickly.

Hank, I’m going to apologize because it looks like I’m guilty of a little disrespect here. Not my intent. Although this may be a little too late, I like you, you seem like a force for good in the world. I’ve in general been thankful for your posts and supportive of your quest to reinvent some of these basic movements for yourself.

It is clear you are an experienced player, with a wealth of real-world experience, and I did not mean to imply otherwise. Instead, it was my impression that you were intentionally working on simplified patterns (sixes, for example) as a way of retraining some basic movements. Not because you can’t play more sophisticated stuff. A lot of the exercise-y things we work on are intentionally “Mary Had a Little Lamb” because it makes it easier to focus on the movements. The “Thriller” solo was a great example of doing that while still making it fun / musical. That looked like progress to me, and I said so, as an attempt to be supportive of it.

Also, just so we’re clear, in no way have I ever withheld any sort of information on here based on whether someone is or isn’t paying us. I can’t even tell from screen names who’s a subscriber and who isn’t. I can go look it up in our dashboard but I generally don’t. This is a workshop for generating new ideas, and everyone matters for that, whether or not they ever send us a penny. I’ve spent a ton of time on here sharing very detailed thoughts on stuff, including slowing down and examining internet footage and posting up the results for everyone to look at.

Anyway apologies again for overstepping. If you want us to delete your stuff I’m sure we can do so. But hopefully you’ll consider sticking around. I’m a little torn as to what do with the above post - I’m not interested in being censorship guy and deleting everything we don’t agree with. And I’m willing to own up if I’ve been a jerk. But I feel like there’s gotta be a Geneva convention of some sorts when it comes to f-bombs to my face.


Troy, that is an extremely gracious post.

Hank, I know my playing would be about a million times better now if it wasn’t for all the times in the past I’ve thought something was too simple to be worthwhile practise.

Now the most progress comes when I isolate something down to even as small as 2 notes or a string change or whatever.


[quietly hoping for everyone to just start getting along with each other again, like some sort of pre-Thanksgiving miracle]


Edit: And not “Addams Family Values” style…


Not sure if it’s a good idea to get involved in this, but I would be sad if this was the end of it.

Hank, I also hope you decide to stick around, I enjoyed reading your stuff and watching your practice videos and crazy teddy bear-covers.

I think Troy’s initial response was a bit too harsh, although your reaction wasn’t kind either. I think it was good of Troy to recognise that and take a step back. Well I hope to see you here again soon!

Peace \m/

(Hoping to not piss off both parts)


Man… You have thick skin. Wow… :confused: I don’t like talking like that.

I’m sorry, @Troy
Happy Thanksgiving @Frylock
Thank you @tommo


No problem Hank and glad to be back on track. Much prefer the bear to the bird!


I realize it makes me a monster, but when a moment of reconciliation like this happens, I just can’t help my mind from wandering to the “shinebox” scene in Goodfellas. Somehow I just can’t let something nice happen without imagining gasoline being thrown on the fire. Not saying that to impugn anyone here, just thought anyone with a similarly dark sense of humor might enjoy grimacing at me.

Glad to see cooler heads prevail.


I also feel like that at times! I discovered Troy’s work in 2015 and at the time I thought “cool, so that’s how it works, I’m going to pick everything at 6000bpm in two days” (I hadn’t been playing/practicing properly for ~10y). 2.5 years later I’m still struggling with a lot of things, even though I made massive improvements (and I like to think that I am still slowly but steadily improving — I just need to be patient).

I think the reality is that these things take very long to learn properly, even though we are now aware of what the movements are supposed to be / look like. But at least we don’t have to practice randomly: before CtC there was no guarantee that hours of picking every day would do any good to one’s technique (it could have been 1000h simply wasted in trying to do something impossible with the right hand!).

I can’t know for sure, but I think even for @Troy there was a reasonably long time between figuring out the techniques intellectually and imprinting them in his muscle memory to reach the levels we are seeing now. (PS: Troy we are still waiting for your solo album :sunglasses: ).


I like how now that the storm has passed, all what’s left in the post are the awkward kisses :grin:

This! Or in general, I’d like (I am sure I am not the only one) to see new lessons from Troy like the Steve Vai intimidation lick you did for Guitar World!

Cheers! \m/


My perspective on picking, and guitar playing in general is, that there will always be a load of people better than you. It’s hard to accept but I think that once a person does, playing in general becomes easier and you don’t get discouraged as much.

For example, I used to get so jealous of these kids shredding like crazy on Youtube, playing Racer X tunes that I could never dream of playing, some of them were half my age (I’m 37 now). I decided that I probably would never get to their level but I could try and have fun along the way. I really think it’s harder when you get older to bring your playing up to a completely new standard as some really bad habits have become ingrained over the years.


@frylock That’s twisted. Goodfellas is a classic and the whole “paw” scene where they borrow Tommy’s mom’s knife to dislodge the roadkill “deer” is rumored to be improvised.

Nitro already existed, Mike did a great job with that, and his technique was/is pretty much perfect for that job in a way mine will probably never be.

Yep. Try making guitar videos for a living - you’ll quickly come to this realization. That’s one of the things I like about the Stern stuff. He’s not playing mechanically impossible things, just cool things that sound like him. The magic is in the vocabulary, which is of course a technical achievement in itself. But that’s one we can all develop, regardless of our level of physical capability, for the rest of our lives.


Great question. I guess that depends! Some aspects are sometimes instant, and other aspects continue to change for a long time.

The downward pickslanting stuff was nearly instant, in the sense that I could immediately play one phrase, played one way, with whatever picking movement I was using at the time, which I don’t even remember. I was probably already using the technique and just didn’t know it. Some of the other insights, like two way pickslanting, were more complicated because that technique was “figured out” more deliberately, over time, by watching video, experimenting, watching more video, and so on. So the process of learning the technique was intermingled with the process of discovery that the technique even existed. It probably took a year just figuring out that this was even going to work at all.

So I would try not to read too much into how long it took me, since the process was indeed probably much longer than we would like it to be for players approaching it with actual teaching. We’ve already seen stuff on the forum, right here, from new-ish players that is light years quicker than whatever I did. This is the kind of head start we are hoping to deliver, and we can still do a much better job in outlining the different hand movements and setups so it’s less confusion.

@Hanky_Pooh you should absolutely not get discouraged. Nobody does all these movements, not even me. What matters is that you find what you’re good at and do more of it. You’ve proven to be very good at adapting these little licks and exercises into fun musical examples that sound good while being instructive. That’s where your years of music experience come into play. You have a massive head start in musical vocabulary land compared to a newbie. I would immediately start writing licks and lines of your own that use whatever one of these techniques you are currently best at. Once you start to unleash your own creativity with these techniques, and you can play lines simply for their enjoyment, you’ll start to care a lot less about the technical rat race and a lot more about music.


Thank you man. A couple of things happened that day that hurt my feelings. Boohoo. lmao. I am just as driven as ever to play.

To heck with that crap @aliendough I’m gonna be the fastest! :rofl: Tell them kids to turn the album track off and play it… Little ******** using Gilbert and Bouillet for training wheels. Hahaha, later dude.


Do you guys know who the Great Kat is?


Heard the name back in the day, but never saw/heard any of the music.


I thought some of you guys might have heard of her. She did an album called “Beethoven On Speed” that is ridiculous shred. She’s up in NY where CTC is. This is me back in the day. Let’s just say I’ve played that black Jackson. :slightly_smiling_face::upside_down_face::slightly_smiling_face:


Lookin good, young Hank!!


You do realize she’s a vampire… :wink:


Tell me about it. She kills me and cuts me up


Holy @£$%! I think I am traumatized now :sweat_smile: