If you lined up a 100 players chosen at random from the entire world of guitarists who play lead, how many of them do you think you would find where they could not play a single note on a string fast with picking? 5%? 10%? More? Less?
Based on the response to the original Cracking the Code episodes, my impression was that most of the guitar playing world was like me: could play fast on a single string on one note, but anything more complicated than that felt sloppy. Didn’t know what motion they were making, so anything more complicated they were likely to hit strings and play wrong notes. So they end up mostly giving up on fast picking and just doing some pick / legato thing, maybe with some tremolo and tapping. Again, if you had asked me in 2014, I would have said that describes like 80% or more of the players in the world.
It’s only since we’ve been doing this that we learned that there is some significant number of players who can’t do the single string thing because they habituated a motion that is actually inefficient, even when playing one note. So they have trouble even going above something like 120bpm sixteenth notes. That was news to me. And of course it’s probably the case that here on the forum we see a skewed percentage of this issue because people need help. No doubt, we want to provide it.
On the flipside, probably only a small number of players who play guitar, I’d guess maybe less than 10%, find a core motion and actually learn to build an entire vocabulary with it like an EJ or a McLaughlin. So let’s call that the “natural” percentage. The 80% had the motion, but couldn’t tell by feel what kind of motion it was. So they never got into the 10%
So back of the envelope what are the percentages here? 10% stringhopping, 10% natural, 80% efficient motion with incomplete skills? What other tiers are am I missing? How could we test this on a representative sample of players to actually find out?