Hi guys, I’ve been checking out Troy’s stuff for forever and lurking here soaking up tips and advice. I downloaded CtC back when it was new and there was just the 2 seasons, then the Pickslanting Primer, and although I love the documentary style of CtC (and Troy’s “bedroom” gave me childhood flashbacks) I never had sufficient time to get into heavily studying the concepts…moving, marriage, job change, children, job change again, moving again, job change again, etc. But now I’m finally devoting time and fully getting into it.
I’ve been playing about 30 years, starting in the late 80s, when all I wanted to do was play like EVH, George Lynch, Warren Demartini, etc. But pre-internet in a tiny rural Southern town with no guitar teacher, the best I could hope for was an occasional Guitar World or Guitar for the Practicing Musician (remember those?), where I learned a lot of scales, licks, etc., but failed to develop any real shred speed. I largely abandoned my quest once grunge came along, and I found myself playing in cover bands with a large emphasis on classic rock where virtuoso speed wasn’t really needed.
Flash forward 30 years and between nostalgia, YT vids, the availability of any music I want (old or new), and things like CtC, I’m back to wanting to shred!
A while back, I got this book called “The Daily Burn: A Daily Guitar Practice Program for the Development of Accuracy, Dexterity, Strength, and Speed” by Chris Cotter (who I am not affiliated with in any way at all…strangely, there’s zilch about him on the internet, even though his book is widely available). I had seen a video with Tom Hess…sigh yes, THAT Tom Hess, but his advice on picking stuck with me for some reason, and I started working on a technique where the side of my picking hand thumb grazed the strings and my hand was slanted back. I started working on the book using this technique, and got progressively faster and more accurate. Once I took whatever roundabout way I came back to diving back into CtC, I realized that I was UWPS! By this time (about a year later), I was able to blaze pretty well using that technique, but my DWPS was sorely lacking. I am thinking about going through the book again using only DWPS this time, but I don’t have as much time to devote to it now, and it’s quite a slog. Instead, I’ve been just doing DWPS tremolo picking as much as I can every day. I’m not sure the book itself is anything special, or that it just made me realize that I just wasn’t picking as much as I needed to be to get where I want to be. I think I may be better served just going through the CtC courses.
Even just as far back into CtC as I’ve gotten, Troy’s discoveries are mind-blowing. I would’ve done anything if Bill and Ted could’ve transported Troy back to my room circa 1988 to share his insights so I could’ve blown Mike Varney’s mind, gotten a Shrapnel deal, and gone on to stardom replacing Paul Gilbert in Racer X…be still my beating heart.
Also, Ben Eller’s YT channel has been very helpful at filling in some gaps and providing me with some other 2WPS licks to practice on, so I have to give a shout-out to Uncle Ben