I actually casually observed the Golden Age of shred in the 1980s from a rainy island in Northern Europe (so no MTV and much less mainstream interest), in my youth.
I also casually observed a distant ancestor of cracking the code, when it was more or less a blog about Paul Gilbert’s teenage transition from legato wizardry to outpicking his high school’s best picker in a matter of weeks, with a promise that high speed video footage was on its way.
(In the meantime I got old and married and moved to the Netherlands and my wife had ample opportunities to grow tired of me trying to do roughly the Paul Gilbert lick and Troy Stetina's book)
I’ve been playing guitar badly for nearly 40 years, now, but I took a few years off when I broke my left (fretting) ring finger pretty badly. I took the opportunity to switch to bass (NOTE: this not a joke) and start occasionally gigging in low-key amateur bands.
I’ve even tried some Code stuff years before joining up, because there is more than enough free stuff on the YouTube channel to get started, but I am having another attempt. Being weakly prescient, I signed up before Plague Times. (I am also defending a 70+ day Duolingo score; there was something in the air I tell you.)
Anyway, band rehearsals have been postponed for the foreseeable and I haven’t left the house for a few weeks, so I have put in more shred practice than I might otherwise have done while my (Roger Waters’ signature Fender Precision) bass gathers dust.
My main focus is currently the Yngwie system, because well Yngwie, but the blend of pull-offs, sweeps and alternate picking is proving quite challenging to integrate so I occasionally slack off and try some of what used to be called two-way pick-slanting (with a wrist-forearm rotation that actually tends to get cleaner the more wrist-deviational it becomes but I’ll see what it ends up as I guess), because I also always wanted to play Vinnie Moore’s Pepsi lick.