Thank you Troy!


I just want to say THANK YOU. I’ve been through the Primer and the Antigravity seminars and feel the scales have fallen from my eyes. I have been mostly a fingerstyle player most of my life and truly hated a pick. However, I’m a stubborn man and I believe in occasionally facing your demons head on. I can’t tell you how many times over the last 35 years I have tried grab a pick only to throw it away in disgust. I saw a frankly dismissive post about your course on a jazz guitar forum by someone who’s opinion I do not respect at all and knew I had to check you out.


I can’t tell you how many mysteries you solved for me. For example, I discovered I am an upward pick slanter like McLaughlan (I didn’t even know that was a thing). I always tried to override my instinct because I had been told to hold the pick horizontally and pick in an up/down motion. I fought picking in a diagonal in/out way.

Likewise, I found out I swipe. But not always. Sometimes, when I didn’t think about it I could move towards the bass strings cleanly, and other times there was all this weird noise I couldn’t identify. I find I mute using the thumb that is holding the pick --not my left hand. I had often felt that I was being lazy and tried to teach myself to lift my hand away from the strings only to get sloppier. Again, I had no idea why (a recurring theme for me)!

So on and so forth. Every time I tried to get better, I got worse. I was inconsistent and often would just have to stop because the pick would get tangled up in the strings.

Now I know why. That and a dozen other things. Some people can do things without knowing why. Pure instinct. I am the opposite. I find even easy things impossible if I don’t first understand the theory. Weird, but true. But your careful analysis has been a major turning point for me. Even just in the time it has taken me to go through your course and play the examples I feel chains falling off.

Again, thank you.

PS: When were you at Yale? You look vaguely familiar. You remind me of a guy named Dan Schmedlen in my class, but obviously that’s not you. We seem to be roughly the same age. I wonder if I met you back then.


Welcome aboard! enjoy the ride. In the end its all about finding what works for you…not only mechanics but practice habits etc

Peace, JJ


Hello rirhett,

Welcome to the forum! Where are you from? I’m from Maryland, ins a suburb just outside Washington, D.C. I have livd in Tampa, Florida as well because I went there to earn my Bachelor’s Degree In Marketing from The University Of South Florida and I liked Tampa so much that I ended up living there a while longer. So I was in Tampa in the late 80s and early 90s when it was a real hotbed for rock music. We had everything from AOR radio rock to glam metal to progressive metal to thrash and death metal!

You said you were a finger style player most of your life and “truly hated a pick.” Know that you’ve found out about Cracking The Code and Masters In Mechanics is it safe to say that you don’t hate picks anymore? Heh, heh

Troy has done something amazing in that he’s pioneering a field that didn’t exist before. This field - examining the mechanics of some of the world’s most virtuosic guitarists by using a camera attached to the guitar and then watching it back in slow motion to see exactly what these axe slingers are up to is truly pioneering a new field. I say it’s a new field and yet it feels almost like an understatement. Try to think of somebody who was doing this before Troy. There isn’t anybody! The field literally didn’t exist. So I find that pretty extraordinary.

I hope you enjoy your time here. There is a feature on the forum some like to use and it’s named “technique critique.” What you do is video record yourself playing guitar, focusing in on what the right hand is doing regarding the mechanics of your picking style. Then Troy will look at it and for no charge at all he will give you a critique of what you’re doing and if necessary, what you’re doing wrong. I’d say that’s a pretty good deal!

By the way, is your screen name, the “rhett” part in any way because of the character Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind? I ask because that just happens to be my favorite movie of all time.

I at any time you need to ask for help regarding something you’re trying to learn to play on guitar, please don’t hesitate to ask if someone will help you out. There are lots of people here who enjoy helping so don’t be shy about it. Chances are you’ll get several people responding to your request which is nice because then you can take the various responses you got and see which seems to make the most sense to you or what feels the most natural to you.

See Ya!



Thank you @Acecrusher. You are right. I know of no one else taking a mechanical almost sport approach to playing guitar. It is totally revolutionary, and quite necessary. My theory is way ahead of my playing, and it is not for lack of practice. The truth is no one ever taught me how to actually strike the string to make the notes I want to make.

It reminds me of the time I had my running gait evaluated. I couldn’t run more than about a mile and a half without being in pain. I had tried all sorts of equipment and regimens but never could get past the pain. Turns out I simply didn’t know how to run. The coach said that you are taught the mechanics of tennis, the mechanics of swim stroke, the mechanics of a golf swing. But for some reason we assume that we all know how to run. Now if I don’t run it is because I’m lazy, not because I’m in pain.

I live in the vast wasteland between San Diego and Los Angeles. Rhett is my family name. One of my ancestors was a politician from South Carolina during the Civil War, and apparently quite a well known and controversial character of the time. It is likely that Margaret Mead got the name for her character from him.


That’s such a cool story about your family name! I’ve been to South Carolina several times and it’s beautiful. I went to Charleston twice. Charleston is a historical town that dates back to before the civil war. They have gorgeous houses that date back to those times and you can go on tours some these historical houses. They’re very tourism-friendly. They have beautiful plantations which you can also go on tours of and are well worth the price! They also have a ton of great restaurants. The seafood is some of the best I’ve ever had. Myrtle beach is a couple hours north so if you get the chance I advise you visit both while you’re in South Carolina!

Back to guitar, you have come to the right place! From your story about running and your overall post you’re someone who likes to know why we pick a certain way, what makes it work - that sort of stuff and you’ll find a bunch of it here.

I have vacationed in both Los Angeles and San Diego but don’t remember much about what you call “the vast wasteland” in between. That’s funny! I’ve never heard it called that. it’s hard to believe it’s that bad - California is so nice. Are you in driving distance of either one of those cities in case there is a concert or sports event you want to see?


Ha, the classic double negative endorsement, nothing better :rofl: Welcome and glad both that you found us, and that the material has been helpful!