The Oz Noy Interview Is Here!


View on the Cracking the Code Platform:


We have two conversations with Oz - forty minutes apiece, with about 120 musical examples pulled out. Up on the platform now. These were both super fun to do, and we had a great time getting to the bottom of Oz’s seemingly endless supply of cool picking techniques.

Astute observers will note just how many ways Oz will play the same line, with no particular provocation from me. He’ll do the same scale phrase with economy, alternate, or economy then switching to alternate right in the middle of the line. He’ll do pure alternate with one pickslant, pure alternate with another. And pure alternate crosspicking both orientations, pronated and supinated.

Oz will also tell you he has no conscious awareness of any this, which is also not entirely true, since the very first thing we talk about is forearm orientation and he’s quite aware of the subtleties in his different approaches. Instead, as I’ve written in the accompanying blog piece, I think it’s just that Oz doesn’t like to think about those things, because his trial and error type learning functions best when he’s a little hands-off. Regarding learning by feel, Oz explains this rather explicitly at several points in the conversation, even going so far as to say that when you can do a movement fast, “that’s how you know you’ve got something”.

This is something we’ve discussed quite a bit and I think the more we look at this, the more we’ll realize that “naturals” have a whole different approach to learning which is for the most part not the slow and steady metronome slog, but something much more like what Oz does.

Great guy, great meeting him.


Fantastic work! I’m very interested in this interview!
Will it also be available as a standalone purchase?


Sure — we’re still working on tablature, that should be done by the end of the week. We’ll put it in the store when we’ve got everything together.


That sounds great, thank you!


I can’t believe I never thought of that 2nps diagonal scale thing (what he calls “backwards” playing).

I guess that’s why he’s Oz Noy and I’m sat here in my pants in the farm office watching Oz Noy.

I really like how he articulates the difference between practising and playing/performing/improvising.


Great interview! He does seem like nice guy, I really liked the vibe of the whole thing. Great playing. I relate to most of his concepts and I’m curious if he ever worked with Mick Goodrik’s Advancing Guitarist book-that’s where I got all these ideas from, the 2 strings at a time mini positions, the 2 nps scales, the 4 nps with 1st finger slides…I’ve been working with that stuff for years and it really opens up thr fretboard in a way that directly conects with music materials and concepts…triads, 7th arps, motifs.
Also, great playing on Autumn Leaves.Amazing lines…the octave dispacement thing, wow…he makes it sound so good and flowing. And this counter point thing…that’s something you don’t see often and I feel that he will develop it even further…
Great job, Troy. Hard to pick just one CtC interview as my favorite but this one would make the top 3.


any update on the tabs troy? I’m jonesin’ here :slight_smile:


Almost done! All the shorter examples are complete; the free time / improv stuff is tricky so will be a bit longer til it’s all finished, but probably will all be done and uploaded in the next week. We may be able to get some of em added to the site sooner.


A bunch of them are up there now! A few here and there are missing, will get filled in over the coming days.

Sorry for the delay on this. As usual, we included a lot of stuff as “clips” that was really just random warmup. I like this stuff because you get a really unfiltered view of how the player sees the fretboard. And you get a wider mix of mechanical motions on the picking side as well compared to when you ask someone a pointed question during an interview. This is especially true In the case of Oz, where any stretch of ten seconds of his warmup is a huge crazy variety of stuff.

Out of context, i.e. not in a song, the note choice and of course the tempo, are all over the map. Which makes transcription difficult. Hence the delay.


I thought he mentioned Mick when he works out Autumn Leaves on two strings in the second interview. I’d have to re-watch it but I think he credits him. It think Stern did also when he was talking about single-string playing.

Yes Oz is a super great dude, and up for anything. He has that demeanor where you think at first he’s going to be a little gruff but in fact it’s the exact opposite.

Super wide musical and mechanical vocabularies also. In fact, unlike most of the players we have interviewed, even when he’s playing stock exercise-type phrases he will switch up the picking each time he plays them. There is one scalar example we pulled out where he starts with economy/sweep and then launches into pure alternate halfway through for seemingly no reason. When it comes to rote phrases like this, most people memorize them a specific way and only play it that way, because that’s how memorization works. But Oz seems to have all kinds of variety in there even when it’s not obvious what purpose it serves.


you guys work like crazy on this stuff and we are all massively grateful! I can’t begin to imagine how long it takes to tab out ‘free form’ playing and I’m thankful (for my own back’s sake) that I’m not the one having to be stooped over the computer/guitar working this stuff out. You guys are awesome!

Cant wait to get stuck into it all


Update: all 125 Oz Noy clips are now live on the platform and ready to watch! This includes Oz’s three lengthy backing track improvisations, plus a bunch of great examples of free time noodling Oz did from when we were setting up for the interviews. All kinds of great musical ideas and phrases here. Enjoy!