Trial and error practicing - what is "the click"?

Hey Jacob gomes here !
I Understand the whole concept of Trial & Error But i just want know about " THE CLICK " in details… Thanks in advance to all of you …

Hi Jacob! I don’t think we have a specific video on the topic, but this is indeed a term that’s come up often when describing the process of motor learning. Basically “the click” refers to the moment where you start to feel something is working.

In other words, say you’ve been doing some trial and error practice for a while, working on a particular picking motion. At first, most of the time it may feel awkward and inconsistent. But every so often you may have a moment where it feels effortless; that’s when we say it “clicks”. Most likely it will be temporary, but each time you feel that “click” you can begin to better internalize what it feels like and eventually get it happening more consistently.

This post has some good description of what this process looks / feels like:

See this part in particular:

And indeed, you can see that the motion still stops and starts in occasional fits of freezing. This is what motions look like when you’re still learning them. They’re uncoordinated and a little wild, and the whole thing doesn’t feel uniformly smooth. Your brain is still figuring out how to wire the connection for longer durations and greater consistency and smoothness.

This “realistic speed but sloppy” phase is a critical stage of the motor learning process. It means that you’re zeroing in on what it feels like to actually do the motion correctly, which is the most important first step you can take. The accuracy of the actual notes doesn’t matter as much at this point. What matters is that you can feel the “click” of the motion kicking into high gear, that you have some kind of visual confirmation of the motion being correct, and that you can hit at least some of the notes, some of the time, so that you can verify that they sound good and realistic. A good-sounding pick attack is one piece of evidence that you’re doing the motion right, and the motion is really what we’re trying to evaluate here. These three criteria are how you know you’re getting somewhere with a new motion.

Hope that helps! If there’s something more we can clarify please let us know and @Troy may be able to share some further detail.


I Got it… Actually i m working on Two way Pick slanting about a month … sometimes i feel that - yah ! i Got it but when i start playing that again , sounds awkward … but now this time after working on little piece of notes like 6 note chunk ascending or descending i can say , Cracking the Code changed the world with just a pick … Thanks again :slight_smile: i will buy anti-gravity seminar very soon :slight_smile: @Troy

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I still don’t acquire that speed I want or at least something close to it. But sometimes I have felt that smoothness using DwPs or UWPS on certain exercises that something in my brain and hands tell me "that must be it, that is TECHNIQUE, that something that optimizes the whole execution " and not something like bodybuilding, which is what I have felt all these years with the old approach of 'gradually increasing the metronome by 2,3,5 or 8 bpm.

I am not saying I don’t need to build up things like coordination or endurance, but that sort of ‘click’ like “hey something is working differently” feels evident.
Or maybe I just imagining it all :joy::joy:

I had an amazing crosspicking ‘click’ moment last night, but made a terrible mistake in that once I could do it I kept doing it for like an hour out of fear of not being able to do it anymore, rather than doing it for a bit, stopping and trying to go back to it.

So this morning it’s been like George’s Marvellous Medicine, retracing my steps to try and get back to it… “So, I was practising down-picking metal riffs across multiple strings, then I was doing drum rudiment style patterns across two strings, and then I suddenly launched into Beaumont Rag at speeds approaching infinite”.

Results so far have been… mixed. It’s still in there somewhere but it’s not freely available on command.


I’m sorry to revive an old thread, but searching on “click” resulted in this thread…and this quote was what I wanted to ask about.

Specifically, do most people experience “the click” on their speed journey or is this just one possible phenomena on the path to speed?

I’m 50. I’ve been play guitar a long time. I’ve got a younger brother who is in his 30s. He’s been playing a long time too. And he can shred. He can play darn near anything. We talk about guitar playing a LOT and he swears that I just need to wait for “the click” to happen (and it will). I’m not so sure. I’ve been waiting for the click a long time. It’s frustrating. I spend my time trying different combinations of wrist moments, pick grips, etc. I’m just trying to play one note on a single string at 150pbm 16th notes (what Michael Angelo Batio describes as the edge of the shred zone - at least I think it was him). I’m not getting to that speed. Not even close. Nothing is clicking.

In episode 9 of Cracking the Code, Troy describes everything falling into place for him. Essentially, it all clicked for him.

Is “the click” a required step?

It doesn’t seem like it should be. Guys like Ben Higgins, Michael Angelo Batio, and Troy also talk about not building speed but just playing fast straight away, just for a moment or two, just to feel what it feels like to play fast.

But if it doesn’t click for you, how do you know what it feels like/when you’re doing it right?

Sorry for the ramble. I suppose few journeys are a straight line and right now I’m going in circles…

If you have the possibility to do so, I suggest filming yourself when trying to play fast on a single string and post it in the technique critique subforum! Perhaps someone can help diagnose your problem.

Good suggestion! I’m new to CtC and this forum and still getting familiar with things. But that’s on my to-do list (once I figure out how to make an anonymous/private YouTube account - seems like that should be easy but I can’t figure it out).

Post as usual, just choose ‘unlisted’ instead of private or public.

You’ve nailed it. This is the central problem of all physical skill learning. Before you were able to balance on a bike, how did you know what it would be like to do it? If you’ve ever tried to stand up on a surf board or water skis, it’s one of those things that, until you do it, you just won’t ever know what it feels like.

But… if you can remember at all what it felt like to learn to ride a bike, you may remember that it wasn’t all that subtle. No training wheels on, balancing by yourself, it’s a very distinct feeling.

So, to be more specific, in the case of picking technique generally speaking, you’re looking for a motion that goes fast with relatively low effort. You also want the attack to be even so that the notes sound good. These things often go hand in hand but not always.

If you can’t achieve this, that’s a good sign that you’re simply not doing the motion correctly, and therefore you want to know that, so you don’t waste any more time with it. That was the whole point of the “Starting With Speed” video, but maybe it got lost in the sauce.

If you can’t stand up on the surf board, it’s because you did it wrong. Paddle back out and try something a little different this time. When it comes to picking technique, if it’s not at least reasonably fast and smooth, then it’s not right, and you need to change something about your form and try again.


No, I don’t think that point got lost. Everything in that video is logical. I just can’t find what works (despite lots of attempts and approaches). So I keep trying. Because I know it’s pretty much a waste of time to play guitar until I find the correct motion that works for me.

I’ll try to post a video in the critique section soon. I’m praying that my issue is something that’s been seen before, easily corrected, the lightbulb goes on and…it clicks.

I just want to know what it feels like to fly. Even if it’s just for a moment .