What do you think of the Troy Stetina Mechanics book?


Just curious if people here like this book. The Amazon reviews are really positive.


My old guitar teacher built his technique in part off that and Rock Discipline and he is a great player. It’s a classic IMO. It couldn’t hurt to pick it up but it is pretty exercise heavy.


I have a love/hate relationship with that book. It has some great “what to practice” suggestions, and some concepts that are good. And for someone who understands the ideas CTC has covered and can read Stetina’s book with a critical eye, I think you can pull some great stuff out of it. But I think for someone without CTC background, Stetina’s book could potentially be counterproductive inasmuch as following Stetina’s suggestions in the absence of CTC insight could for some people result in the reinforcement of counterproductive habits.

There’s one section in Stetina’s book that has a collection of string crossing exercises, and he suggests working on each one, and gives the sensible advice of measuring your progress and allocating more time to the ones that you identify as “problem areas” for yourself. Though they aren’t distinguished by Stetina, the collection includes some examples that in the post-CTC world we recognize as “2-way pickslanting”, or “occasional double-escaped” or whatever term we’re using now to refer to something that’s mostly single-escaped, but has some double-escapes sprinkled in. So those exercises from Stetina do present an opportunity for a subset of players to stumble into their own solutions for 2-way pickslanting, but they don’t actually prescribe a solution for those of us who fail to intuit our own way into 2-way pickslanting.

There’s also some potentially harmful repetition of some of the popular advice that CTC has caused us to re-evaulate: e.g. importance of small motions, neutral pickslant (may be useful for people trying to develop 2-way pickslanting, but might impede progress in getting over the hump with 1-way/single-escaped licks), emphasis on slow “perfect” repetitions in the absence of a valid reference point for what “perfect” reps will actually look and feel like at speed.

With those caveats aside, if you read Stetina’s book with CTC goggles on, I think you could pull a lot of good things out of it.

And I think Stetina’s more basic “Metal Rhythm Guitar 1&2” and “Metal Lead Guitar 1&2” books are probably the best introductory rock guitar books around.


The number one most important idea I got from Rock Discipline was the idea of sometimes treating your picking hand like a “motor” running at a certain speed when you do fast-picked stuff, rather than always thinking in terms of discrete pickstrokes (though there are times when that is the right approach too).


Check out :

Complete technique for modern guitar
By Joseph Alexander.

Phenomenal book that is really helping my LH finger independence

Aldo Guitar Scales in context by the same author

Fundamental Changes has some great titles, especially the books by Chris Brooks which mirror Troy material. …

All on Amazon