Who would you like to see interviewed next by Troy and the team?


Easiest is probably just direct messaging me via the forum (click my name then “Message”). Or an email to our main support email is good too, that’s our shared support inbox. I’m monitoring both all day err’day*.

(*at least during business hours NYC time :smiley: )


Oh, I also need to mention NUNO BETTENCOURT. Awesome versatile chops, tasty blend of techniques and musicality. Great rhythm work combined with licks, fills and variations.

Similar to the earlier mentioned PAUL GILBERT :metal:but funkier


Neil Zaza!!


KardKlub was not me - that was a fan channel. I’ve always been troygrady at YouTube.


I would like to see Pete Thorn on CTC.


Paul Bollenback is a supremely skilled NYC-based jazz guitarist (both his picking chops and theoretical knowledge), and a very experienced conservatory-level teacher. He’s also a great communicator, so I bet an interview with him would be incredibly interesting!


Troy should interview Matteo Mancuso to figure out how the hell this guy can play Gilbert and Johnson and Django without a pick! Seems like with his style none of the pickslanting issues arise and he has no limits!


Oh shit has anyone contacted Uli Jon Roth yet???


George Benson and John McLaughlin.


Yeah, it’s a surprisingly clear shot of his picking hand, isn’t it?

Is it my imagination, or just lack of familiarity with some of the more advanced CTC mechanics (hoping to fix that this weekend), or is Herring’s mechanic just extremely unusual? I can’t say I’ve spent as long as some of you scrutinizing players’ picking hands, but I can’t recall ever seeing someone with that sort of rotational pivot thing going on, that you see in Herring’s playing.


If he is explained all the details, I bet you Uli would do it. He’s cool as a MF. Then you can magnet some of those 70s Scorpions licks.



Maybe but he’s a pretty big name. I think he would be expensive to get and I don’t know if they’d want to spend a lot of money for a guy with 70’s technique unless it’s John McLaughlin (who refused although whether because of money or something else I don’t know), or Al DiMeola.


Thank you Brendan! The player in that list of guys who refused I’d be most interested in seeing is John McLaughlin. I’ve seen him live 5 times. Did he say why he refused? I wonder if some of the guitarists who have refused did so because they wanted more money. Do you go about deciding how much your company is willing to pay a guy for an interview with filming his technique so he can hep teach your subscribers the “tricks of his trade” based upon the level of stardom or popularity he’s reached in his career?

Of course considering you are asking experts for the little secrets they’ve discovered that have helped make them great has likely led some of them to say: “Why should I let all of your subscribers know the secrets of my trade it has taken me decades to perfect? They don’t deserve to know any of that; after all, what price have they paid? I’ve spent my life developing these things and you want me to just practically give them away”? How often (approximately) do you get a player who responds to your request in a similar manner to that?

I’m not trying to make it seem that attitude would be exclusive to musicians. If you were to ask any master tradesman the little secrets he’s developed that have helped make him great such as asking an expert chef for all the little secrets he’s developed, and to know his best recipes, again I’d expect the reply : “What price have they paid? They don’t deserve to know any of that.”


Troy’s first contact with John McLaughlin was in the very early stages of the Cracking the Code project, probably around a decade ago now. At the time John’s lack of interest was more tied into belief that picking technique has to be discovered individually, and he didn’t really see the value in the kind of technical analysis we do.

This was before we’d released material showing in detail how different techniques work, so a pretty common and understandable initial response. We haven’t had luck getting in touch with him more recently but perhaps now if he had a chance to look at our stuff he’d be more open to it.

This gets at a more general answer to your other question though — in our experience it’s actually very common for elite players to not really know how their technique actually works. And indeed it seems common with any sort of intuitive physical genius: the best in the world often develop greatness at what they do via lots of time and trial and error, but without conscious understanding of how exactly it works.

So we really haven’t observed much in the way of players being explicitly averse to sharing their secrets. It’s possible that some think that way but we don’t tend to hear this directly. Much more common that they don’t recognize such secrets exist! What “special sauce” we’re able to uncover typically isn’t by getting these players to explain stuff to us, but rather trying to draw conclusions by observation e.g. with slow-mo video analysis. We often think of our approach as something like “musical Mythbusters”. Questions of intuitive / tacit knowledge vs. what we’re able to articulate and transfer and replicate.

And of course, knowing how something works makes it easier to learn, but it’s never a magic bullet…the same way that learning about efficient athletic training may help me improve my gym routine, but won’t necessarily get me to the Olympic tryouts.

I’d actually hazard a guess that most people at a truly elite level in any field aren’t too worried about others knowing how they do what they do, and often actually enjoy sharing details about their work. I’m generalizing, but think of all the chefs that happily share a lifetime of recipes for just the price of a book. Or as another example take something like Masterclass, where basically the whole premise is people world-class in their field explaining what they do. Steph Curry is happy to teach how he shoots a basketball; Annie Leibovitz is happy to teach her photography methods; Garry Kasparov is happy to teach chess…they’re not concerned about competition or hoarding their secrets.

Though…I can imagine some fields, like say quantitative trading, or pharmaceutical research, where there actually are deeply valuable and highly guarded secrets. Perhaps the line between the two is what separates those we consider “artists” or “performers” or “masters” from other sorts of experts. A hazy line to be sure, but something to think about… Anyway this reply is already longer than I planned so I’ll trail off there! Lots of great questions here, and many interesting challenges to consider studying / teaching expert knowledge. You can probable tell we have fun thinking about this stuff :smiley:

Thoughts on Malmsteen's Reh video

I love Paul’s playing - he must be a downward pickslanter because I see him shredding 2nps pentatonics…


Jonathan Kreisberg and Kurt Rosenwinkel, awesome technique and interesting lines.


Troy, maybe you and the CtC team could come down here and do a live interview with Andy Timmons at the Guitar Sanctuary in McKinney, Texas. Sold out crowd guaranteed.


I was just checking out an interview with Paul. We can’t see the pick’s path from the camera angle in this clip, but his right hand has the classic pronated UWPS setup.

Here’s the clip:


Takayoshi Ohmura ,i like his thumb joint picking
There are several great japanese players in youtube,etc… but they explain their techniques in japanese language


Anyone else into Nick Johnston?