You only get one instructional





Because its having a narrower focus that’s lead to me improving in a way that I simply hadn’t before. That isn’t to say that I don’t want to dig into Martin Miller’s material (for instance) at some point, but I expect that trying to introduce it now, given my current area of focus, would hinder progress.


Claus Levin’s Kid, Tobias, is a pretty good finger technician too!


The Claus stuff has been a revelation to me, I can’t thank you guys enough for mentioning him.

His free alternate picking, practice course is fantastic! I’m starting it now…

Toughest thing foe me is I want to learn a lot of things, picking, legato, scales, chord theory, songs, solos…

It’s a little scary to devote so much of my time to just so few subjects, but I know deep down I have no other choice. …


yeah im guessing thats somewhat universal…especially in this internet info age. We all have SO much info and see all of these possibilities

Some of Claus’ small statements actually are pretty deep and you miss them if you arent careful. Like on the “turbo charge” vid where he is explaining how important focus is. he says something like “the first step you must take is to become very good at using that technique of focus.”

wow. thats kind of heavy. Focusing is itself a skill that must be learned. Thats the FIRST STEP! its nothing to do with licks or fingering lol

Then he says “this might take you month(s) before its automatic”

So in our typical mindset we think in terms of practicing a lick maybe 3 days in a row (at most) and by then we figure we are good at it lol. But he isnt even talking about licks, he is talking about the skill of focusing itself and that it might take a little while to build that skill lol.

I can witness to that. As an unabashed noodler, its really tough to focus and do one thing. So far for the last several days of loosely trying it, its only working to some small degree.

The first couple days I did one of the PG patterns I listed above. naturally it got faster with that small amount of focus. Then I decided to focus even more and come back down to building speed on one string only

So far the last couple of days its been sort of narrowing down to the Yngwie 6 note lick and to a smaller degree the Yngwie one string ascending 4s

but to a noodler like me, limiting to the Yngwie 6 note pattern is only half the battle. I bet i can name at least 10-12 variations off the top of my head lol. Ascending, descending, 3-1-2-3-2-1, or, 2-1-2-3-2-1, going across the strings etc etc.

So as Claus said, it might take a while to learn to really focus.

That being said, I probably came close so far to the 80/20 rule today. Probably 80% of my time was doing at least SOME variation of the single string 6 note pattern. Amazingly one starts to improve almost right away.

of course, THAT being said, this surface amount of “improvement” isnt going to be very deep. So instead of saying “oy yeah, i got it now”, I need to do as Claus says and take it up to mastery level, or at least take it to a HUGE improvement level. Dont just scratch a few new lines on the surface of the brain, cut some deep gorges lol.

Already I can tell that the work on single strings is helping general scale playing since its all about being more efficient in general etc

To me, THIS is the new front line of improvement. Now essentially we all know intellectually about pickslanting etc. Some have known about it for 4-5 years now. So why arent we all as good as Martin Miller or whomever?? Because getting the skills into the fingers is a skill unto itself. Essentially, we dont really know how to practice IMO

Like I noted earlier, Claus mentioned that we need to shift our focus from being good at guitar to being good at practice.


I loved this bit of chronology/history. I have always wondered about it. Thanks for sharing.


I am pretty sure nobody teached picking the mechanics the way Cracking The Code did before.

Rock Discipline is a modern classic instructional that approached many pattern and excescises that ultimately boiled down to string switching situations that if solved properly the student might find a way to alternate alternate pick and master guitar picking technique, but still it was left for one to discover how to do it. That’s when Troy’s work came to teach that missing Link.

Troy Stetina book on Speed Mechanics was another one that presented varied scalar patterns that put you in situations for different string switching needs.

But again that missing link was yet to be discovered and proved in a slow motion close up camera angle that is now well known. That’s why I already have my favourite instructional website/source figured.


Yeah, Rock Discipline and Speed Kills gave the exercises and patterns. They gave the map, but the map isn’t the territory.

I always thought of Michael Angelo Batio and his saying: “I’m going to give you the keys to the Lamborghini.”

He more or less gave us a rusty coathanger with instructions to get into a locked car that needed to be hotwired to start. Troy gave us a remote key with access to a plush leather automobile interior, zone temperature control, a heated steering wheel, and a bottle of Fiji water in the cup holder. :laughing:


I have to say though…MAB, Yngwie, Gambale, Morse, Gilbert, etc…they found their way through to killer technique WITHOUT the CTC stuff. So there are other elements involved besides intricate mechanical knowledge (focus, drive, determination, belief, persistence …??)

Which is also why some of us arent yet driving the Ferrari even WITH the CTC head knowledge digested. Getting it from the video screen into the fingers is the present challenge


That’s a fair point and can’t be denied. I think it’s a testament to their high level of “body intelligence”. They found their way to the top through feel alone, and in the process, discovered some aspects of technical guitar playing that evolved into legitimate systems of playing the instrument. Which is a miracle, let’s not shortchange them. But they had all of those things Claus talks about, too. I mean look at Paul Gilbert. He literally picked one lick and practiced it for an entire summer, source here:

Intense focus, like a deranged pitbull holding onto something, and not giving up until sonically it’s where you want it to be. It’s a combination of the motions and just not giving up. So many people give up or change focus. You absolutely cannot do that, it will ruin everything. Western society is currently programmed from the top down to grab your attention. Look at this new product, or this new movie, etc. Then you have something like the guitar which demands an almost religious focus to take one thing and get it to the top.

But once again, if you can combine Claus and Troy, you have an advantage that theoretically should put you in the top percentile of guitarist (well, hobbyists, at least) in the world from a raw, mechanical standpoint. I’m not talking about being a shred legend. But it’s the difference between having advanced or elite level strength standards in bodybuilding versus a guy who screws around and stays novice or beginner for ten years straight. If you can take one thing, and I literally mean one thing, and forget about aspirations of songwriting, improv, melody, harmony, whatever, you can make it. Just that one technique, forget about the guitar in the whole, and just focus. At the end you realize you opened up a new world, and that is Claus’ message, and it’s great when combined with CTC.


well yeah I was sort of just thinking out loud and/or throwing out a cautionary tale to others. I have personally found some sort of way to NOT succeed, in spite of having devoured many many rock instructional materials

I had Intense Rock probably around 1992. Had both Vinnie Moore vids. Eric Johnson TEG. etc. Innumerable magazines. Many book/cassette/CD combos.

Yet, I never quite hit “shred” level. I was good for sure, but maybe not great.

After seeing Intense Rock I tried the Paul Gilbert Lick but couldnt quite get it fast and smooth. But did I persevere relentlessly? nah

Then in late 2014 (I think) I ran across the CTC stuff. Ahhh, now I saw why I couldnt get the Gilbert lick going really fast. I was probably a dwps guy. I also think I had a fixed point of contact with my picking hand and therefore would have been getting to some fairly extreme edging angles on the top e string etc.

But late 2014 was over 4 years ago and im still not quite shredding. There are people who took up guitar in that time period who ARE shredding

So I am just offering up to others my own journey as a cautionary tale. Some of us have the ability to NOT succeed even given all the knowledge in the world lol

Head knowledge is definitely not enough. Certain personal qualities and traits need to be developed and used to push technical skills to very high levels

All of that being said, I am hoping I can also give hope to those who have persevered for a long time and not quite gotten there…because my playing is definitely better than ever and I have designs on some serious shredding coming on as we speak


You’re gonna make it man. One of Claus’ best quotes is you can’t ever fail because there’s always tomorrow and tomorrow you might succeed. And you can never quit because how do you know tomorrow you won’t just start again. Everyone here is rooting for you.


well yeah im pretty advanced already but I have the same 5 fingers PG and MAB have so thats where I feel i should be lol.


Hahahah yeah don’t we all. Would probably take PG’s skillset over anyone else’s, but I don’t mean to derail this thread further lol


You guys have done a nice job of illustrating my point.

Those instructional dvd, vhs etc
(and I did but a few)
Were pretty useless to me and I never made enough progress to keep me interested


Now we know the missing ingredients
It may be very worthwhile to revisit them.


yeah I have said (or thought) that several times. One of the best thing about CTC is it makes all of our old videos all of a sudden more valuable


Klaus is showing us…


Tom Hess?


How do you hold your pick? I was stalled out for 20 years because I never knew how to properly hold a pick to facilitate speed.


AFAIK Im pretty conventional on how I hold the pick and other fundamentals. The main hold up with me (in retrospect) is that I play stuff until im “good” at it…then I move on. I havent taken anything all the way to amazing levels yet.

Im feeling pretty good about it ATM though because even a weeks worth of semi-focus on single string stuff is bringing some nice benefits.

Eventually I’ll get a camera setup so we can put my comments into perspective. Im not slow by any stretch of the imagination lol. Im just loath to ever say “im shredding”. I’ll let others say that if they think it fits. In the meantime i’ll complain about my progress lol