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Old 10-10-2012, 08:52 PM   #1
Spartacus345
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Sweep picking.

I have been playing guitar for just over a year now, and when I asked my teacher if I was ready to learn how to sweep pick, he said that it was definitely possible, and that we should start very soon.

Question 1: how long does the technique take to pick up.

Question 2: What does it say about my playing if I am learning to sweep pick now?
Am I ahead/behind the learning curve? Should I have already learned by now?
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:56 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartacus345

Question 1: how long does the technique take to pick up.

Question 2: What does it say about my playing if I am learning to sweep pick now?
Am I ahead/behind the learning curve? Should I have already learned by now?


1 - A while. It depends. Some super simple and standard shapes might take you a few days to play slowly if you practice the shit out of it, and some more complex shapes will take you years. I can recall quite a few sweeps i learnt years ago and still can't do. I shouldn't really even be answering this question to be honest. How fast you picks it up depends on how much you practice and how disciplined you are about practicing it. It's like saying to a guy on the street, if you pick up guitar i guarantee you in a years time you will be able to play The Glass Prison by Dream Theater.
99% of people wont pick that up after a year, unless you're someone like Steve Vai who practices 12 hours a day.
Note that i also just gave a terrible example haha

2 - It says nothing. It says you're starting to learn to sweep pick like every other 13 year old guitar player on the planet.

This is at least my incredibly grouchy 9am i wanna go back to sleep opinion.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:58 PM   #3
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Lol. I'm actually 15, but thanks for the feedback.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:02 PM   #4
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I've been working at it for about 4 months and just recently I've been starting to get remotely decent at it.
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartacus345
I have been playing guitar for just over a year now, and when I asked my teacher if I was ready to learn how to sweep pick, he said that it was definitely possible, and that we should start very soon.

Question 1: how long does the technique take to pick up.

Question 2: What does it say about my playing if I am learning to sweep pick now?
Am I ahead/behind the learning curve? Should I have already learned by now?


Firstly, if your teacher says you are ready to learn it is because you want to learn. He's being a good teacher by getting you to where you want to be musically. He should be teaching you things you need alongside it but by doing what you want he's just proving he knows which side his bread is buttered.

Now, the actual questions:

1 - It takes as long as it takes. It doesn't matter how long it takes and even if I knew the average time it would be meaningless to you because I can guarantee you you're not average. No one is.

2 - It says precisely nothing. Your playing speaks for you and no one here has heard you so when you say you're learning something or you're ready to learn or you can play whatever the fuck... no one cares. Your guitar does the talking.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:02 PM   #6
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I'll give you a view tips that worked for me. (I am fluent at three string sweeps, still practicing fives though).

I started trying to learn sweeping a year ago and utterly failed. I was trying to practice both hands at once. It didn't work for me. So a couple months later I decided to separate them. Use your picking hand to mute the strings higher up on the guitar then your fretting hand. Learn the shapes first. You'll never be able to pull off a fluent sweep if you have to think about it. Make it muscle memory! The only notes you should concern yourself with are the root notes.

Side note: practice starting at the top and bottom evenly. I did not and had to spend hours of work to get over that bridge.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:41 PM   #7
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If you really try at it and you're the kind of person who can dedicate some hard time you should be able to do some alright sweeping at higher speeds within a year or two if you really try.

I find sweep arpeggios easier than alternate picking, and I started doing alternate picking lead lines first; there are only nine BASIC (note the caps) shapes for arpeggios- three for your major, minor, and diminished ones each.

If you want a comparison, I have been playing guitar for a bit more than 2.5 years with >2000 hours of total guitar playing time. I can do what I consider some rather mediocre playing of things like the Duncan Hills Coffee Jingle solo by Dethklok and some Malmsteen riffs. To be honest, it's not really that impressive. However, it's good enough that some non-musicians have told me that they thought I was playing since I was about 7 years old and that feels pretty cool when people tell you that!

My philosophy is that if you are willing to put lots of effort into guitar almost anyone should be able to "get good" after ten years of packing in well-spent time.
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:46 PM   #8
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I've been sweep picking for about four years now, (here's an audio clip of me sweeping) and I'll say practice it slowly, it's been said so many times, but it's true. Start with simple shapes first three string major and minors, and then move on to the five string sweeps. The main part is getting the picking motion down, I will never agree with anyone who says you should seperate your hands, however, I would make sure that you are actually sweeping, not just picking in one direction, as that limits your speed, however, having a teacher should prevent that from happening.

My number one piece of advice is be patient, when I was younger and wanted to sweep, I desperately wanted to be able to play Eye Of The Storm by Bullet For My Valentine, and it took my a few months of practice to get there, between not being able to sweep at all, and being able to do that solo. Even recently, I have had to be patient, there's a solo in a Rhapsody Of Fire song called Unholy Warcry, and I wanted to learn that about a year ago, and it took me several months to get that clean, as it had a new pattern in that I'd not encountered before. The best thing is, when you master each pattern, you potentially master a lot more solos, after learning the Rhapsody solo, I came across a Dragonforce solo with that same sweep pattern, and I knocked that out much faster than I would have without having learnt the Rhapsody solo.

I'd say to start off, take it in steps, I was lucky, because when I started, I just knew that the Scream Aim Fire album had sweeping in it, and those sweeps are quite basic, and my music taste changed, so I then progressed to Yngwie's sweeps, and from there, I discovered Rhapsody Of Fire, for the most advanced sweeps, so I'd recommend some fun, less complicated sweeping solos, before moving on, it was painful slowly increasing my metronome on Unholy Warcry after three years of sweeping, attempting that solo without any sweeping experience would be soul destroying!
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Old 10-11-2012, 03:47 AM   #9
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Just practice. It will take time, like any other technique. Slow is something that you'll hear again and again when asking for guitar advice so start definitely slow and incrementally work your way up. You want clean, even notes. Articulation is certainly the objective. If you spend 4-6 hours a day playing guitar and start focusing just half an hour on sweeping you'll see some improvement, if not in speed it'll be represented in your comfort with the technique. Don't rush it. You'll know when you've got it down.

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Old 10-11-2012, 09:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CelestialGuitar
I've been sweep picking for about four years now, (here's an audio clip of me sweeping) and I'll say practice it slowly, it's been said so many times, but it's true. Start with simple shapes first three string major and minors, and then move on to the five string sweeps. The main part is getting the picking motion down, I will never agree with anyone who says you should seperate your hands, however, I would make sure that you are actually sweeping, not just picking in one direction, as that limits your speed, however, having a teacher should prevent that from happening.

My number one piece of advice is be patient, when I was younger and wanted to sweep, I desperately wanted to be able to play Eye Of The Storm by Bullet For My Valentine, and it took my a few months of practice to get there, between not being able to sweep at all, and being able to do that solo. Even recently, I have had to be patient, there's a solo in a Rhapsody Of Fire song called Unholy Warcry, and I wanted to learn that about a year ago, and it took me several months to get that clean, as it had a new pattern in that I'd not encountered before. The best thing is, when you master each pattern, you potentially master a lot more solos, after learning the Rhapsody solo, I came across a Dragonforce solo with that same sweep pattern, and I knocked that out much faster than I would have without having learnt the Rhapsody solo.

I'd say to start off, take it in steps, I was lucky, because when I started, I just knew that the Scream Aim Fire album had sweeping in it, and those sweeps are quite basic, and my music taste changed, so I then progressed to Yngwie's sweeps, and from there, I discovered Rhapsody Of Fire, for the most advanced sweeps, so I'd recommend some fun, less complicated sweeping solos, before moving on, it was painful slowly increasing my metronome on Unholy Warcry after three years of sweeping, attempting that solo without any sweeping experience would be soul destroying!


Iīm quite surprised to see Rhapsody of fire and Dragonforce in your list. Iīve never seen or heard Herman Lee or Tirulli sweep somewhat decently. The youtube clips Iīve seen all seemed like troll videos.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:27 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Facecut
Iīm quite surprised to see Rhapsody of fire and Dragonforce in your list. Iīve never seen or heard Herman Lee or Tirulli sweep somewhat decently. The youtube clips Iīve seen all seemed like troll videos.


While I can't speak about Rhapsody Of Fire I know that the Dragonforce guys get a bad rap now because a few years ago they were terrible. They really aren't now though, I saw them live in 2009 and they ripped, clean as a whistle. They don't take themselves at all seriously but they're damn good at what they do.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Facecut
Iīm quite surprised to see Rhapsody of fire and Dragonforce in your list. Iīve never seen or heard Herman Lee or Tirulli sweep somewhat decently. The youtube clips Iīve seen all seemed like troll videos.




There's the Rhapsody solo I mentioned, I think Luca Turilli can come off badly, as his articulation is unusual, however, I, personally do think he's one of the best sweepers out there, and there is a lot to learn from the composition of his solos. I've seen Herman Li three times, and he was perfect each time. Even he has admitted that the Inhuman Rampage tour was shambolic, however, since then, they've become one of the best live acts going, and I do believe in terms of pure technical ability that Herman Li is at the top of Power Metal, along with Jani Liimatainen, and I would argue that he's currently one of the best in the world, I am in awe of his playing, quite frankly.
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Old 10-11-2012, 11:55 AM   #13
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Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice


And practice some more while you're at it.


Seriously, that's all there is to it. I've been doing it for about a year, maybe a little more. I'm not fantastic at it but I can play most of the sweep sections that say a band like Protest the Hero does. I'm much better at five string sweeps than three string one, but that's really only because I practiced them more. I picked it up pretty quickly though. Out of sweeping, tapping, and alternate picking, I find alt picking to be the hardest to get faster in. But that's just me. Everyone learns things differently.

And it says nothing about your playing. Everyone learns them at different times. Some people play for year without learning it. And as someone said earlier, like 99% of teenage guitarists want to know how to sweep pick.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod_Beeblebr
While I can't speak about Rhapsody Of Fire I know that the Dragonforce guys get a bad rap now because a few years ago they were terrible. They really aren't now though, I saw them live in 2009 and they ripped, clean as a whistle. They don't take themselves at all seriously but they're damn good at what they do.


Your judgement has some weight and I canīt say I know him well enough so maybe I shouldnīt talk too much about him. This vod is from 2011 though and I canīt explain it then. Only very little and inaccurate sweeping (so probably not representative) along the worst phrasing and timing I have seen in professional guitar play and full of sloppyness.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srHY...feature=related

Quote:
Originally Posted by CelestialGuitar

There's the Rhapsody solo I mentioned, I think Luca Turilli can come off badly, as his articulation is unusual, however, I, personally do think he's one of the best sweepers out there, and there is a lot to learn from the composition of his solos. I've seen Herman Li three times, and he was perfect each time. Even he has admitted that the Inhuman Rampage tour was shambolic, however, since then, they've become one of the best live acts going, and I do believe in terms of pure technical ability that Herman Li is at the top of Power Metal, along with Jani Liimatainen, and I would argue that he's currently one of the best in the world, I am in awe of his playing, quite frankly.


I think his articulation is almost non existent where not abysmal. These sweep parts would be okish for a live situation but I donīt think they can compete with the usual metal standard of recording. On the low strings they become really fuzzy and he doesnīt play very equal timingwise. Overall his soloplay doesnīt sound skillful to me same as Lees. I canīt talk about Liimatainen, link a vod please that you like.

For good sweeping listen to Scar Symmetry, At Vance, COB, Symphony X, Danger Danger and probably a lot of newer bands that I donīt know.
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Old 10-11-2012, 01:15 PM   #15
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Here's Jani Liimatainen, I respect your opinion, however, I do think that it's impossible to deny the skill in both players, I doubt the average guitarist would be able to play a Turilli or Herman Li solo as easily as they both do night after night, I've seen both play live, and both players were brilliant to watch, and their sound is very distinct, which I admire. I have seen Bodom live twice, and Alexi is a very skilled guitarist, no doubt, as is Michael Romeo, however, I personally prefer the sound of Herman, Turilli and Liimatainen's playing, however, you can't deny the skill of any of them, I think most guitarists would be overjoyed if they woke up one morning and could play as well as any of them, I don't think it's fair to pick any of them apart when they're doing it professionally, and being admired for what they do, I aspire to be at that level one day, so I prefer to look at every guitarist's strengths than their weaknesses.
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Old 10-11-2012, 05:37 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by CelestialGuitar


Here's Jani Liimatainen, I respect your opinion, however, I do think that it's impossible to deny the skill in both players, I doubt the average guitarist would be able to play a Turilli or Herman Li solo as easily as they both do night after night, I've seen both play live, and both players were brilliant to watch, and their sound is very distinct, which I admire. I have seen Bodom live twice, and Alexi is a very skilled guitarist, no doubt, as is Michael Romeo, however, I personally prefer the sound of Herman, Turilli and Liimatainen's playing, however, you can't deny the skill of any of them, I think most guitarists would be overjoyed if they woke up one morning and could play as well as any of them, I don't think it's fair to pick any of them apart when they're doing it professionally, and being admired for what they do, I aspire to be at that level one day, so I prefer to look at every guitarist's strengths than their weaknesses.


Nobody can deny that Herman Lee can enthuse his viewers and I do respect him for that but not his playing skills. I do respect both players for their composing skills and their ideas, but I would love most random professional metal guitarist to play it instead of them. I donīt think their technique is standing out these days anymore. Same for Liimatainen. I enjoy what they play but I cringe at how they play it. It is hard for me to understand how a player that loves to play and plays for a living can neglect the art of phrasing and tone that much.
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