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Old 12-20-2012, 08:03 PM   #1
Steyr9001
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Sweep picking motion

So I've started to try and get a really solid grasp in sweep picking at higher speeds lately, and I've noticed that I don't use any consistant mechanical action as I do with alternate picking.

To elaborate, when alternate picking I primarily use my wrist, with smaller motions being made by my fingers holding the pick itself. This is consistant, and I can do it at relatively high speeds. But when sweeping, I've noticed that I haven't really practiced it enough to get settled in on a single motion to develope muscle memory for.

Sometimes it's done by extending and retracting my forearm (I realized it's generally considered bad technique to pick from the arm at all, but this seems to help a bit with muting), and other times done from the wrist, which is a generally smoother and more fluid motion, but muting suffers, anything beyond the range of 3 of strings is much more difficult, and beginning on an upstroke is also harder.



So I was wondering which way is generally considered to be better. I have a hunch that it might just take effectively combining the two, but I wanted to be clear before any bad habits became part of my technique.

Last edited by Steyr9001 : 12-20-2012 at 08:05 PM.
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:33 PM   #2
guitarmaniac88
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I use a combination of both. I slightly extend my arm while moving my wrist, and I have very clean sweeps most of the time. The movement kind of makes me think of my arm as if it were a belly dancer, if that makes any sense.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:33 PM   #3
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Disregard every rule about technique that you have ever heard besides being comfortable without tension.
If you use your ears instead of your eyes then you will figure out your own unique technique customized to your ears.
Figure out the difference in sound between using your elbow and using your wrist and whichever sound you like better is the correct choice.
Try changing the angle of the pick while you are sweeping. I find that If I angle the pick slightly down towards the string that I'm sweeping then I get a better pick attack.

I've been in your position one year ago and please STOP PAYING ATTENTION TO THE MOTIONS.
Your motions should be left subconscious. If they weren't then how would they become part of our muscle memory in the first place?

Pay attention to the results you want and the motions will follow along.
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steyr9001
Sometimes it's done by extending and retracting my forearm (I realized it's generally considered bad technique to pick from the arm at all, but this seems to help a bit with muting), and other times done from the wrist, which is a generally smoother and more fluid motion, but muting suffers, anything beyond the range of 3 of strings is much more difficult, and beginning on an upstroke is also harder.



So I was wondering which way is generally considered to be better. I have a hunch that it might just take effectively combining the two, but I wanted to be clear before any bad habits became part of my technique.


While its better to use your wrist for picking one string you will normally want to move your forearm through string changes to maintain an even angle between pick and string. Sweeping involves string change on almost every note so movement mainly but of course not exclusively out of your forearm makes sense. And I agree that muting is easier.
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Old 12-21-2012, 11:31 PM   #5
hamza hashmi
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i use my whole forearm for sweeps. but i wouldnt say my sweeps are perfect i still have muting problems.
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