Dr Sixstring
UG's Snips
Join date: Nov 2011
120 IQ
#1
How do I sweep pick cleanly? Whenever I do stuff such as 5 string arpeggios I get the low E ringing out. When I go to the higher strings my thumb bumps into the low E and A string, causing a really annoying sound. I've tried 100s of things but nothing works. Please help. Please do not just say "just mute those strings" or some crap like that.
PRS SE Custom 24 w/ Seymour Duncan JB and Jazz Pickups
Squire Classic Vibe Stratocaster

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Sakke
Chaser of 'Tone'
Join date: Jul 2009
120 IQ
#2
Well, I don't know if I can be of much help since I can barely sweep pick accurately on 3 strings but...

Pay close attention how you are holding your hand while you pick.. That annoyed me a lot when I started practicing string skipping.

Secondly, just practice. It can wear off eventually, that's what I always hope for.

Play whatever arpeggio you want as cleanly as you possibly can. Clean guitar tone might help you out and slowing down definitely helps.

Another thing that popped in mind is that when I'm playing upstrokes, sometimes I make a really weird position for my pick and my thumb practically ruins the whole thing. What helped? Practicing upstrokes only.

Also, taking a break from the exercise can help. Your brain might somehow work it's magic and after having a break for 2 days, suddenly it goes naturally totally clean and without any trouble.
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Last edited by Sakke at Feb 20, 2013,
afrigginprodigy
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2009
30 IQ
#3
Something that helped me was isolating each hand. Practice doing the arpeggio with just your left hand, basically hammering on each note. If you still have the problem, it's because of your left hand. If it goes away, maybe the problem is in your actual picking. Be sure you aren't tightening either of your hands up. Also, be sure you aren't over-reaching your technical abilities. Start slowly and with easier sweeps.
Dr Sixstring
UG's Snips
Join date: Nov 2011
120 IQ
#4
Thanks, guys. I'll have to try all of these.
PRS SE Custom 24 w/ Seymour Duncan JB and Jazz Pickups
Squire Classic Vibe Stratocaster

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cdgraves
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
10 IQ
#6
Slow waaaay down. Like way more than you think you need to. Keep the wrist steady without angling it - control the pick's resistance through relaxation and tension.

Also practice economy picking on regular scales (practice all 12 of them) making sure to accent on your downbeats. Use a metronome.
vayne92
UG's Fedora Enthusiast
Join date: Jan 2011
140 IQ
#7
Quote by Dr Sixstring
I've tried 100s of things but nothing works. Please help. Please do not just say "just mute those strings" or some crap like that.


And yet that's what it's all about. Proper muting (and of course accuracy). That comes with practice. There's no big trick to sweep picking cleanly that someone can tell you then in a few days you'll be able to sweep clean.. It's like that with everything on guitar.
You wont be satisfied with your abilities immediately. It's gonna take you months and more likely years to achieve a level you're satisfied with.
How long have you been playing by the way? Just curious. Because the rate at which you improve only slows down, so don't get discouraged now, because it doesn't get easier.
Dr Sixstring
UG's Snips
Join date: Nov 2011
120 IQ
#9
Quote by vayne92
And yet that's what it's all about. Proper muting (and of course accuracy). That comes with practice. There's no big trick to sweep picking cleanly that someone can tell you then in a few days you'll be able to sweep clean.. It's like that with everything on guitar.
You wont be satisfied with your abilities immediately. It's gonna take you months and more likely years to achieve a level you're satisfied with.
How long have you been playing by the way? Just curious. Because the rate at which you improve only slows down, so don't get discouraged now, because it doesn't get easier.

2.5 years
PRS SE Custom 24 w/ Seymour Duncan JB and Jazz Pickups
Squire Classic Vibe Stratocaster

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RyanStorm13
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2012
50 IQ
#11
I heard the secret is muting...I practice by playing strings, where I hover my fingers over the strings, and only hold down the strings while its being picked. I will do it one at a time, untill my left hand fingers are working smoothly. But the trick to it is keeping the strings from ringing after you pluck them. I developed my pinky and index so when their used last I can keep my pinky/index on the string but not allow it to ring.

So if I go back up the same way, I can do it quicker cause I don't remove my pinky or index from the string.
cdgraves
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2013
10 IQ
#12
That is an excellent practice, assuming your unused fingers are relaxed while they're muting.

When working out technically difficult pieces, it's actually very useful to determine when you can use a "planted" arpeggio - the kind you describe - from when you'd use a non-muted one. If your fingers have to get to somewhere else in a hurry, muting may not be an option. To that end, make sure you're able to keep the other strings quiet even when you can't hold your hand in place.
Dr Sixstring
UG's Snips
Join date: Nov 2011
120 IQ
#13
My guitar teacher said I was using my whole arm instead of just my wrist. I noticed if I just moved my wrist it's a lot easier to mute. I'm not like Zakk Wylde alternate picking by the way, it was just something I did while sweep picking that I never noticed.
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