#1
I've been working a lot on sweep picking lately, and I was wondering how bands like Necrophagist, The Human Abstract, Protest the Hero, Between the Buried and Me, After the Burial, Unearth, All Shall Perish etc. use sweeps in their music. I love the effect sweeps have, and I want to use them in my own music, but I don't want it to just be a monotonous 5 or 3 string sweep that just yells "hai guise luk at me i can do teh sweeps lol."

I want to play metal, which is why I listed so many bands in that genre. I know sweeps aren't used exclusively in metal, but I want to play that, so.... yeah.

I think the main problem is that I'm a complete theory noob I keep trying to learn it but I'm just not motivated enough on my own, especially since this is my senior year and I'm taking so many advanced classes and applying for colleges and scholarships and such.

So, basically, how can I use sweeps creatively as opposed to generically?
My band, Escher
My progressive rock project, Mosaic

Quote by Lappo
clearly, the goal is to convert every thread into a discussion about BTBAM

BTBAM IS ALWAYS RELEVANT
#3
Well the theory side certainly helps because sweeping is just the technique to play an arpeggio.

So they key to making it sound right or ''in context'' with the music is to play an arpeggio that fits with the key. That's all those bands you listed above are doing, just voicing them differently over different chord progressions [or in Necrophagists' case a stupidly complex chord progression]

I suggest going through [or learn] your CAGED chords, major + minor. Then eventually work onto dominant and 7ths [although don't worry about those for now] and you will notice all those sweep patterns that you have learnt are all from your standard barre chords! There is a lesson on it on UG somewhere have a dig.
#4
I know this doesn't answer your question.

But can you play that last section in mea culpa by human abstract? that's like an orgasm of sweeping.XD
#5
Quote by bangoodcharlotte
I also find it a bit ironic that you're asking us how to be creative. If we tell you what to play, that's not creative.


Heh, that's a good point.

I couldn't really figure out the right way to say what I was trying to say, but I was hoping that you'd get it anyway.

I mean, there a lot of bands out there who just throw in a basic 5-string sweep over some chugging, and it doesn't really do anything for the song besides point out the fact that they're capable of sweeping. I don't want to do that. I want to use sweeps musically.

I don't know, I guess my best bet for anything is just to learn theory.

*Siiiiiiiiigh*

Quote by dinley
know this doesn't answer your question.

But can you play that last section in mea culpa by human abstract? that's like an orgasm of sweeping.XD


I know the sweeps, and I can play them either slowly or fast and sloppily. So no, not really haha. AJ is awesome. Sucks that he's gone
My band, Escher
My progressive rock project, Mosaic

Quote by Lappo
clearly, the goal is to convert every thread into a discussion about BTBAM

BTBAM IS ALWAYS RELEVANT
Last edited by GodofCheesecake at Nov 20, 2008,
#7
Quote by GodofCheesecake
I mean, there a lot of bands out there who just throw in a basic 5-string sweep over some chugging, and it doesn't really do anything for the song besides point out the fact that they're capable of sweeping. I don't want to do that. I want to use sweeps musically.
Do you like that kind of music? If yes, play like that!
#8
Quote by bangoodcharlotte
Do you like that kind of music? If yes, play like that!


It even says in the paragraph you quoted that I don't want to play like that.

You don't really seem like you're trying to help me
My band, Escher
My progressive rock project, Mosaic

Quote by Lappo
clearly, the goal is to convert every thread into a discussion about BTBAM

BTBAM IS ALWAYS RELEVANT
#9
Quote by GodofCheesecake
I've been working a lot on sweep picking lately, and I was wondering how bands like Necrophagist, The Human Abstract, Protest the Hero, Between the Buried and Me, After the Burial, Unearth, All Shall Perish etc. use sweeps in their music. I love the effect sweeps have
Really? You said you didn't want to play like that?

I will help you if you're willing to be helped, and you're being difficult. Help me help you. Help me help you. Help me help you.
#10
Oh, I see, it's one of those musical elitism things.

Anyway, regarding theory, there is a simple question I have, now that I'm giving it another glance, and as long as I have a thread open...

I worked on learning all the notes on the fretboard for a while, and sort of slacked off on that. To what extent do I need to know it? Should I be able to instantly know which note I'm fretting when I'm playing a scale, backwards and forwards? And when I'm playing actual riffs and not just scales, for that matter.
My band, Escher
My progressive rock project, Mosaic

Quote by Lappo
clearly, the goal is to convert every thread into a discussion about BTBAM

BTBAM IS ALWAYS RELEVANT
#11
Are you referring to the end of selkies:the endless obsession where the sweeps carry the song forward, instead of mindless sweeps?

EDIT:Whoops bit too late.
#12
I wasn't referring specifically to that song when I mentioned BTBAM, but yes, that song is amazing.
My band, Escher
My progressive rock project, Mosaic

Quote by Lappo
clearly, the goal is to convert every thread into a discussion about BTBAM

BTBAM IS ALWAYS RELEVANT
#13
Quote by GodofCheesecake
Oh, I see, it's one of those musical elitism things.
No, it's one of those things where you ask a question and then change it to make me look bad and you good when you get an answer you don't like.

Quote by GodofCheesecake
I worked on learning all the notes on the fretboard for a while, and sort of slacked off on that. To what extent do I need to know it? Should I be able to instantly know which note I'm fretting when I'm playing a scale, backwards and forwards? And when I'm playing actual riffs and not just scales, for that matter.
Don't ignore that aspect of playing, but it's much more important to know intervals and how your next note will sound in relation to the note preceeding it.
#14
Quote by bangoodcharlote
No, it's one of those things where you ask a question and then change it to make me look bad and you good when you get an answer you don't like.


I'm not really following you there...

Don't ignore that aspect of playing, but it's much more important to know intervals and how your next note will sound in relation to the note preceeding it.


But thanks for giving me some sort of straight answer.
My band, Escher
My progressive rock project, Mosaic

Quote by Lappo
clearly, the goal is to convert every thread into a discussion about BTBAM

BTBAM IS ALWAYS RELEVANT
#15
Quote by GodofCheesecake
I wasn't referring specifically to that song when I mentioned BTBAM, but yes, that song is amazing.


I was more of using it as an example. So you mean where the sweeps do something for the music rather than being used for soloing, fills, etc.
#16
I mean when sweeps are there to actually do something musically rather than to just be there for show. I want to be able to implement them into my music instead of throw them in there wherever just so I can say "there's sweeping in this song." I guess it's kinda hard to explain, and I don't think I'm doing a great job at it =/

But yeah, Selkies is a great example of that, those sweeps really show emotion.
My band, Escher
My progressive rock project, Mosaic

Quote by Lappo
clearly, the goal is to convert every thread into a discussion about BTBAM

BTBAM IS ALWAYS RELEVANT
#17
so, you want to be able to play a sweep that actually goes with the song, instead of some random sweep that just says "look at me, i can sweep and you can't motha****a!!!!one11!" well, ive got 3 things to tell you:

1.- like marty friedman said in some clinic "there is a time and a place for playing fast. the time is almost always never, and so is the place." (sorry for the bad grammar, i tried to translate what he said). The lesson is: not all songs have a space for you to be shredding or sweeping, even if it's mindless or not. remember that a solo is a story inside another story, and not all stories are compatible with each other.

2.-even if the time and space to shred is small, you can make it bigger by learning theory. learn about triads, arpeggios, and chords. all you can about it.

3.- you can always download the GP or PT file of certain song and play it in half or a quarter tempo, to see and analyze how the lead guiitar notes and arpeggio runs change according to the rythm chord progression. if you dont have guitar pro, search for a program called tuxguitar

4.-look at instructional videos of the guitar players you like. right now,m i can reccomend "melodic control by marty firedman" (its on google video). it teaches you how to fir certain notes in a chord progression and how these notes affect the mood of your solo/song.
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Last edited by ldnovelo at Nov 20, 2008,
#18
If you have a rhythm guitarist in your band (or your solo project has rhythm) then watch that hour long segment in bangoodcharlote's sig titled "Melodic control - By Marty Friedman" there's a lot about knowing what the rhythm is and taking that chord and playing an arpeggio of it.

You should consider buying a theory book, learning how to read sheet music (if you can't), etc. Theory to me is at least 80% of playing.
#19
It really does look like it's all going to come down to learning theory. Guess I'll just have to stop being lazy.

Thanks for the input, everyone.
My band, Escher
My progressive rock project, Mosaic

Quote by Lappo
clearly, the goal is to convert every thread into a discussion about BTBAM

BTBAM IS ALWAYS RELEVANT
#20
Its quite a beast at first , just take it steps at a time. Read through 'The Crusade' here on UG and work with each part slowly and memorize it like the back of your hand.

Theory is definitely not something that comes quickly and it can get really complex
#21
no matter if you want to play sweeps or some other shred run, what you are asking here is how to harmonize, and thats 100% theory

as ppl has already suggested, watch that Marty Friedman video, its great

and read theory!!! rewards are great! this one helped me LOTS http://ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/for_beginners/learning_music_theory_the_beginning.html
#22
Quote by bangoodcharlote
Learn theory.

I also find it a bit ironic that you're asking us how to be creative. If we tell you what to play, that's not creative.


Good point is an understatemeant; It's a True point

Though 1 might say that it's creative to ask all random people how to play.

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#23
I've been giving exactly these sorts of scale practicing examples here:
http://artists.ultimate-guitar.com/scaleome_proj/

The last 2 have covered 3 string sweeps so far.

The first thing you need to do is consider sweeping just a form of picking -- it doesn't
HAVE to be done as fast as possible all the time with no control or timing. They
can be played at any rhythm.

Secondy, you should treat them as aspects of the scale. The ScaleOme lessons
practice that by taking triads and ascending/descending them diatonically and
in 4ths. That's how you'll know how to use them. The "shapes" you likley know
are just regular patterns you'll find in scales.
#24
Just let the music go where it wants to go, you'll instinctively know when to put a sweep in, cuz the music will tell you that it'll sound right/good/suitable at that point in time.
#25
Quote by GodofCheesecake
I mean when sweeps are there to actually do something musically rather than to just be there for show.


Figure out what you like the sound of regarding sweeping - do it.

That's it. I like wide interval jumps. I do wide interval sweeps. Apply to your playing.

Protest the Hero use short staccato sweeps. Perhaps try using the sweeps almost as a rhythmic device instead of a melodic one.
#26
Try observing some of Steve Hackett's playing, he tends to use very easy sweeps in a melodic context, PLUS it sounds great.