I have practiced sweeping for some hours now and I am seeing no improvement what-so-ever. I am using the basic A minor shape (14th fret of the G, 13th of the B and 12th of the E then pull off of the 17th to the 12th then back up). I can "sort of" get the going down to sound right, but once I come back up after the pull off to do the up sweep the pick always seems to get caught under the strings. I am so frustrated right now it makes me want to give up. I'm sure everyone has been that pissed at one time or another. I just feel like I will never get it no matter how much time I put into it, then it will have been a crap load of wasted time. Has anyone else felt like this, and what did you do?
Takes a while bro, I remember it took me a while to get reasonably good at painkillers solo .
Take your time, start at a speed in which you can play it perfectly, then slowly speed it up. Don't try for too long, you'll get too frustrated. Instead, take small breaks and work on something else. If you're having picking problems maybe you need to practice picking technique before trying sweeping. Hope this helps ya.
It's not a matter of hours to perfect sweeping, it's a matter of years.
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I know I am not going to perfected it in hours but I feel like I should see a little some improvement.
ya ive been playing for like six years and right now im really good at 3 string patterns, pretty good at 4 string patterns, and slightly above mediocre at 5 string patterns. just keep workin at it and you will get better
Originally Posted by strat0blaster
No matter what you like, you will like Meshuggah.

meh. Sweep picking. I tried once. But then I realized, "Oh hey, I don't even really care about the sound and if I can do it, I'll just get shit from everyone." It's ridiculously hard and I can never find a good place for it in a song.... sigh.
It took me 6 months to remember the pattern, while being able to go up and down simultaneously. Then, speed wise, took me around 2 months to see improvement, and I kept practicing it a lot and now I can go pretty damn fast.

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I've been doing it for 2 years and I can sweep cleanly at 16ths, with 120 bpm.
Hopefully that teaches you that if you REALLY want it, you're going to have to do more than a few measly hours.

Try years? Maybe half a decade to become a truly clean player with no fret buzzing or noise.
Have fun , now you can appreciate why people shit bricks at people who sweep cleanly.

PS: If you practice like 3 hours a day for 2 years perfect technique (with multiple shapes) you won't need to spend that long learning it....
Sweeping takes 10 minutes to learn but years to master. Just keep at it and you'll get it.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
I also just started learning how to sweep and this video helped me quite a bit:


Focus on just the fingering, not the picking, at first. And practice it slow, like really slow, and for like a half hour to an hour when you practice. After a couple of days you'll be able to notice your fingers moving without thinking about it. Then start working on the picking and then speed. There's no doubt it'll take a while but I've already started to see a noticeable increase of speed and accuracy doing it this way after only a couple of days. Hope that helped.

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Thanks a million for that link. That is the first video I have seen that talked about playing just the left hand to get that down and then the right. Like he says its hard to concentrate on 2 things like this at once. I never looked at it like this. Thanks again this was most helpful.
so im pretty much in the same boat as you on the sweeping. Did it work out for you to concentrate on one hand, then the other? Hopefully you at least saw some improvement after a few hours of that!
I found that if you start a very simple pattern and practice that for a few hours before even trying the hammer-ons and pull-offs you'll get the sweeping down nicely then start to add the little bits of flare to it. Nobody was born with the ability to play, everyone of the guitarists you know and love today worked thier butts off to get there. And the details are the least important to learn.
Here is the example that i learned on (and use almost everyday as a warm-up):


I got it from a lesson on sweep picking here on ultimate guitar:

his explanations are pretty good, but his examples are very helpful, and definately help you work your way up...
Sweeping is a pretty difficult technique. What helped me was getting good at economy picking and playing arpeggios.

If you get used to how the pick feels going down the strings as well as starting with upstrokes coming back up then you have the basic feel of sweeping. Extrapolate this with the motion starting with two strings, three, four, etc... and you will be a pro in no time.