Hi I was looking for some advice on sweep picking. I would like to learn how to sweep pick because I'm considering joining a progressive metalcore band and I thought that it would be a useful skill to learn. I've been watching videos on youtube and most people use a 6 string bass and don't show too many 4 string sweeps. Most also mention that it took them about 3 months of practicing to be able to use sweeps in a live setting. I don't have too much time to practice everyday with college and work and friends.
That being said, I am worried that if I spend that much time to learn, I might sacrifice musicality for technical skill. Any advice on ways to avoid that would be greatly appreciated.

Fuck that - I want a bass amp that can suck dick! Where do you find such a thing
Never tried sweep picking on a bass. I've watched one of the guitarists in my band sweep and just figured out the notes on the bass and played it along with him :3
Edit: sorry im blind.

Just play around with it yourself. you'll eventuially make sence of it.

Charvel So-Cal Style 1 HH
Jackson Pro Series RR24M
Dean Dave Mustaine Signature VMNT

JCM 2000 TSL 100
Last edited by Spitty33 at Sep 23, 2011,
yea man, its all about the arpeggios and the practice, its alot easier with a pick.
but the thing is sweeps are all straight arpeggios, chords
and those are technical things you can obviously have musicality to them but there is a good bit of technicality to the shapes because they are just that, shapes, patterns that you play.

yea just play around with it.
also i tap to the sweeps my guitar player uses, i often say i can sweep with tapping lol

when Moses brought down the plagues upon Egypt one of them involved Behringer amps

Dont be so humble, your not that great....
I know nothing about bass sweeping. Never had the urge to learn. But anyway just kinda fool around with it, and there's quite a few vids on youtube demonstrating four string sweeps.


1989 Kramer Showster
Rogue RADH Acoustic
Fender CD-60 Acoustic
Washburn XB-100 4 string
Peavey Millenium AC BXP
Fender Rumble 150
Crate BV60H Head
Crate BV412 Cab
Vox AD15VT
You just make it fix the music ( by the way most people that use six string basses only do four or five string sweeps) I started sweeping on a four string bass. And yes I play technical death metal. Some people would say that is sacrificing musically. Look at the band Protest The Hero. Arif taps his sweeps and it sounds really good. You got to know the patterns. You can do it without sacrificing musicality. Even though it takes alot of practice as you already know to sweep. I can do alot of sweeping. Im know for it around my area with other musicians. But I practice them constantly. You can do it. I mean I sweep on bass up in my church's teen band. It sounds good. I also tap scales. I think if you can do it in a worship band you can do what you're trying to do. I say you take a good look at the band Protest The Hero. Especially on the album Fortress. He taps sweeps in about every song. Good Luck!
^Stream of conciousness?
Quote by UraniYum
Fuck you I'm trying to be caring and shit

Quote by Cb4rabid
Okay guys, I have a confession to make. Not really a confession since it's something that's been bugging me for awhile but I've always been in denial about it.

**** you gilly, it's not what you think
Yeah I know protest the hero is the shit but I wasn't saying that sweeping makes you lack musicality, rather that by taking so much time to focus on practicing sweeps that I might lose some musicality along the way.

Fuck that - I want a bass amp that can suck dick! Where do you find such a thing
Quote by Shreddinator666

That being said, I am worried that if I spend that much time to learn, I might sacrifice musicality for technical skill. Any advice on ways to avoid that would be greatly appreciated.

I've actually found that as I became better on bass, a lot more musical options became available to me. When you get better and more comfortable using advanced techniques, you are more likely to write them into their music- at least that's what I think.

Also this- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8Jjy3Zy7kk&t=1m42s
Well I always said good musicains don't have lives. Or friends.
I spend all my time practicing.

But I would say give sweeping a shot. Its goin to take time for sure but once you get it its pretty good. He is right, it takes about 3 months give or take and of course some things are more difficult than others. A 3 string sweep took me about a week or two,but a 5 string 3 octave sweep tap takes quite a while to accomplish :P

Thats one of the main things that taught me sweeping. Just remember your theory and chord tones (ie: Maj, Min, Dom7 ect) and know your key. The worst thing is to be sweeping the wrong chords right.

As far as techinique I usually thumb down index up, maybe tap the top. And also remember sweeping is just a way to play arpeggios. If youre in a situation where it may be easier or more efficient to tap a run or just finger up and down use that too. Dont just sweep for the sake of sweeping.
check this out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPXZAycPXvM

i also tabbed it out:


in the video he's using a 6 string bass but he's only using the A, D, & G strings so you can play it on a 4 string

She's so pretty in her casts
The prettiest thing I've ever seen
I only get to hold her when she's injured
I only get to kiss her where she's sore
no dude sweeping helps man. builds speed. technicality. and it helped me play faster with riffs and such.
I'm practicing sweeping in a cheap 4-string, my only bass so far. Just take any arpeggio, sweep it with your thumb and index (or a pick), and you'll be good.

One thing I noticed, is that most people sweep down with their index, and up with their thumb, using the nail. Am I the only one that does it the other way around, using the skin of the finger to sweep? It feels much more natural to me, and sounds exactly like fingerpicking.
Professional lurker since 2009.
^I don't use my nail when I sweep. I use the skin of my finger. Using my nails just feels and sounds weird and I don't like it.