Hey guys, I'm having a lot of trouble breaking a certain speed, it's just my sweeping that I'm stuck with, I've been at it for months but I can't seem to break a certain tempo. Any ideas?

I think it might be my technique holding me back, here's a video of me playing to help illustrate my technique (or lack of).


Thanks for the help guys
Well practice, and when you practice you need to push yourself out of your "box" of comfort. Plays something you know you cannot play and play it slowly, eventually you will be able to play it after practicing for a month
I've tried that for a few months now, I did the whole start from the beginning and work your way back up with a metronome thing too and just got stuck again. It's really frusterating.
First off, for any technique you are trying to build speed with you first need to find your the highest tempo you are capable of playing it at before it starts to sound sloppy. We call this the PLC (Play like crap) point.

Once you find it, reduce the tempo until you are able play the technique PERFECTLY clean. Im emphasizing perfect here because perfect practice is perfect playing, if you practice sloppy, your playing will be sloppy.

Then keep repeating the process and eventually you will see your max speed rising.

Make sure to keep a log so you have written proof that you are actually improving, it helps keep you motivated and helps to know where you left off last time.

If you feel this is still not helping, you will need to analyze your technique itself. Ask yourself this.

Picking hand - Is the motions of the pick as efficient as they could be? Is there a lot of tension in my hand/arm/shoulder? Is there not enough tension? Is my pick digging too deep into the strings?

Fretting hand - Are my fingers lifting to high off the fretboard? Is there excess tension in my hand/arm/shoulder? Is there not enough tension? Am i using inefficient fingerings?

It could also be your 2 hand synchronization. There are many possible causes of why you may be plateauing. Determining the problem first, then isolating it, then putting it all back together, should and will work if your are consistent, determined and committed to overcoming your challenge.

Hope this helps.
You might be having a mental block.

Try playing a sweep that you can already play, but stupidly fast (let's say 20bpm over your current top speed). Do this for a couple of minutes and then try at like 5bpm over your top speed - This might make it easier to progress, but then again your problem could be technique related...
I've done the whole burst method as well, it's helped my alternate picking and whatnot but doesn't seem to work. Anything you can spot in the video? I feel sooooo lostttt!!!!
Sweep picking is an arm motion, not a wrist motion. (Unless your on the last 3 string GBe) When changing strings you move your arm not your wrist. Watch these videos as guideline.


Your picking is inefficient because it is coming way away from the strings when you pick. Focus on making your pickstrokes not leaving the strings as far after hitting them.

Your fretting hands fingers are raising way higher than necessary off the fretboard.

Your middle finger being curled like that indicates to me that you have a lot of uneccessary tension in your hand that doesnt need to be there.

Your going to have to retrain your technique at a slower tempo until you have gotten rid of these habits. If you have been playing like this for years, its going to take a while to retrain yourself, Be patient, and be focused, you will reap the rewards for this.
Last edited by Ryan Tunis at Nov 2, 2011,
Your left hand is obviously slowing you down.
Curve your fingers, play with the tips, keep your fingers relaxed and close to the fretboard, dont rotate your wrist when lifting off fingers just unfret.
Thanks guys, I tried curving my fingers more and it definitely helped. Cheers.
Yes man i know perfectly what you mean. Sweep picking can be very frustrating when you can't get past a certain barrier.

1. Download my free ebook and learn chapter 1 and chapter 2 so that you can understand the mental process of speed and also learn the concept of memory muscle.

2. Read this article about sweep picking in which i tried to explain the process more detailed then usual:


Apply what you learned in part 1 in part 2:


(this a pachelbels canon sweep picking with tapping verion)

Apply the 4,3,2,1 X 4 method that i talked about in the book and you should be fine.

Good luck !