#1
Hello all, I've decided that my sweep picking needs some serious work. I can play stuff like Jason Beckers Serrana at a slow speed and Altitudes etc but when It comes to improvising over backing tracks I am not fast enough to fit them in.

I practice lots of things with a metronome and Sweep Picking should be no different so I am wondering what kind of exercises do you guys do with a metronome to increase accuracy and speed? How many notes should be played inbetween each click of the metronome and what are the best ways to keep it musical and fun?

Also I know start slow and work my way up, I would never dream (anymore) of trying to play lightning fast when I can't.
#2
Quote by Kerbache
Hello all, I've decided that my sweep picking needs some serious work. I can play stuff like Jason Beckers Serrana at a slow speed and Altitudes etc but when It comes to improvising over backing tracks I am not fast enough to fit them in.

I practice lots of things with a metronome and Sweep Picking should be no different so I am wondering what kind of exercises do you guys do with a metronome to increase accuracy and speed?


2 steps:

1 - Find something you think sounds good.
2 - Play that.

Pick a sweeping section from a song, look on youtube for video lessons, google "sweep picking guitar lesson". The internet is full of stuff about sweep picking, all you need to do is take a few seconds to look.

Quote by Kerbache
How many notes should be played inbetween each click of the metronome and what are the best ways to keep it musical and fun?


You should practice in many different note groupings so you're not limited to one sound when it comes to actually playing.

The mentally easiest to work with, though, depends, in my opinion, on how many strings you're sweeping: 3 string sweeps work best in triplets, 4 strings in 16ths, 5s in 16th note 5s and 6s in 16th triplets or sextuplets. This way the notes tend to fall so you have the up sweep in one beat and the down sweep in the next, just in time to start the up sweep at the start of the beat after that.

The best way to keep it musical is to practice playing actual music. Don't just do the silly four finger exercises that a lot of people seem to do all the time no matter what they're practicing. That's why, again in my opinion, it's best to find a section of a song to practice. That way when you've got the technique up to speed you have not only the physical skill but some understanding of execution in context.
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#3
Pretty much what Zaphod said, except for one thing:
The mentally easiest to work with, though, depends, in my opinion, on how many strings you're sweeping: 3 string sweeps work best in triplets, 4 strings in 16ths, 5s in 16th note 5s and 6s in 16th triplets or sextuplets. This way the notes tend to fall so you have the up sweep in one beat and the down sweep in the next, just in time to start the up sweep at the start of the beat after that.

I find that sweeping usually comes either in sets of 4's or 3's. With odd numbers of strings (3, 5, and 7), it's usually easiest to do sets of 3's (triplets and sextuplets normally). On even numbers of strings (4, 6, and 8 [if your name is Tosin Abasi!]), I've found that you more often see sets of 4's, be it eight notes or sixteenth notes or even thirty-second notes. Given that normal arpeggios are rarely seen in unusual groupings, you should be alright practicing primarily 4's and 3's. I have seen songs in whcich 5's and 7's are used at times (some Jeff Loomis tabs come to mind), though those instances are so uncommon that I don't know that practicing those kinds of groups is entirely necessary.

Besides that, follow Zaphod religiously on this one.
#4
Quote by Geldin
Pretty much what Zaphod said, except for one thing:

I find that sweeping usually comes either in sets of 4's or 3's. With odd numbers of strings (3, 5, and 7), it's usually easiest to do sets of 3's (triplets and sextuplets normally). On even numbers of strings (4, 6, and 8 [if your name is Tosin Abasi!]), I've found that you more often see sets of 4's, be it eight notes or sixteenth notes or even thirty-second notes. Given that normal arpeggios are rarely seen in unusual groupings, you should be alright practicing primarily 4's and 3's. I have seen songs in whcich 5's and 7's are used at times (some Jeff Loomis tabs come to mind), though those instances are so uncommon that I don't know that practicing those kinds of groups is entirely necessary.

Besides that, follow Zaphod religiously on this one.


Just because something is uncommon doesn't mean you shouldn't practice it, especially if you're practicing with a view to improvising and writing your own music. I regularly phrase my sweeping in such a way that the up is in one beat and the down in another. Really it's not the feeling of playing in 5s or 7s that I practice, it's the ability to do that at a given tempo.
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#5
I wasn't thinking as much about improvisation as I was about playing other people's music. If your goal is to have every possible option available to you when improvising, I agree. That, and TS seemed to be an educated beginner in sweeping, someone who knows what proper technique is, but hasn't yet ingrained that technique into your muscle memory.
#6
Nice one guys, really good responses there.

Have you got any links to some nice sweep sections that you guys know? you never know you could link me to something i have never heard and they become my new inspiration.
#7
Quote by Kerbache
Nice one guys, really good responses there.

Have you got any links to some nice sweep sections that you guys know? you never know you could link me to something i have never heard and they become my new inspiration.


There's a whole thread of songs for technique.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#8
Selkies: The Endless Obsession has a really famous sweeping section at the end of the solo:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPV3YvgS6UI

Vela, Together We Await the Storm's chorus is primarily sweep picking:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1n5IWbHqu8&ob=av3e

Jeff Loomis' Miles of Machines has some really intense sweeps, though they're played on a seven string:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Vwk3-a0k7c

Those and anything in the technique thread are gonna be your best bets.