#1
Hey guys I've been learning how to play the afterlife solo but for some reason while doing the sweep picking. my picking hand feels weird like I've never played a guitar before but my fretting hand feels okay. whats the problem? am i doing it right?

when i sweep pick downwards i tilt the pick down and when i sweep pick upwards i tilt the pick up
#2
i have played that solo, and i have noticed when i sweep my 5 strings, i hold the pick as perpendicular to the strings as possible. so, when i sweep down, my thumb puts most of the pressure to the pick, and when i sweep up, my index finger does so.
i think while you focus on tilting the pick, your hand gets distracted in the picking sync.
#3
Since I can't actually see your technique, I'm kind of going in blind here, but I'm willing to be it's one or some combination of three things:
(1) Synchronization
This is the biggest thing people have trouble with besides muting when it comes to sweep picking. I'd be willing to bet that this is playing some role in your troubles, so invest a little time into slowing those arpeggios down and really getting that synchronized motion ingrained into muscle memory.
(2) Wrong axis of movement
There's some dispute on here over whether for 5-string and larger sweeps whether it's best to use the wrist or the elbow for the axis of motion. Personally, I like using my wrist, but there's a case to be made for both sides. Whichever one you're currently using, maybe give the other joint a shot to see if that's more comfortable. Especially for asymmetrical sweeps like in the Afterlife solo that come right after fast alternate picking, I find that using my wrist works best.
(3) How you're holding the pick
When I was learning sweeping, I initially held my pick rigidly parallel to the strings. That was holding me back, so I began angling my pick more and gripping it so that more energy would be transferred from my wrist motions to the strings. I think now my pick's at a 30* angle relative to the strings, which seems to work better for faster alternate picking and for sweeping.
#4
The Afterlife solo by A7X is definitely nothing beginner to intermediate. It's for sure a more advanced solo.
Also by the way you word things it sounds like you're new to sweeping? Those are by no means any slow tempo sweeps and i'm almost 110% sure they're rolls, and getting your rolls clean (especially for fast sweeping) is very difficult.

So my question to you before i go any further is...

How long have you been playing the guitar?
#5
Quote by vayne92
The Afterlife solo by A7X is definitely nothing beginner to intermediate. It's for sure a more advanced solo.
Also by the way you word things it sounds like you're new to sweeping? Those are by no means any slow tempo sweeps and i'm almost 110% sure they're rolls, and getting your rolls clean (especially for fast sweeping) is very difficult.

So my question to you before i go any further is...

How long have you been playing the guitar?


I've been playing guitar for almost 2 years and I'm somewhat new to sweep picking
#6
learn some easier exercise first...clean sweeping is a long run and if you try too fast you'll be sloopy and its hard to correct after that. Get your technique perfect before attempting harder sweep
#7
Don't bother with easy exercises; the best exercise for a difficult passage is that passage. Just slow it down and focus on proper technique and you'll get it in time.
#8
if you are new to sweep picking, i don't recommend you to try the 5-string sweep [as in afterlife solo] unless you have mastered the 3-string sweep arpeggios.
just give it time. it freaking took me 5 years to completely master the 5 string sweeps and a few selective 6-string ones...
#9
Actually, I'd recommend the opposite. That "sweeping" feeling is tough to get right on 3-string sweeps, but it's really easy to feel on 5-string ones.
#10
^ yeah, 3 string sweeps are actually much harder to sweep - you're changing direction much more frequently and the sweeping motion is so short it's very hard to get it correct. I start all my students with 5 string C shapes.
#11
Well I started off with:

E|------9-12-9----
B|---10--------10-
G|-9--------------9

with a down, down down, up, down, up, up picking pattern. When your getting fast at it you would hammer on to the 12th fret then pull off to the 9; but when your beginning it's better to actually pick everything so your right hand gets used to the motions.

It's not an easy technique to get down- I wanted to learn harder stuff straight away- the first sweep I wanted to pull off was the opening sweep to Beyond The Dark Sun by Wintersun haha. You have to dedicate yourself to slowly doing it. Muting the strings you just played also plays a large part in it; you need to lightly rest your picking hand on the strings right near the bridge.

What I found really good for getting used to the motion was watching a movie or tv and just having my guitar on me ever so slowly practicing this pattern:

E|------------9-h-12-p-9-----------
B|---------10------------10--------
G|-------9------------------9------
D|----10----------------------10---
A|-12----------------------------12


You of course need to practice later using a metronome to clean it up; but the motion takes a long time to get down before you notice progress so I found that helped for me.
#12
So far I tried the 3 string method mrkrb64 showed me. Now I got another problem. When I sweep upwards my picking hand struggles going upwards like the strings are making my picking hand slower.
#13
That happened to me with Steve Vai's last solo from Crossroads.
I just played it as slowly as I could without focusing on it too much, and it eventually came to me.
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#14
Quote by PUNKSTER93
I've been playing guitar for almost 2 years and I'm somewhat new to sweep picking


That solo is not the place to start learning sweeping. It's too difficult and personally (and i think others would agree)i think that making rolls perfectly clean with sweep picking is very hard and isn't something a beginner is gonna get a grasp on.
#15
I've learned that the key in sweep picking is to keep the picking hand moving, without stopping between strings. The strings should be played with a single motion when ascending then descending. Its also important to build synchronisation between both the picking and fretting hand, starting slowly then building up.

Hope this helps!
#16
I agree with Stephen. Also try to keep the pick straight as you normally would and push through the strings like a slow motion strum. Don't have a super crazy stiff grip on the pick but a nice firm and relaxed feel. Keep rocking man!
#17
Quote by Josh Brown
I agree with Stephen. Also try to keep the pick straight as you normally would and push through the strings like a slow motion strum. Don't have a super crazy stiff grip on the pick but a nice firm and relaxed feel. Keep rocking man!


True. The grip problem is common among young beginners, and it can take a while to help them develop a smooth strumming technique.
#18
thanks guys! so should i hold the pick in a normal way and sweep like im strumming slowly?
#19
Quote by PUNKSTER93
thanks guys! so should i hold the pick in a normal way and sweep like im strumming slowly?


Hey man,

I always try to hold the pick as normal as possible (like when I am picking) so I have no problem with quick changes between the different techniques. Try it

Greetings,

David
#20
Another problem. I always create a muted sound because my fretting fingers let go of the string too slow causing the muting sound.

Any method on how to make my fretting fingers let go of the string faster?
#21
Quote by PUNKSTER93
Another problem. I always create a muted sound because my fretting fingers let go of the string too slow causing the muting sound.

Any method on how to make my fretting fingers let go of the string faster?


hm, would it be possible to make a short video of you practicing some sweep picking? it would be much easier for me to help you then!
#22
Quote by PUNKSTER93
Another problem. I always create a muted sound because my fretting fingers let go of the string too slow causing the muting sound.

Any method on how to make my fretting fingers let go of the string faster?


Just go very very slow and fix the problem on a low level! Remember that sweep picking means that only ONE NOTE PER TIME is ringing. Try to time the moment when you release the note and take the finger off the fretboard as precise as possible.
#23
Quote by PUNKSTER93
So far I tried the 3 string method mrkrb64 showed me. Now I got another problem. When I sweep upwards my picking hand struggles going upwards like the strings are making my picking hand slower.


That's totally normal; for nearly everyone it's the up strokes that are a pain in the ass to pull off as when you start doing them you usually accidentally change your picking motion a fair bit; usually moving your picking hand too far from the bridge without knowing instead of having a fluid motion.

I also anchored my picking hand with my right pinky and ring finger. For me it helped stabilize the up and down strokes better. You can stick to using this technique when you know how to sweep properly; although I later started tucking the pinky and ring finger in like for example Paul Gilbert does as I noticed it sped my alternate picking, down strokes and sweeps up a bit.

Like I said before getting the motion down smoothly is the hard part and can be really frustrating; I felt as though I wasn't getting anywhere after a few months of trying but then I started just practicing the motion when I was just doing random stuff like watching tv or a movie.

String noise also is a real pain but the better you get the motion down the easier it will be to correct the problem- everyone tells you to mute the string you just played but that sounds easier than done. It's a matter of only lightly doing it and just practice.

Lastly I advise practicing using the bridge pickup as it's easier to tell exactly where your making mistakes; using the neck pickup might make it sound smoother to a beginner at sweeping but like me I later noticed that the neck pickup shouldn't be used as a shortcut to cleaning up the playing a bit; it should be cleanly played and then if you want to use the neck pickup just for the tone