#1
I started maybe 3 weeks ago and I've gone from no experience up to about 250bpm using a pattern I found that uses all the strings. Thing is if i go my fastest it starts to sound like actual sweeping but very messy and It feels like I've been stuck at this speed for over a week now without being able to go faster.

At the moment I am focusing on accuracy and keeping my hands as relaxed as possible. Any tips? I feel like there is a trick to it that I'm not doing correctly.
#2
1 - Stop thinking about speed, that's not helping. Do it right first, then make up speed if you can.

2 - Asking how long something took other people isn't helpful either, it takes as long as it takes.
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#3
I don't really remember how long it took to get my first sweep down good sounding and with speed, maybe about a month with a 15 minute exercise three or four times a week.

The thing with sweeping however is that when you've learned that first sweep you'll learn the next one much more easy, and the next one even more easy. That's because you're building up the sync between your hands.

With that said, just work on syncing your hands as well as you can and by the way, there's never a point in playing a sweep in 250 BPM with it's original note value(consisting of 16th or 32th probably) You should practise up to about 200 and then check your playing in every tenth BPM from 50 to 200 and then just move on to the next arpeggio.
#4
Your "fastest" is the fastest you can play without mistakes.

Add more musical things to your exercises. Come up with new exercises. Find actual songs to learn. Improvise with sweeps.
#5
1. Start with three string sweeps, then four, then five, then finally six.
2. Build up speed slowly and find patterns that fit evenly into eight, six or twelve notes.
3. Learn both major and minor shapes; open, barre and "C major" shapes for each
4. Don't increase speed until you have the pattern up and down
5. Work on left and right hand synchronization; slow and steady
6. Make sure you're actually sweeping up and down, not just picking each string.

Oh and saying 250bpm is kind of a useless metric.
#6
Quote by Zaphod_Beeblebr
1 - Stop thinking about speed, that's not helping. Do it right first, then make up speed if you can.

2 - Asking how long something took other people isn't helpful either, it takes as long as it takes.


This post is spot on.

I definitely agree with number 2. I'd add that it might be a very personal thing too. Someone might learn faster, but it's not a contest. Music should be fun.

OT: I am not fluent with sweep picking at all. I can do basic 3 string sweeps with a moderate speed, but I do it pretty cleanly. That's what I focus on.

However, I like more to alternate pick everything (picked that one from Steve Morse). I've practiced now for like 3 weeks 30-45 minutes a day just alternate picking arpeggios and doing string skipping while at it. I feel that it fits me more than sweep picking. Time will tell.
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#7
As cdgraves said, your fastest speed is the fastest speed you can play cleanly. You're not sweeping at 250bpm, you're just kind of flailing your fingers wildly while a metronome clicks on in the background. I highly doubt you're actually playing at 250bpm anyway, and more like 125bpm with semiquavers/semiquaver triplets. I applaud you, though, for using a six string pattern, a lot of players start with three note per string patterns and find the jump between 3 and five very tricky, but, as you're aware, the six string major and minor patterns have a lot of rolling on two fingers, and if you've just started sweeping, you aren't ready for that, and would probably be better off with some five string patterns to get the motion down. You really need to practice cleanly and slowly build up, sweep picking it my favourite technique when it's done fluently, but the sound of sloppy sweeping haunts the nightmares of every guitarist who's stepped foot in a guitar shop during Summer Holidays.
#9
The thing is that you're playing way too fast and sloppily. I doubt it's at 250 bpm and it's probably 16th (or 32nd) notes at 125 bpm. As everyone said, just take it slow and sync up both of your hands since that's what most of it is.
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#10
Quote by redd9
I started maybe 3 weeks ago and I've gone from no experience up to about 250bpm using a pattern I found that uses all the strings. Thing is if i go my fastest it starts to sound like actual sweeping but very messy and It feels like I've been stuck at this speed for over a week now without being able to go faster.

At the moment I am focusing on accuracy and keeping my hands as relaxed as possible. Any tips? I feel like there is a trick to it that I'm not doing correctly.


Lose the metronome

Make sure you can sweep pick at very slow speed.Most people when asked to do a slow sweep they cant and literally repicking every string sign that they havent the technique down on the right hand perfectly.

Make sure you can mute effectively with your left hand.Lifting the fretted note and easing the pressure just enough before you move to the next is key....master that and you are on your way.

Record yourself...you may not sound as good as you think you sound...remember the end result should be notes not a fast blurry thing.So do it until it sounds good.

Good luck
#11
I never even tried in the first 4 years of playing then i wanted to play pray for plagues and it took me about 20 minutes to learn...i dont even see why it's a "technique" it's just like playing..that's like saying plucking a string is a technique...i guess it is but it's practically common sense...move the pick over the string that's fretted
#12
Quote by bloodandempire
I never even tried in the first 4 years of playing then i wanted to play pray for plagues and it took me about 20 minutes to learn...i dont even see why it's a "technique" it's just like playing..that's like saying plucking a string is a technique...i guess it is but it's practically common sense...move the pick over the string that's fretted

Because there's a proper technique to do it? Your hands need to synchronize when they may not be making the same number of movements, your muting with both hands needs to synch, you can't pick each note individually. Legato is a technique but that probably seems common sense to anyone who's been playing a while.
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brot pls
#13
Quote by bloodandempire
that's like saying plucking a string is a technique...i guess it is but it's practically common sense...move the pick over the string that's fretted


It is. I direct you to the definition of the word "technique":

method of performance; way of accomplishing.
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#14
Quote by Dreamdancer11
Lose the metronome


I don't mean to be rude, but never follow any advice like this, and I say that because every player will have to play to a metronome at some point, and making sure your notes are even is extremely important when you wish to play complicated passages, which a metronome will help with, as it's an unchanging external timekeeper, and one of the most useful tools a musician can own. It also allows you to measure how fast you really are, which can help measure progress, which helps with motivation.
#15
Instead of losing the metronome, don't use it to measure progress through speed. Playing fast isn't always playing well. More clicks isn't better.
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Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

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brot pls
#16
Quote by CelestialGuitar
I don't mean to be rude, but never follow any advice like this, and I say that because every player will have to play to a metronome at some point, and making sure your notes are even is extremely important when you wish to play complicated passages, which a metronome will help with, as it's an unchanging external timekeeper, and one of the most useful tools a musician can own. It also allows you to measure how fast you really are, which can help measure progress, which helps with motivation.


He is at a point where he doesnt have the technique down and he say he plays at 250 bpm etc etc etc.In order to get the technique down cold first he needs to close the metronome and concentrate on the motion mechanics.If you try to catch up with the metronome click even at slow speeds you forget everything about correct technique ecpecially at this level.

As with anything a metronome is useful but not always and not for every stage...and if you ignore the technique and start hunting down the...click...a few miles down the road you ll realise that you need to triple or more the effort to correct it.

So here ecpecially for his case its better to start with a no tempo practise and get the technique down cold first.After he can do that, he may go nuts with the metronome...before? and with his mindset?(i already play at 250) he ll pick up such bad habits that ll be ultra hard to correct later.

Bottom line he ll solidify his mistakes if his first priority is to hunt the click.
Last edited by Dreamdancer11 at Aug 1, 2013,
#17
It's definitely a valid point.
Quote by Fat Lard
Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

Quote by captainsnazz
brot pls
#18
My accuracy & timing increased enormously when I stopped playing the fast stuff and started playing gilmour and bb king style. As a result, my musicality and "speed" went up drastically. Try it sometime.
#19
goin on ten years now, i've been playing.

i still dont got it down but i dont practice it very much meh.
#20
Sorry I don't know much music theory but why is 250bpm a stupid number? I just set the metronome and do one note per click what's wrong with that?

edit: thanks for all the advice. Taking it all into account I will definitely try to improve my technique through videos.
#21
Quote by redd9
Sorry I don't know much music theory but why is 250bpm a stupid number? I just set the metronome and do one note per click what's wrong with that?

edit: thanks for all the advice. Taking it all into account I will definitely try to improve my technique through videos.

That's not even music theory. It's just fast. And most people will subdivide instead of playing on note per click.
Quote by Fat Lard
Why would you spend tens of thousands of dollars to learn about a language you already speak? It was over before it even started dude

Quote by captainsnazz
brot pls
#22
Quote by redd9
Sorry I don't know much music theory but why is 250bpm a stupid number? I just set the metronome and do one note per click what's wrong with that?


There's nothing stupid about it at all, people just assume that you means 16ths because that seems to be how most people practice, at 250bpm that would be four times faster than you're playing. If you were to adjust the metronome to a slow enough speed where you were playing in 16ths it would be around 62bpm.

The problem is that BPM on it's own doesn't mean anything; you need the subdivision of the beat as well to really get anything meaningful out of it. So 250bpm on it's own means nothing, 250bpm in quarter notes (one note per click) means that you're actually playing pretty slowly, and that's a good thing.
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#23
I'm no metronome expert but how i like to see it is the click acts as a substitute for a drum kit.

A drummer almost always has some part of his kit keeping the beat (usually the kick, hi hat or snare), so the click imitates whatever drum is keeping the beat. Listen to any song that isn't too progressive and you should be able to determine what drum is keeping the beat.

I'm bad at explaining this shit because I'm really not that good at it myself. I like to think i know enough however.
But when you're playing a solo for instance, the drummer isn't hitting the snare every single note so the guitarist can keep time right? That'd sound absolutely awful and kill the drummer right? So instead they subdivide it as others have said..

I'll try to show you some easy examples with guitar solo's..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hg7lIkZdTPk#t=2m43s

You can VERY clearly hear the hi hat (i don't know my drum parts well) keeping time for the guitarist so were you to practice that particular solo to a click track you'd basically be using it to imitate that drum.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OZs7IoWTvc#t=2m12s

Same applies here.

Ultimately i just see the click track a drummer. Notice on studio tracks where there's an intro with a clean guitar for instance.. on the studio track there is no drummer, but when they play it live you can hear the drums?

Here's a simple example with Metallica live..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQIZmHs81II

If you pay attention you can clearly hear Lars keeping James in time. Lars is being the click track for James. If James was at home practicing this he could just use his metronome as a replacement for Lars. I could've made 1000 Lars drumming jokes there but i didn't :p
EDIT: So it turns out the drums are actually there for the studio version haha, but regardless a lot of bands will do what i said before, this just didn't happen to be the best example, but everyone knows Metallica.

I really hope that's been of some help and i didn't go too off track. As i said multiple times I'm no good with this myself, but i like to think with my more simplistic uneducated approach that it'll be somewhat easier to understand and apply.
Last edited by vayne92 at Aug 2, 2013,
#24
Thanks guys that has cleared it up a lot. So I am playing a lot slower than I thought that's a wake up call.
#25
Quote by redd9
Thanks guys that has cleared it up a lot. So I am playing a lot slower than I thought that's a wake up call.


To be more precise, if you're playing one note per click at 250bpm, you would be playing semiquavers at 63bpm (rounded up from 62.5), or quavers at 125bpm. For sweep picking, I would recommend playing quavers at a tempo (two notes per click) to get used to how a metronome works, and then progress to semiquavers (four notes per click), and also make sure to use triplets (three notes per click, or six notes per click if semiquaver triplets), as sweep picking licks are often in triplets.
#26
I spent a lot of time trying to get better at sweeping with exercises, and found my progress to be slower than I liked.

I would hardly call myself 'good' at sweeping, but I also tend to be a glass-half-empty type of person. Be patient - it's a difficult technique, and most people seem to take a long time before they can do it fluently.

The most sincere advice I can offer you, is to find a song (or songs) you like that use some basic sweeps, and start learning them. Not only is it more motivating, but when you're finally done you'll have learned a song that you like, and that used to be clearly outside of your ability.

I know that they get a lot of hate here on UG, but Bullet For My Valentine has a lot of sweeps that aren't exceptionally difficult, so that's where I started.

You could also learn some neo-classical songs - they're generally much harder than bands like BFMV, but a lot them still sound pretty nice, even when they're played slowly, so you won't burn yourself out on them struggling to bring them up to speed.


Keep at it, man. The first time you really nail those sweeps in whatever song you've wanted to learn is an extremely rewarding feeling. All that practice is going to pay off, and it's gonna feel totally awesome.
#27
The point of the metronome is to be able to play accurately between the clicks, not just on them.
#28
The thing with sweeping is that you don't 'get' it. It's a technique that requires constant practice! If you don't use it, you will get sloppy.

Don't try to chase numbers though, focus on songs or your own compositions that would use Sweeping. That way you actually have a reason to sweep
#30
Quote by Livingtime
The thing with sweeping is that you don't 'get' it. It's a technique that requires constant practice! If you don't use it, you will get sloppy.

Don't try to chase numbers though, focus on songs or your own compositions that would use Sweeping. That way you actually have a reason to sweep


any good songs to learn sweeping on?

I've been practicing the same arpeggio for my sweeping and its driving me nuts. Especially when it feels like I can't make any progress on it.