I really want to learn how to sweep, it's just every lesson I ever try to learn from seems to get me nowhere I always get a huge amount of string noise in between notes and it just sounds like shit. I can do down pretty well except when two notes are the same fret on adjacent strings. Up always feels like the string is grabbing the pick out of my hand. I also have problems with strings ringing out after I let go of them. I really don't want to cheat like some people that use a hair band (no pun intended) to dampen string noise.
Any tips, and what shapes would be the most useful? My goal is a Friedman, Becker or Malmsteen style sweep.
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Originally Posted by Tulkas
Stairway is required on any list of anything involving the words guitar or song, I believe Congress amended the constitution in order to put it into federal law.
The hair band (now let's not get confused, here) is not cheating. You've got to dampen string noise on open strings somehow, and that works as long as you're not using anything open <G>. But honestly, you need to develop techniques with both hands to mute what you don't want to ring. It's going to feel strange at first, but with time you'll get it.

Sweep picking depends on low action and accurate (I say, ACCURATE) picking. If you're playing in the upper registers and you're depending on whatever cockamamie altitude of action Gibson considers "best tone", you're going to be tearing your hair out. Your fretting fingers shouldn't be moving much (particularly up and down), and if you don't have your pinky heavily involved in your fretting, start now. Your picking will be light; let the guitar's electronics do the work. You still get to have dynamics, but if you're a gorilla-gripping punk whammer, you're going to have to lighten up everything in order to sweep.
About String Dampeners.

These have been around far longer than you think, beginning (perhaps) with George Van Eps and his 7-string (they've been around longer than you think, too) jazz box. Try 1950 or so. Jennifer Batten uses (and sells) one. http://www.batten.com/String-Damper-Evolution.html

So does Michael Angelo Batio http://www.angelo.com/html/the_mab_string_dampener.html

GRUV Gear's got a ton of them: http://www.gruvgear.com/fretwraps and these are hair scrunchies gone wild.

Not cheating. Check out Jennifer Batten playing with Jeff Beck (all over YouTube) to see how she uses them).
Last edited by dspellman at Oct 22, 2013,
loosen up your grip on the pick. when sweeping, the pick is supposed to glide over the strings. thats probably why it feels like the strings are hard to up-pick. to get your right hand picking motions down, the way I find best is to use a clean tone, mute the strings with your left hand and practice a sweeping motion with your right hand.

I believe that with time your left hand "learns" how to not pull on the strings when sweeping. at least thats how my experience is. I dont mute the strings with my hand and my picking seems quiet. i find that muting with your right hand makes more noise in high distortion because the palm is rubbing and moving on the strings.

of course, sweep picking requires perfect syncing of your hands. heres a small part of jason beckers song "altitudes" that has some good shapes for practicing:




string damper is also a good thing to use for learning. not great for perfecting, but good for learning alot of lead techniques.

this is all just my opinion of course. I dont exactly remember how I learned sweep picking all too well, I just practiced alot and then one day I noticed my sweep picking was good. I have a feeling thats how its been for everyone here and will be for you.
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