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#1
i can do 3 string sweeps like the ones in Hangar 18 but i cant do the 5 string ones neatly. i can do them but it sounds like ****. The problem is in my right hand. I cant go across the strings evenly in other words i cant do it so each string gets an even count. My left hand is fine but i cant get the picking motion down cleanly. And ive tried going slow, really slow but no matterhow slow i go its still not neat and clean. Its really pissing me off because i play a lot of megadeth and testament which has sweeping in it so it something id really like to get down. But it seems like no matter how hard i try its just not working. What should i do??

EDIT: i havent been playing for 8 months. ive been playing for almost 2 years. but have been trying to learn to sweep since september. so thats almost 7 months 8 months was an estimate. I havent been doing it 8 hours a day but whenever i have my guitar unplugged i do sweeping exercises a lot and havent gotten that far.
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Last edited by Fuzzbox91 at Apr 14, 2008,
#2
You're doing fine. 8 months of playing is much too early to be thinking of sweeping. It's quite a complicated technique for someone new to their instrument to master.
#3
you've only been playing 8 months and you're trying to sweep? lunacy...
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#4
Ive been playing for 3 years and i cant sweep at all, so dont worry.
R.I.P Jon Lord, Rory Gallagher and Jimi!
#5
maybe he means hes been practicing sweeping for 8 months and still having problems?
Cheers
#6
my guitar teacher has been playing for 20 years and still cant sweep lol
dont worry it sounds like its mostly right hand problems, you just need to develop yout accuracy and synching of hands
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#7
think logically...you can sweep 3 strings, but not 5...practise sweeping 4 strings then....
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#8
i cant really do 4 strings that well either. Its really pissing me off because i have this solo where a 5 string sweep would be PERFECT at the end but i cant do it and its driving me crazy.
The Mitch Clem formula
1)make jokes about rancid and NOFX (as if they dont already make fun of themselves)
2)make obvious punk puns, possibly related to food
3)make fun of Rancid and NOFX again
4)??????
5)PROFIT (and an army of internet fanboys)
#9
^ dude suck it up and deal with it. i've been playing guitar for 12 years, intermittently practicing sweeping for the last year and i'm still not very fast at it. just keep working on it.
#10
DON'T PRACTICE SWEEPING WITH YOUR GUITAR UNPLUGGED.
i used capital letters to emphasis the idea of NOT PRACTICING SWEEPING WITH YOUR GUITAR UNPLUGGED.
#11
What is your reasoning behind this rockfreak000? I could take a guess, but I'd like to hear your opinion
#13
i dont think rock freak knows what hes talking about. you'll get the cleanest sound out of your guitar being unplugged. i practice my sweeping on an acoustic. cuz i know if it sounds good on that, it'll be great plugged in.
#14
It took me about a year to feel anywhere comfortable with sweeping and right now, after maybe a year and a half of fairly serious practicing of it I finally feel like I have good enough control to use it when playing with other people. It really does take a very long time to get it right, and I've seen many who say they can "do" it after only a couple months of practice, but they never have real control of it. And btw, poorly controlled sweep picking is one of the most annoying sounding things in music, which I think is one of the reasons it is so frustrating to practice before you get the hang of it; it just sounds horrendous.

I wouldn't be hard on your self, 8 months really isn't long enough to be fretting about it yet, trust me. Give it more time and take some time off now and then to work on something else to maintain your sanity.

And also to help you nail it, pick a sweeping pattern where you can hammer on every note with your left hand, such as this minor triad 5th string root shape, which you may or may not already know:

---------------8-------
-----------10---10----
---------9----------9----
-----10--------------10--
-12----------------------12-
------------------------------

practice playing this with just your left hand (cover at the nut with your right hand), with a metronome, until your timing is impecable, (I count ONE two three four ONE two three four for this shape generally) It sounds like your fretting hand is closer to being ready for sweeping than your picking hand, so if you make sure that your fretting hand is perfectly in time, you can devote all your thought to following it in perfect time with your picking hand.
#15
Cleaning purposes, if its not clean its not worth poopoo, espescially for sweeps.

and also sitting infront of the TV with your guitar in hand is hardly practice, learning a hard lick and getting it up to speed should not involve going throught that lick mindlessly for hours, the brain pretty much shuts down after ten minutes
so practice each lick for ten minutes, take a 3 min break and repeat
and keep your mind focused on what your fingers are doing
#16
Quote by z4twenny
i dont think rock freak knows what hes talking about. you'll get the cleanest sound out of your guitar being unplugged. i practice my sweeping on an acoustic. cuz i know if it sounds good on that, it'll be great plugged in.


I don't really agree. I mean definitely you should practice clean, but when you're sweeping you're generally playing with a lot of distortion. While playing clean, extra string noise is a lot less obvious, and you can't always hear the scratches pings or open strings that are ringing in the background.

I spent a lot of time practicing electric unplugged when I first started playing, when I finally plugged in I wondered why it sounded so terribly bad, I was getting all of these open strings ringing all of these weird harmonics and so forth from bad muting.

In other words, you need to be practicing both clean/unplugged and plugged in with plenty of gain to really practice properly. I really hate how people say you need to practice everything clean and only clean.

Anyway on to the real problem at hand.

If your right hand is the problem, you need to eliminate the left hand entirely, you're not ready for that yet.

So, find some cloth, or your gf/moms hair bands and tie it around the top of the neck to mute your strings. Grab your metronome and set it really slow. You want to do one string per click.

Technique wise you want your pick to always be resting on the string your about to play. So basically your dragging your pick up/down to the next string in line. THIS IS WHY MOST PEOPLE FAIL AT SWEEPING!!! They don't have their pick resting on the next string in line. They just keep it kind of floating between strings waiting to hit the next. This is especially true of going up since you're fighting gravity with your pick. Important important important. You're pick must always be resting against the next string.... Did I say that strongly enough? Once you build your speed up it will seem like it's one flowing motion, but at a slower speed it's not like that at all, and trying to make it a flowing constant motion while practicing slowly is basically causing failure.

I think I've made my point strongly enough. You want to practice this technique in groups of 2 strings, 3 strings, 4, 5, 6 on random groups of strings. Always with the metronome, 1 click per beat to start with. when you get better 2 strings per beat on even numbers of strings and 3 on odd. (Except 5 strings, obviously, which is a pain, but I just do 2 strings per beat).

This is mind numbingly boring, so do it while you're watching TV. But it's highly important in order to sweep properly. Don't even introduce your left hand until you're comfortable with this at a resonable speed.
#17
would it be a good idea to practice by muting the strings wiht my left hand and just practice the right hand and do the same with my left hand to get them both up to speed or should i work more on unifying them
The Mitch Clem formula
1)make jokes about rancid and NOFX (as if they dont already make fun of themselves)
2)make obvious punk puns, possibly related to food
3)make fun of Rancid and NOFX again
4)??????
5)PROFIT (and an army of internet fanboys)
#18
Quote by chimpinatux
my guitar teacher has been playing for 20 years and still cant sweep lol
dont worry it sounds like its mostly right hand problems, you just need to develop yout accuracy and synching of hands

maybe he doesnt want to learn lol.

but sweeping takes time. It took me about a year to get em up to speed.
#19
Quote by Fuzzbox91
would it be a good idea to practice by muting the strings wiht my left hand and just practice the right hand and do the same with my left hand to get them both up to speed or should i work more on unifying them


I already addressed this question, but to answer again, you want to be practicing with your right hand only right now. Don't worry about unifying them until you feel your right hand movement is smooth.

Read my rather lengthy post above for full details
#20
Quote by z4twenny
i dont think rock freak knows what hes talking about. you'll get the cleanest sound out of your guitar being unplugged. i practice my sweeping on an acoustic. cuz i know if it sounds good on that, it'll be great plugged in.


thats just the problem, if you cant hear your mistakes how can you correct them ?

@ icronic : thats a very intresting approach, i wish i knew about it a year ago, it would have saved alot of time in getting my sweeping motion up to speed.
#21
Quote by RockFreak000
thats just the problem, if you cant hear your mistakes how can you correct them ?

If you're practicing in a quiet environment as you should be and can't hear yourself you must be deaf.
#22
Quote by :-D
If you're practicing in a quiet environment as you should be and can't hear yourself you must be deaf.


yes, but as icronic said turning up the distortion will add extra string noise and scratchin noise to your sound that you wouldnt hear if you're playing with you guitar unplugged
#24
"8 months and I still can't sweep"

Well, I'm not f*cking surprised

Even if you'd been playing for 8 years and couldn't sweep it wouldn't be casue for concern. Concentrate on getting the basics right, the fancy stuff can wait.
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#25
Quote by :-D
If you're practicing in a quiet environment as you should be and can't hear yourself you must be deaf.


Not true.

Try this: Play a song with a lot of muting and scratching, some kind of funk thing, or an SRV song like Pride and Joy or Cold Shot.

Play it clean, it's easy to sound good. Play it with distortion, not so easy to sound good is it? It's certainly possible to make either of those songs sound good with distortion, but it requires a slightly different approach.

Also with distortion you have to contend with feedback, and the strings are more prone to start ringing on their own. Try tapping the body of your guitar while it's unplugged. What do you hear? Nothing. Try tapping it when it's clean. The strings will vibrate a little, but it won't be very loud and it will stop fairly quickly. Do it with distortion. It's loud and it doesn't go away quickly. Distortion picks up extra guitar noise that would not normally happen and then it sustains it.

People say distortion masks mistakes. It's not entirely true, it will indeed mask certain mistakes, but other mistakes, such as bad muting and open strings ringing even slightly become much more apparent.

The real killer is reverb and echo. So many people practice with both turned on. Even with either on slightly it will fill out your sound and cover up critical mistakes. Especially for sweeping. When practicing you want each note to be seperate and to end right when the next one begins, echo and reverb stop this from happening, and you really can't tell if you're doing it right anymore. It's amazing how bad some players sound when you get them to turn off either too. They can sound great before and then terrible after.
#27
Quote by RockFreak000
yes, but as icronic said turning up the distortion will add extra string noise and scratchin noise to your sound that you wouldnt hear if you're playing with you guitar unplugged


it will only add extra noise if you're playing with a bad technique. technique is technique regardless of whether or not it electric clean, distorted, unplugged or acoustic (note i didn't say classical because that requires somewhat different technique depending on the style but im rambling again since thats irrelevent) good technique is universal, certainly you should be able to hear unnecessary noise on an acoustic, is it AS loud as an electric plugged in? naw, of course not. but its still there. and as mentioned previously when actually practicing, like REAL practicing (not just playing something you've played a hundred times before) you should be actively paying attention and listening to what you're doing.
#28
Quote by InsomniaRocks
It took me about a year to feel anywhere comfortable with sweeping and right now, after maybe a year and a half of fairly serious practicing of it I finally feel like I have good enough control to use it when playing with other people. It really does take a very long time to get it right, and I've seen many who say they can "do" it after only a couple months of practice, but they never have real control of it. And btw, poorly controlled sweep picking is one of the most annoying sounding things in music, which I think is one of the reasons it is so frustrating to practice before you get the hang of it; it just sounds horrendous.

I wouldn't be hard on your self, 8 months really isn't long enough to be fretting about it yet, trust me. Give it more time and take some time off now and then to work on something else to maintain your sanity.

And also to help you nail it, pick a sweeping pattern where you can hammer on every note with your left hand, such as this minor triad 5th string root shape, which you may or may not already know:

---------------8-------
-----------10---10----
---------9----------9----
-----10--------------10--
-12----------------------12-
------------------------------



What would be your fingering on this? I would do 1,3,1,2,1,(Up)1, 2,1,3,1(Down)
Reason is that i can do 3 string sweep tapping very cleanly. Somewhat neatly on 4 string sweep. But when i do 5 string sweep, when i would lift my finger off of the 12 then to the nine, the a string would ring out..... I dont know how to stop that from happening!
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#29
Quote by zep_n_gun
What would be your fingering on this? I would do 1,3,1,2,1,(Up)1, 2,1,3,1(Down)
Reason is that i can do 3 string sweep tapping very cleanly. Somewhat neatly on 4 string sweep. But when i do 5 string sweep, when i would lift my finger off of the 12 then to the nine, the a string would ring out..... I dont know how to stop that from happening!

I'd play it (ascending beginning on the A) as pinky, middle, index, middle, index. Just reverse that on the way down. The reason notes are ringing out is that you're pulling off too hard, just a gentle lift is all you need.
#30
Quote by :-D
I'd play it (ascending beginning on the A) as pinky, middle, index, middle, index. Just reverse that on the way down. The reason notes are ringing out is that you're pulling off too hard, just a gentle lift is all you need.



That, and that the 12th fret is one of the hardest to learn to sweep on for this simple reason. There is a nature hamonic then you play over the 12th fret, so when on distortion and you pull off the 12th fret at any angle besides straight off, it produces the harmonic.
#31
Quote by zep_n_gun
What would be your fingering on this? I would do 1,3,1,2,1,(Up)1, 2,1,3,1(Down)
Reason is that i can do 3 string sweep tapping very cleanly. Somewhat neatly on 4 string sweep. But when i do 5 string sweep, when i would lift my finger off of the 12 then to the nine, the a string would ring out..... I dont know how to stop that from happening!


Starting and ending on the 12th fret I would do 4 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 4.. I can't figure out for the life of me how you've come up with your fingering, but I find it strange and awkwardly slow. How you're ending with your first finger on the 12th fret is beyond me, unless that was a typo.

Quote by z4twenny
it will only add extra noise if you're playing with a bad technique.
technique is technique regardless of whether or not it electric clean, distorted, unplugged or acoustic (note i didn't say classical because that requires somewhat different technique depending on the style but im rambling again since thats irrelevent) good technique is universal, certainly you should be able to hear unnecessary noise on an acoustic, is it AS loud as an electric plugged in? naw, of course not. but its still there. and as mentioned previously when actually practicing, like REAL practicing (not just playing something you've played a hundred times before) you should be actively paying attention and listening to what you're doing.


You're missing the fact that both volume and gain affect the characteristics of a guitar. Many subtle guitar harmonics are inaudible without a certain amount of gain. Feedback is a non issue without a certain amount of gain. Try this, with your left hand off the guitar, play the high E open, then mute just that string. Is the guitar making new sound? No probably not. Do it with high gain. I'll bet you that your A string is ringing too.

If you are using the same technique to play an acoustic as you are to play an electric with a clean sound as you are to play an electric with an overdriven sound then you're really missing out on so much.

Take a simply 12 bar blues shuffle. If I'm playing it on acoustic, I'll really lay into it with a lot of power, If it's in E I'll let the high open strings ring out here and there, and I'll have all the strings muted to I can do a lot of scratching. It will give me a nice full solid rhythm. But you can't do that as effectively on electric. with a clean sound you've got to be a little more controlled, put a little more emphasis in certain spots, and be a lot more deliberate about letting open strings, or scratching your muted strings. Now finally with the gain up you have to be much more controlled, hitting only the strings you want to ring, you have to further palm mute the notes that aren't emphasized, all in all you need to really be in control not to make it sound like muddy noise.

So yeah, you can say good technique is universal, and with that attitude you can indeed sound good, but you'll never sound as good as someone who treats each aspect and style of the guitar, not to mention different types of guitars as an entirely different method of playing.
#32
Quote by z4twenny
it will only add extra noise if you're playing with a bad technique. technique is technique regardless of whether or not it electric clean, distorted, unplugged or acoustic (note i didn't say classical because that requires somewhat different technique depending on the style but im rambling again since thats irrelevent) good technique is universal, certainly you should be able to hear unnecessary noise on an acoustic, is it AS loud as an electric plugged in? naw, of course not. but its still there. and as mentioned previously when actually practicing, like REAL practicing (not just playing something you've played a hundred times before) you should be actively paying attention and listening to what you're doing.


No, technique is not universal, acoustic player cant play slipknot tunes, and shredders cant play folk
i thought this was obvious, you play guitar right ?
#33
^ yeah i've been playing for 12 years. i stand by my statement, technique is universal. if you're using the right amount of gain/distortion then it shouldn't affect it like mentioned. if you're using too much, then yes maybe it does.

btw i'm also an acoustic player and i play slipknot tunes (duality, before i forget, vermillions 1 and 2 and several others) and subsequently i mix something of shred into folk/classical type playing. i've never used the term "can't" with a guitar. just the thought that you can't do something automatically sets barriers for yourself.
#34
Quote by icronic

You're missing the fact that both volume and gain affect the characteristics of a guitar. Many subtle guitar harmonics are inaudible without a certain amount of gain.
.

i respectfully disagree. if you use a TON of gain or distortion then yeah, its going to sound different than little or no gain. but sliding your finger across strings is going to sound regardless
Quote by icronic

Feedback is a non issue without a certain amount of gain. Try this, with your left hand off the guitar, play the high E open, then mute just that string. Is the guitar making new sound? No probably not. Do it with high gain. I'll bet you that your A string is ringing too. .

although i'm at work i can tell you that no, my A string wouldn't ring if i was to do this. how do i know? i've been playing the same guitar for around 10 or 11 years now. i know my guitar pretty well.
Quote by icronic

If you are using the same technique to play an acoustic as you are to play an electric with a clean sound as you are to play an electric with an overdriven sound then you're really missing out on so much. .

i disagree. i can do the same thing on an acoustic as i can on an electric and equally cleanly regardless of the instrument. probably in fact better on an acoustic as my electric strings are a bit thicker (.70's on my electric, .52s on my acoustic) than my acoustics
Quote by icronic

Take a simply 12 bar blues shuffle. If I'm playing it on acoustic, I'll really lay into it with a lot of power, If it's in E I'll let the high open strings ring out here and there, and I'll have all the strings muted to I can do a lot of scratching. It will give me a nice full solid rhythm. But you can't do that as effectively on electric..

why not? i do it all the time. i have a couple of blues tunes that use the style of technique you're referring to and it sounds great regardless of whether or not it acoustic, clean electric or heavily distorted. as for "only hitting the strings you want to sound" wtf? thats one of your "can't" ideals getting in the way. hendrix didn't follow this, in fact a lot of blues/rock players aren't hard and fast with this rule. if i want to hit extra strings that are muted by my fret hand i can and it will sound good regardless of whether or not its electric, acoustic or distorted.

Quote by icronic

with a clean sound you've got to be a little more controlled, put a little more emphasis in certain spots, and be a lot more deliberate about letting open strings, or scratching your muted strings. Now finally with the gain up you have to be much more controlled, hitting only the strings you want to ring, you have to further palm mute the notes that aren't emphasized, all in all you need to really be in control not to make it sound like muddy noise. ..

um, you really need to be incredibly in control regardless of the guitar type you're using. i don't find this really relevent imo as you want to have really good technique regardless of the type of 6 stringer you play (or 7 stringer or what ever)
Quote by icronic

So yeah, you can say good technique is universal, and with that attitude you can indeed sound good, but you'll never sound as good as someone who treats each aspect and style of the guitar, not to mention different types of guitars as an entirely different method of playing.

^ technique is technique, you can apply any technique from any type of basic guitar (aside from classical for some part as i mentioned previously) to any other type of basic guitar and you will achieve the same sound, its just one will be clean and the other will be distorted.

i wonder how long you guys have been playing.

btw, people telling me "you can't" is what fueled me to get better for the longest time. if you wonder how well i can play you can check out my songs on my profile, a couple were written fairly recently such as "the day god was born" and "there are no words to this" (both done last year) most of the rest was done 6 years ago.
Last edited by z4twenny at Apr 14, 2008,
#35
Quote by z4twenny
^ yeah i've been playing for 12 years. i stand by my statement, technique is universal. if you're using the right amount of gain/distortion then it shouldn't affect it like mentioned. if you're using too much, then yes maybe it does.

btw i'm also an acoustic player and i play slipknot tunes (duality, before i forget, vermillions 1 and 2 and several others) and subsequently i mix something of shred into folk/classical type playing. i've never used the term "can't" with a guitar. just the thought that you can't do something automatically sets barriers for yourself.



And you play these tunes on the acoustic exactly the same as you would on electric?

All I can say to you is listen to a guy like Stevie Ray Vaughan or Eric Clapton. Both guys are fairly huge in the guitaring world I'd say. Listen to them play an acoustic, listen to them play an electric. They play the same songs, with totally different technique and style. They're changing their style to suit the strengths of the instrument and the sound it generates. You're arguing the exact opposite of this. I've heard guys play acoustic like it was an electric. It doesn't sound nearly as good as it could. I've heard the opposite too. It also doesn't sound good.
#36
Ive been playing 5 years and I can "barely" sweep, haha don't worry about it! Being a good songwriter is a bit more important!
Originally posted by J_Dizzle
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#37
Quote by GoodCharloteSux
Ive been playing 5 years and I can "barely" sweep, haha don't worry about it! Being a good songwriter is a bit more important!
I didn't even read this post, but great username!
#38
Quote by icronic
And you play these tunes on the acoustic exactly the same as you would on electric? .


sometimes yes, sometimes no. it depends on how i want it to sound at the time i play it

Quote by icronic
All I can say to you is listen to a guy like Stevie Ray Vaughan or Eric Clapton. Both guys are fairly huge in the guitaring world I'd say. Listen to them play an acoustic, listen to them play an electric..

ok, i have done this countless times

Quote by icronic
They play the same songs, with totally different technique and style. They're changing their style to suit the strengths of the instrument and the sound it generates..

ehhhhhh..... i'll agree with you somewhat on this. its my belief they play like this because it suits their strengths and talents and their vision for the song. there are recordings of both of these guys playing an acoustic like it was an electric and it sounds plenty good to me. of course i've never heard 'tears in heaven' with a copius amount of distortion lol

Quote by icronic

You're arguing the exact opposite of this..

yes i am
Quote by icronic

I've heard guys play acoustic like it was an electric. It doesn't sound nearly as good as it could. I've heard the opposite too. It also doesn't sound good.

ever consider the possibility that the guys you heard doing this didn't have really good technique. i'm not saying their technique is awful. maybe just not REALLY good. i'm no example of perfection, but again hearing "can't" in a sentence describing what can be done on guitar is pretty limiting (unless of course its referring to 'there is nothing you can't do')
remember also that what "sounds good" to you may be awful to someone else and vice versa. in relation to the TS question about sweeping, obviously a squelched awful sweep is... well.... awful. but there is a degree of precision that comes with sweeping and with good and proper technique it won't matter which instrument you practice or play on (sweeping or otherwise) the basic ideal is to have mastery over your instrument so it doesn't matter if you're playing an acoustic or an electric or an electric plugged in or even if its heavily distorted.
#39
Quote by icronic

Play it clean, it's easy to sound good. Play it with distortion, not so easy to sound good is it?


Yeah, I don't agree with that very much. Especially the earlier post in all caps
about always practicing sweeps plugged in.

With the fewest possible electrical circuitry aids to your tone, you are in full control
of nearly ALL the string dynamics. This in turn forces you to actual control them so
you can project your playing. Distortion, compression, gain, and whatnot actually
REDUCES the dynamics. Basically flattening the dynamic curve out. I think it's
better to learn the full dynamic control first.

It's also true that all those effects tend to make the strings a lot more sensitive to
vibration, so if you're going to play that way, it's also important to practice that
way. You have a bit of different dynamic to deal with, but it's more noise control
than dynamic control. It's better to work on dynamics when you have a full range
to work on.
#40
Quote by RockFreak000
DON'T PRACTICE SWEEPING WITH YOUR GUITAR UNPLUGGED.
i used capital letters to emphasis the idea of NOT PRACTICING SWEEPING WITH YOUR GUITAR UNPLUGGED.


that made me laugh

is it better to try and learn them with a bunch of overdrive at first and then move on to mastering them clean or the other way around?

edit: maybe I'll read the thread next time before asking a question that was answered in the previous post.
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