Page 1 of 2
Hello everyone!

Okay I've been playing guitar for a really long time now. A person can't learn something new if one does not try to learn.

What I wanted was for expert sweep pickers to tell me how they felt and what went through their minds when they first sat down and decided they were going to learn to sweep pick.

I am really discouraged right now. I have been devoting a huge deal of time out of my free time to practicing this for about 2 weeks. I know that I can't possibly get anywhere in 2 weeks and I know it takes a LONG time, I just need some encouragement from people who have been in the same seat I am in right now.

Did you feel like you could never be able to do it? Or, did you think that you were going at it the wrong way. Any positive comments please.

Thanks to all in advance!
I know it's a struggle at first. It took me about a year to get some patterns really clean, but I didn't practice it as much as I should have. My teacher at the time told me it took him over 6 months of constant practice while he was at GIT to finally nail sweeping. So don't feel too discouraged after just a few weeks, it takes time. But once you get the feel for it, it's relatively easy to adjust to new patterns. Just take it slow at first, maybe check out some videos and lessons and always, always use a metronome when practicing. You should get it soon enough if you're working as hard as you say. Good luck.
It starts out hard. Getting used to economy picking feels really strange at first.

All I can say is: METRONOME!
It is definitely not a natural-feeling movement to start with. But take my word that once you are proficient with it (which you eventually will be), it becomes SO natural. I recommend the UG sweep picking technique video: It is both motivational and informational.
oh man, thank you guys so much. It feels good to have honest answers. Thanks again guys.
I thought stuff like:

- **** me, this is hard.
- Why is my right hand not doing what I want it to do?
- Now my right hand is doing what I want, but my left hand isn't.
- Grrrr.

But once you get it down, it feels so easy. It just takes a while
- Bugera 333
- VJ & VJ cab
- Jackson JS30
- TS9

Bugera Users Militia. We are horrible people. With a sprinkler fetish.
~ BUM: For all things extinguishing

Rackmount Tube Amp Project <<< Updates!
After you get a handle on the motion, you've only to keep up with your left hand, and you can sweep pretty much anything unless it's something ridiculous.

Be sure to play 3 string AND 4 and 5 string sweeps. None is easier than the other, but all of them feel quite different.
I'm no super pro sweeper, but what took me time was syncronization of right and left hand. I'm no warp speed sweeper, but I can do something around Yngwie sweeps cleanly.

I learned one pattern, and after that, most patterns could be applied within a short range of time.

Right now I'm working on being able to both sweep and string skip arpeggios (amon alot of other things), because each one is useful :p
Ibanez s540 with gold Schaller bridge and OMGGOLD hardware

Ibanez RGR320 with Lo-Edge Pro bridge and scalloped fretboard

Lee Jackson XLSC - 500

Roland Microcube

Dunlop Jazz III black
some sweep shapes require your palm to be in a completely different place on the back of the neck than others so keep than in mind.
My Gear

DEAN Razorback Shards
Wesley crappy cheap thing

Cheap Crappy Freedom Practice AMP 15watts
VOX AD50 Valtronix
I started by muting all the strings at around the 1st fret with my right hand and hammering on the sweep patterns with my left.
As a semi-economy picker (I economy pick up my runs and alternate pick down) the movement wasn't very difficult to get down, the muting was DEFINITELY the hardest part.
The way I got it... waiting up from 11pm 'til 4am for a soccer match on tv practising sweeping the WHOLE time.
To answer your question, it wasn't too difficult to get into with constant attempts and analysis of my movement and breaking it into the two sides (left and right activity).
Keep at it mate.
~ J6hn
Quote by jigy-i-joe
some sweep shapes require your palm to be in a completely different place on the back of the neck than others so keep than in mind.

really, if you want sweep fast, you palm shouldn't be on the back of the neck at all. Using proper classical left hand technique helps immensely for sweeping.

But yeah man, the real key is not to rush and start at the lowest speed that you can do it cleanly (even if it's like 10 BPM) and work your way up at a gradual but constant pace, but never play so fast that you can't do it cleanly.
make Industrial and/or experimental electronic music? Join my group!
Make you're own me.
I dont know if its the same for anyone else, but trying to learn some songs for me is like trying to learn a second language.
The reason why I said it also was because, In my experience you'd be able to play it more comfortably

I could post up a simple arpeggio I made if you want it?
Not an experienced sweep picker, but I only recently nailed my first sweep, before that I was practicing very slowly and it sounded nothing like a sweep. I will definitely keep practicing, definitely need to work on it still, but it's a good feeling that first time. Before that I didn't really think about it, I just practiced when I could and it eventually came, so I'd just say keep trying and it'll eventually work out. All I can say is keep working on sweep exercises, and don't give up really.
It took a long time, you have to practise knowing that at one point youll hit it and say HAH MOFO I DID IT! I was never discouraged because i had to do it and would do anything to master it, but i did feel that it wasnt going too well.

but looking back, ill tell you that variety helps. practise on one sweeping pattern at a time but dont over do it. once you are tired of one pattern learn another. and so on and so on.

ALSO one important thing that might help everyone, i know we all start sweeping on 3 strings, but then i found out its also possible on 2 strings. For eg megadeth - tornado of souls. Try sweeping that second solo bit, if you dont get what i mean ill explain, but anyway it comes in handy and opens up both of your hands!! trust me
I naturally economy pick, so I thought this was actually pretty easy to pick up. I started sweeping in October 2007. First day, got the motion and coordination down, which was surprisingly very easy. I think the hardest part was muting. Then one day while practicing my picking hand just "clicked" and I could sweep fairly clean. Combine that with hours of metronome practice and a few months and I can sweep fast and cleanly now, including sweep tapping. It's so much fun. Good luck, all!

EDIT: Learn how to connect inversions, for extra practice.
When I first decided I was going to learn sweeps, I just kept thinking positive. Just know that someday you will be sweeping like the pros and you will make it. Whenever I would get discouraged, I would just listen to some songs with sweeps and think of how great it would be if I could play like that. After I learned them well enough, I started to go after some of those songs and it felt great to actually be able to play them. Sweeping itself is very overrated but it is still a huge accomplishment when you learn it. Stick with it and you will get it.
Quote by Geldin
Junior's usually at least a little terse, but he knows his stuff. I've always read his posts in a grouchy grandfather voice, a grouchy grandfather with a huge stiffy for alternate picking.
Besides that, he's right this time. As usual.
Quote by thec0dy
Make you're own me.
I dont know if its the same for anyone else, but trying to learn some songs for me is like trying to learn a second language.
The reason why I said it also was because, In my experience you'd be able to play it comfortably

I think like that sometimes. Don't fall into that pattern though it is poor thinking for someone who is supposed to be a perfectionist. When you are practicing scales you should want them to sound the same as the scale when a clear and precise player plays. The same goes for sweeps. Some of them are tongue twisters, but you will be that much better when you do do exactly what this guy says and write your own. It WILL BE EASY if you learn the hard finger twisting licks first.
Well im definitly far from being what i consider good at sweeps, but setting the metronome at about 50 and slowly increasing the speed as i practice it has helped me alot. I cant do them super fast, i think 105 is the fastest i got with the metronome, but they are definitly clean.
It's all about going gradually from easy sweeps to hard sweeps, from slow sweeps to fast sweeps.

Start with a 3 string down-sweep, when you can play that cleanly, try 4-string. Increase tempo, start doing the up-picked portion of each sweep, start putting sweeps together, start doing sweeps that require you to "roll" your finger. It's a pretty long process. In fact, it might be a lifetime process considering we can always learn more and get better.
What did I think...

Jason Becker.

The day I found about him was the day I wanted to sweep like him.

I learned the many shapes utilizing 3 strings, when I got good at that, then I went to 4, then 5, but I stopped at for a while because I couldn't roll my fingers for the 6th string sweeps. Around this pause in progress I started adding hammers and pulls to my sweeping and more 2 notes per string sweeping.

About a year later (yes, one whole gruelling year of 5 string sweeps) I started doing 6 strings.. I didn't realize it, but I was actually pretty damn good at 6 stringers. All the practice from rolling my fingers for major shapes with 5 strings must have done the trick.
Now... well I don't find sweeping all that great anymore, mostly because i've got it down packed, save for a few clarity issues here and there
Well....back when I took a few lessons, my teacher gave me some sweep patterns.
They were all 5 string sweeps and I was having difficulty at first, as I had only been playing for about 4 months.

So I busted my ass for a week and had them all down cleanly. I then made new patterns and whatnot. Something just clicked and I was able to do it very quickly/cleanly.

Eh, I'm a freak.
waaa i feel so jealous i can barely even do a 3 string sweep and i have beaan practicing for about a month *bangs head on table* <--- me
I'm not amazing at sweeping. I can sweep the typical minor shape fast, but I can't make the complicated shapes sound good yet, only about 160 @ triplets.

On the other hand, I never started with that 3-string stuff, I immedietly went to 5 string sweeps and got em down in a month or so. Then I sped em up. Meh.
What is a correct sweep picking? I kinda in not much time (less than a month? or even less) I can do 6 strings (kinda unuseful?, don't know, I prefer to use the whole hand and take the practice to the max level, without losing a clean sonud) @ 120 bpm (blacks). But I don't know what it means to clear sweep... maybe I'm doing it right, but I don't feel like it's a big sweep...
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Jackson Kelly KE3

Strymon El Capistan
RMC4 Picture Wah
Sunface BC-108
Fulltone OCD
MXR M-108
ISP Decimator
Bad Monkey
Danelectro Fish & Chips

Peavey ValveKing 112:
-Celestion Vintage 30
is my hand suppose to cramp after like 20 minutes of continous sweeping?
Interested in Japan? Join the Club. PM me or Kurt-Corgan.
Quote by PieceOfMind666

Haha, that was an epic pic battle. you are a worthy opponent

Quote by Krost
is my hand suppose to cramp after like 20 minutes of continous sweeping?

Your hand shouldn't cramp at all when playing guitar.
Quote by rayunit
sweeeeping is over-rated

Translation "I can't sweep and I'm bitter"

Anyway, it was HORRIBLE at first. I always told myself I'd never be able to do it. I'm a fast learner, and once I really sat down and worked with some instructional videos starting REALLY slowly, it took me about 2 weeks to get to a point where I could sweep down and up on 3 strings at like 75 BPM. The biggest part is getting your hands to work together. Once you get past that, you learn to speed up very quickly. I learned how to sweep in late 2007 and around christmas could only do 3 string sweeps at 16ths at 75.

Now I can sweep very clean at 16ths around 180-190 on a good day 3-6 strings.

Keep practicing!
is it common to be able to sweep with upstrokes must faster than those with downstrokes? seems pretty weird when i do it but for some reason the downstrokes just dont seem to wanna go any faster :p
Man, once you learn a really simple one like


You feel so good, it takes about like 3 weeks to get anything remotely solid for a mini sweep, but once you find your rythm with your picking hand, and finger placement, it'll all come. But yeah, Metronome forsure, otherwise you're gonna hit the first couple notes, and the last one... everything in the middle is gonna sound disgusting. So start off slow.
I actually started out alternate picking 3-6 string sweep patterns so that my left hand could get used to the idea of having to go from one string to another in quick succession. I actually started out by trying to learn this etude: I'll be Bach

it had alot of the basic and more advanced sweep shapes. It took some time but not only did it greatly increase the accuracy of my left hand, it also greatly helped my alternate picking. From there it was just synchronizing my left hand with my right, which i found to be rather easy (i find fluidity comes from a relaxed wrist, if you push too hard, it just doesnt sound that good). Remember to use a metronome, and dont sacrifice clarity for speed ( specially with sweeps with barres in them). It's also good to play with just a touch of distortion, so that you can really hear how accurate you are.
I figure I can sweep pretty well - due to lots of practice. I can play the half of serrana that doesn't require the 24th fret (Not quite up to speed though). To those who are struggling with it, you shouldn't worry, because it seems that after a while sweeping just clicks. Once you get the coordination down it becomes easy.
Quote by SlinkyBlue
I remember when I was really young, I had a wet dream in which i was being dragged along an urban countryside by a pickup truck.

Don't ask me I have no idea how the hell it happened.

To Me:

Quote by Son.Of.TheViper

I love you
Since I started this thread I can say that everyone who has given advice, I can now see that it has helped me GREATLY. Thank you all so much. But I am still on the sweep journey and I am still seeking you guy's advice. =]!!!

Does anyone feel like the hours of practice and devoted time to sweep picking is worth the struggle?

Like when you was able to sweep pick really good, was it how you thought of it when you first started practicing? Were you let down or amazed?
Well the thing that helped me was to watch tons of videos on sweep picking and yea Practicing constantly but yea I nailed it.
Practicing on an acoustic kinda helps since it forces you to play clean and slow or else it wont sound like a sweep.
Quote by Stress Cow
You know you're fucked up when the pit thinks you're a sick bastard.
I economy pick naturally, alternate picking is often awkward.
GENERATION 10: The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add 1 to the generation. Social experiment.
I can do 3-string arpeggios but I alternate pick it, only recently I've been practicing sweeping to try and break that habit cause its frustrating to go faster when you alternate it.

But like everyone says, metronomes are a key part in learning to sweep and it takes a lot of patience (much like practicing in general). I only practice them for an hour max. cause after that I get bored or really frustrated with it.
Quote by thec0dy
Make you're own me.
I dont know if its the same for anyone else, but trying to learn some songs for me is like trying to learn a second language.
The reason why I said it also was because, In my experience you'd be able to play it more comfortably

I could post up a simple arpeggio I made if you want it?

I believe this is impossibleh.....

I'm still trying to get sweeping down but I'm making slow progress....
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
Page 1 of 2