So, I've recently decided that I want to try to learn how to sweep pick. Are there any important things about sweep picking or 'sweeping' that I should know about? What are some easy songs which contain some basic sweeping in them? How should I practise sweeping?
use a metronome, and start out slow. Speed up your sweeps gradually as they get cleaner. Also, start out with easy sweeps: like 4 string sweeps, and then move up to 5-string and 6-string sweeps.

stuff by bands like Avenged Sevenfold and As I Lay Dying have some pretty easy sweeps...Or you can skip that and go right for Necrophagist :p
I started to learn sweep picking with a certain lick given to me by my guitar teacher a long time ago. It's relatively short and involves a bunch of triplets (I might give you a tab of it here if you'd like it) and down and up sweep picking. I still try to see how fast I can play it.

I also came up with something that involves short sweep picking bursts.

You play through the first 12 and 10 in a sweep motion, and then come up and hit the next 12 and let it ring a bit. You can just come up with anything you want involving patterns like this. That'll give you an introduction to the most basic form of sweep picking.

I also liked practicing this four note burst and later added the fifth note.

I realized that sweep picking takes a lot of the work away from your right hand and puts it on your left hand (for right handed guitarists). So it can help to do anything to build up the speed of your left hand fingers. Lately, I've been hammering on and off of the first fret and open string with my index finger. Then I'll do the same thing with my middle finger on the second fret resting my index on the first fret. I'm sure you see the pattern here. Do this with each finger as fast as possible until you're tired, but don't do this more than twice a day and don't do it every day of the week so you don't get a repetitive stress injury.
Last edited by Adrian Smith at Aug 28, 2008,
In 100 percent seriousness don't learn sweep picking if you are just starting out (no idea of knowing how long / serious you've been playing). Sooooo many beginers just want to learn how to sweep and not develop good tone, get some style, be comfortable improvising, and learn basic rhythm thats not like 4/4 pop punk. If you are a beginer PLEASE take it slow and wait on this. But if you have been playing for a while then go ahead. There are some good lessons here on UG on sweeping and start with simple 3 string sweeps using what many consider the Open D Major and Minor shapes. A good song for learning this is Bleeding Mascara by Atreyu.
I think practicing with clean tone helps too because it is easier to hear the parts you are having the most trouble with.
Quote by mwg5439
I think practicing with clean tone helps too because it is easier to hear the parts you are having the most trouble with.

Yes and no, playing fast for sure it's a lot easier to pick your mistakes out on a clean setting. But playing slow, with sweep picking you need to be able to mute. With distortion it's much harder to mute then clean.