Many can, many can't.
If you can I would like to hear how you started and how long it took you.
Also, if some of you could point me in a good starting direction it would be appreciated.
Thanks guys.
I'm in the middle.. I can't but I can. I can do easier sweeps like on the vid in my sig, but I can't do stuff like Jason Becker on Altitudes..

just google a good sweep arppegio and practice it at a really slow tempo over and over and keep increasing tempo.
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its just a matter of how much effort you want to put into it really. you cant learn overnight, and its certainly not something thats quick and easy to learn, you'll have to put in many hours just get the basic technique down, then you can tackle more challenging positions!
Go to the advanced techniques forum, and look at the sticky there
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I was horrible at first, took me a long time of failing at it until I got the hang of it.
I say focus on the right hand more than the left, and just make sure to start slow and focus on making it sound as clean as possible before increasing speed.
Start on 3 string sweeps, major and minor shapes before extending them to 5 strings and then start learning and practicing the sweeps in the songs you like and want to learn, and then you can extend your sweeps to diminished sweeps and adding taps and all that fun stuff.
Just take time making it sound as clean as possible, and you'll get the best results IMO.
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Sorry, that was asking for it...

Sweeping for me came along after six months of hard work, there are many different styles of how you can sweep, like whether you do three notes on the high e or one, or if you try to keep it sounding ok by muting the strings with your palm as you sweep. Trust me though. Spend like one hour a day working on one kind of sweep over and over, and i mean for an hour. It'll seem like forever, but you'll progress fast and be an ok sweeper in like 3 months. Flawless sweeping takes years, I'm still working on it. I can do it all, except i have trouble with keeping the other strings muted. I've been getting better, but it still sounds brootal, and if i do them at 32nd notes at about 100bpm, i can do it flawlessly, but anything faster, i'll have trouble keeping clean and steady. Good luck with that though...
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I learned by a Youtube video with a guy named Marc Seal. It's also on UG.

Not to mention the plethora of videos on youtube for sweeping and lessons on UG.

A guitar teacher makes it 10x easier than any advice or video online ever can though.
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Quote by HighPotency
Everyone will tell you to start small and slow and use a metronome.

no way out except this...
im in middle also i can do 5 string and 3 string a medium fast speed but not aty crazy speeds well some 3 strings sweeps i can do at crazy fast speeds but not many
um i dont see how someone could not be able to learn to sweep...

but anyways, start with 3 string sweeps, keep it slow, and KEEP IT CLEAN.

metronome is useful here, but if u dont use one just make sure u keep them even, as in play it in time with a GP file or something.

it takes time, and like anything, eventually clicks.

anyone who says they simply cannot sweep either hasnt practiced nearly enough, or is practicing completely wrong.

there are a lot of videos on youtube that give good tips, one i found helpful in the beginning was
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Quote by Guitargod12345
I started by trying to learn Hanger 18 by megadeth

personally I alt pick that whole song except the intro. Not enough arpeggios in it to really get a good sweep practice.

It was the first song I seen "sweep" patterns in, I guess it might have been the same for you.
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sweep thread in advanced techniques
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i kinda started by accident. i threw in some riffs into our band's songs which were 3 string sweeping and didn't realise it was actually sweep picking at first.

a while later i actually decided to try to learn proper sweeping and i just threw myself in at the deep end and tried 5 string arpeggios and stuff. i can do quite a lot of shapes and stuff, but just not too fast yet.

sweep picking is about coordination and the right hand is as important (or more important) than the left hand with sweeping.

definately start off slow. find a shape you want to learn and make sure you know what your hands have to do before you rush in and try and play it fast. when i first learnt i sat there for like 2 hours flat just trying to make sure my hands were moving in time with each other and doing the right thing.

tl dr just go slow, and be patient
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Okay, i'm not sweeping atm, but here's just a little tip. Mix coordination between your left hand fingers. So you get the gist of using every finger with every other finger, for example

index with middle

index with ring

index with pinky

Then do that up and down the fret board with a finger on 1 fret, preferrably 2 frets apart.



Just keep rotating, then do that up the fret board with 2nd and 5th fret, 3rd and 6th fret, so on.

Basically assign a finger to each fret and just alternate with different fingers.

A good exercise my guitar teacher told me was this one

going up the 1st and second frets with index and middle finger then down the 3rd and 4th frets with ring and pinky finger.

Once you've basically mastered coordination and alternate picking with ANY finger combination, you can start to try and shred. I'm just saying, although I can't shred, this is a great way to start.