Tips On Sweep Picking

Just a few tips and tricks on sweep picking.

6
Hey everyone, i've been working on some sweep picking lately and i thought i might share a few tips and tricks to help. First off mainly like everyone always says DO NOT play fast enless your confortable with the speed and you can play it perfectly. The longer you practise sweep picking at various speeds the easier it will become to mix it up. Do not sweep pick if your not warmed up. You won't be able to if your not extremely familair with it and you could easily discourage yourself from progressing. It's very important to always practise with a metronome of some sort.
Fig 1
e|--------------X--|
b|------------X----|
g|----------X------|
d|--------X--------|
a|------X----------|
e|----X------------|
In this figure only pick down and let the pick mainly slide across the strings. Make sure it still gives the effect of a normal picking of a note tho.
Fig 2
e|----X------------|
b|------X----------|
g|--------X--------|
d|----------X------|
a|------------X----|
e|--------------X--|
Same rules apply for figure two except only picking up. Again though ALWAYS practise with some sort of metronome. Once you get used to the picking method of this combine figure 1 and 2. Do not proceed without being confortable doing these picking methods. Alright, well now its time to add the fretting hand into the picture. Again you ALWAYS want to make sure your warmed up before you start. Anways you always want to start small when learning this so were guna start off with just a short three string sweep.
Fig 3
e|-------11h15-11------11h15-11------|
b|----13---------13--13--------13----|
g|--12-------------12------------12--|
d|-----------------------------------|
a|-----------------------------------|
e|-----------------------------------|
Practise this over and over.Also remember sweeping not alternative picking or anything like that. Start slow and slowly build up your speed. NEVER think just because it looks easy it is because i'm telling you right now it's not. This will take ALOT of practise to get down. Once you get this down with a pretty good tempo and it's confortable then it's time to switch it up a bit. Heres two figures that you can add in when your playing this exercise to get used to switching frets while sweep picking.
Fig 4
e|------13h17-13------13h17-13-------|
b|----15--------15--15--------15-----|
g|--14------------14------------14---|
d|-----------------------------------|
a|-----------------------------------|
e|-----------------------------------|

Fig 5
e|-------15h19-15------15h19-15------|
b|----17---------17--17--------17----|
g|--16-------------16------------16--|
d|-----------------------------------|
a|-----------------------------------|
e|-----------------------------------|
Slowly practise all of these. There all the same finger pattern but going at the speed your guna want to then you will want to practise them. Once your confortable with them then practise all of them consistantly switching from one to the other not stopping. So when you get confortable with that then your going to want to add another string into the picture. But instead off writing eight other figures, i'm just going to write down the full sweep and you can see what your going to want to add next. Alo the figure 3 the one you started with is not going to be the end sweep. Figure 5 is going to be part of it thp.
Fig 6
e|------------------15h19-15------------------|
b|----------------17--------17----------------|
g|--------------16------------16--------------|
d|---------14h17----------------17p14---------|
a|-------14--------------------------14-------|
e|--12h15------------------------------15p12--|
Also this is a pretty advanced sweep so DO NOT move onto the full thing until your confortable with the fingering and different speeds. Here is something many like to call a cheat sweep it is only a five string sweep though. Again though DO NOT move onto this until you are confortable with the fingering and different speeds. I'm sorry but that just cannot be said enough.
Fig 7
e|-------------12h17-12--------------|
b|-----------14--------14------------|
g|---------14------------14----------|
d|-------14----------------14--------|
a|--12h16--------------------16p12---|
e|-----------------------------------|
This is called a cheat sweep because for the three note on D F and B you can just bar one of your fingers across it. The last little tip i'm going to give before I go is and this is pretty obvious not to do but don't hold your pick to hard because you get a really ugly tink sound. Well that's all for now and if your having any trouble with speed just check out my other lesson on speed building and finger strength. Well bye bye for now and rock on!

43 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    hippiemetalguy
    yeah i know i did screw up a few things on this lesson and yea i know i misworded a few things. thank you for your input and finally someone tells me in an intelligent way i screwed up and that i need to work on a few things in my writing. also there are a few things that i did miss which i think should be in this but i cant go back and edit it at all but i screwed up but still obviously this is helping a few people so thats what really counts. last thing thank you for agreeing about the instead of spelling it phail spelling it fail.
    zorbozate
    i think it,s great that you took the time to share your knowledge because that is how we all learn
    Karlboy
    Will people stop using PHAIL? It's Fail! About your lesson though. You know what you're talking about, obviously. Unfortunately, you wrote a beginner's sweep-picking lesson, but wrote as if they already know everything. That's where your mistake was. When you write something like this, you have to assume that the people you're aiming at know NOTHING. I know it's a pain in the ass to write all that technical crap, but you have to in order to not get flamed by people who are just looking for someone to screw up so they can misspell "fail." What you did cover was good though, but you just skimmed just below the surface. Just below meaning, you skipped step one and went to step two. Lastly, about the bar part, that will cause confusion. You need to say 'roll,' otherwise people are going to bar it, end up playing a major chord and be like, "Oh, I suck." Just keep that in mind for your next lesson.
    William Ibanez
    hey guys, try this. e|--4-3-2-1-0-1-2-3-4~-| b|-----| g|-----| d|--- --| a|-----| e|-----| but on every string and then back down. :]
    new_guitar
    wait i thought you were supposed to roll, not bar... PHAIL
    better than hammering in! xD
    Nuggets
    well its just that the hammering throws me sometimes, and i end up playing the notes all messed up, so do i slow down my right hand whilst i hammer with my left?
    hippiemetalguy
    k im still not exactly sure what ur trying to say but i think i might and im thinking yeah you need to give a slight rest of picking while doing the hammer on like if your left is ur fretting hand it is constantly going the same pace(atleast if ur going with the sweeps above with no alterations)and if ur right hand is ur picking hand then when it comes to the hammer on its like as if the hammer on for ur right hand was a rest and then you just keep going i hope that helped but if it didnt then im sry and ill keep trying
    bowespark
    Does William Ibanez mean us to pick or sweep? One string sweeps are multiple hammer on's One string sweeps are so rare that they don't even exist, but they're probably rather fun. Why does Hippiemetalguy refer to himself with a small i? Come on dude you're worth more than that.:
    hippiemetalguy
    lmao thx for the compliment but i dnt put to much puncuation grammar and all that shit into my comments and im pretty sure hes talkin about some speed building thing from my other lesson lol
    PurpleBear102
    Not bad, not bad at all, only prob is the hand techniques not mentioned... that was really the hardest part when I started sweeping. For people who want to start sweeping and (like me) reads all the comments because he finds it funny should note this: The correct right and left hand techniques: the finger on the fret should leave directly after it has sounded quickly followed by the picking hand muting that string. It's difficult to master! so don't try it for a while and give up cause you're going nowhere. Anyhow the guy who said the X's at the beginning are stupid(I'm not gonna quote him now, too much effort) they are to train the exact hand techniques I just described... straight out of Steve Vai's lesson book. Anyway if you just added that(with more explaining) it would've been an awesome lesson. Keep it up
    ForNoReason1000
    ok little sweep riffs to practice on..ive been trying to learn the duncan hills coffee jingle solo for ever and the sweeping part is hard but these riffs helped..
    where did you find the tab for that, im loking for a Awaken tab but there all blocked
    UZe3e
    stop cricticising .. if you are so good just go and play man! Why the heck are you sitting here? Nice one brov.
    BackDoorEntry
    This lesson is Amazing!!!!! It has pushed me thru a wall I couldn't pass before, thank you!
    spikeplayer
    new_guitar wrote: nothing i haven't seen before...
    ok new_guitar... then why post anything at all he's trying to help i thought it was pretty helpful thx man
    Nuggets
    come on, i liked this lesson, like slash181 says, the first thing a new guitarist will want to do wont be sweep picking im no good on guitar, played about a year and a half and been learnin to sweep pick recently, i try looking at many different lessons to pick up as many points as i can because most lessons are all the same stuff, so i look for better ones i liked this lesson, givin in tablature form helped me a lot aswell, i dont know music that well, i taught myself and skipped all theory behind it im jus wonderin, when i come to hammering in the sweep, do i slow my right hand to allow the hammer on into the rhythym then carry on to the next string i find it hard because my mind always wants to sweep in a constant speed also this is off topic, but does anyone have any good lessons for scales?? or finger strength?? thanks alot
    belial_blast
    not too bad, i learned the coffee, for anyone who doesn't know, on the metalocalpse dvd menu click up on your remote to get extras(i believe its in skwisgars eyes), there is a lesson to play the jingle there also. an other good sweep to practice is the sweep in Towards dead end by bodom. its also a good idea to make up your own, don't be shy to go ape even if you can't play it, you probably will eventually. i use sweeps everywhere in writing. its worth learning
    JayKay12
    this was great help. on an a minor five string sweep, do i use my pick on every note? or use the the hammer ons? because i feels akward with hammer ons but i don't know if i should do it.
    JayKay12
    JayKay12 wrote: this was great help. on an a minor five string sweep, do i use my pick on every note? or use the the hammer ons? because i feels akward with hammer ons but i don't know if i should do it.
    actually, all the sweeps with hammers feel akward
    hippiemetalguy
    yea i had the same feeln when i started the hammer ons will feel weird for awhile but u get used to it
    hippiemetalguy
    Veroth wrote: ok dude i dont recall you mentioning the proper right hand technique, and thats absolutely crutial to sweeping correctly. and you cant just bar those three notes, if you do you start to get notes that bleed into each other and at that point you might as well be strummin a chord. i understand what you were trying to accomplish but thats only becuase ive been workin on sweepin for about a year now. one last thing my usual approach to showing someone how to do something on guitar is to assume that they know nothing about whatever im trying to teach them, but in this case that wouldnt work. this is an extremely advanced technique that takes a lot of time and patience to master, so in in this case you might want to address more of the technical aspects such as how to incorperate it into a lead because whats the point of teaching someone somthing when your not gonna show them how to incorperate into their play style, dont get me wrong i think its awesome that your tryin to explain an approach to sweeping in simple terms, but again if yoiur tryin to teach somthin like sweeping you have to assume that the person already knows a little bit about it other wise you just keep tellin them the same thing that a bagillion other lessons have already covered.
    i was assuming they knew that after they picked a note to slightly pull there finger off the string but to keep there finger on to stop it fromm ringing i see where ur coming from though im not really a professional at writing lessons but i try and help some because they might have read this and been like oh wow that could help or oh thats what ive been doing wrong or something also i check my lessons frequently to answer any questions or aspects ive missed but sometime i skip comments that i believe will be a waste of time im sorry i misjugded the look of your comment most ppl dnt write tht much enless there trying to insult someone or be a show off but yea it was just a few tips and i was assuming they knew the crucial right or left(depends which fretting hand)technique
    andrewAnimosity
    ok little sweep riffs to practice on..ive been trying to learn the duncan hills coffee jingle solo for ever and the sweeping part is hard but these riffs helped..
    hippiemetalguy
    only on the cheat sweep you can bar because youll be able to get the rest of the notes at the same speed anything else yea you roll its called a cheat sweep for a reason because its still a sweep but only by the tiniest bit it is
    Veroth
    ok dude i dont recall you mentioning the proper right hand technique, and thats absolutely crutial to sweeping correctly. and you cant just bar those three notes, if you do you start to get notes that bleed into each other and at that point you might as well be strummin a chord. i understand what you were trying to accomplish but thats only becuase ive been workin on sweepin for about a year now. one last thing my usual approach to showing someone how to do something on guitar is to assume that they know nothing about whatever im trying to teach them, but in this case that wouldnt work. this is an extremely advanced technique that takes a lot of time and patience to master, so in in this case you might want to address more of the technical aspects such as how to incorperate it into a lead because whats the point of teaching someone somthing when your not gonna show them how to incorperate into their play style, dont get me wrong i think its awesome that your tryin to explain an approach to sweeping in simple terms, but again if yoiur tryin to teach somthin like sweeping you have to assume that the person already knows a little bit about it other wise you just keep tellin them the same thing that a bagillion other lessons have already covered.
    hippiemetalguy
    you people realy need to learn how to spell FAIL!!!!! also lets see you write something and it get accepted about sweeping seriously cause dont go critisizing my work when you have anything to compare it to that you can take credit for also dont call people noobs as much as you want to sound cool your really not so please enless your going to give constructive critisismn then please keep your unintelligent comments to yourself
    Slash181
    hippiemetalguy wrote: you people realy need to learn how to spell FAIL!!!!!
    omg this guy has no idea phail!!! go home /r/tard btw this is a good lesson tbf hes gone outta his way to share knowlege and yeh kk he didnt treat us as if we didnt know anything.....but wait...i dont recall pickin the guitar first time and wantin to do sweep pickin' hell i didnt even know wot sweep pickin was.....so guyz have a bit of common sense, advanced techniques usually are played by people who have 'advanced' from the stages of picking notes. people who troll the internet, who critisise others when they are shite themselves, people who probably cant even play guitar should learn to die.....simple. end of! good lesson
    Slash181
    no the whole point is to spell fail wrong, its phail in itself! but seriously very good lesson i will be using now
    thelonesoldier
    Well that's reasonable. I agree that saying something is bad without giving any reasons why is rude and unhelpful.
    hippiemetalguy
    whatever i was just saying that cuz im sick of all these phail noob comments cuz its like there not even attempting to piont out what ive done wrong i know there are a few things ive missed and the thing about how i explained the barring the one i just didn't explain that in a better sense i'm not saying he doesn't have the right to critique my work i'm just saying if he is to give some more helpful feedback then phail noob cuz its like what does anyone get out of that comment seriously?
    Life Is Brutal
    A bit of fail... The so Called "Cheat Sweep" I would not call it a cheat sweep, if you can play that proficently, it creates a good sound, Hell, Listen to Necrolusts skills, he uses arpeggios like that, and alot of the best sweepers in the world use sweeps like that. Its not a cheat sweep if you can play it correctly. Also learn how to spell, you can correctly spell fail as PHAIL if you are in a place where you can properly use Leet Speak. Like Here.
    thelonesoldier
    seriously cause dont go critisizing my work when you have anything to compare it to that you can take credit for
    That's a stupid argument. Someone can recognize flaws in your work independently of whether they've written something. Just because they haven't written a lesson here, or at least a lesson you've seen, doesn't mean they are inferior to you or they can't critique your work. I don't have much to say about the lesson, but I think the way you started (with the x's) is absolutely pointless... I don't think anyone could possibly derive anything from that...