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Sweep Picking...

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Hey guys, I've been looking around on the internet for some beginner sweep picking lessons but all I've found is sweeping excercises...anybody fancy telling me exactly what to do? I'm so lost right now... :D

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Hmm... can you differentiate what you mean by lesson vs. exercise?

In the meantime here's a cool Jason Becker arpeggio lick (not really sweeping though) I just (coincidently) did in PowerTab :D.

jbecker.jpg

Edit: The PowerTab file is pretty small so I uploaded it here if anyone wants to play it as midi to hear what it sounds like.

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Sweep picking in it's simplest form can be thought of as a slow strum (hold a chord and arpeggiate the notes in a strum [no alternate picking].) It's when you incorporate hammer/pull/tap that it starts to sound cool :D.

Here's one of the simplest sweep arpeggio incorporating hammer-ons/pulls-offs:

AmSweep.jpg

The PowerTab file is here.

Note that you're down picking (strum) as you ascend the arpeggio and up picking (strum) as you decend. This is the basic technique. Is this what you mean?

Edit: I forgot to mention. As part of the technique, you need to use left hand muting to only let the note begin picked to ring out... I guess this is the hard part... what differentiates sweep picking vs. strumming B).

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Sweep picking in it's simplest form can be thought of as a slow strum (hold a chord and arpeggiate the notes in a strum [no alternate picking].) It's when you incorporate hammer/pull/tap that it starts to sound cool :D.

Here's one of the simplest sweep arpeggio incorporating hammer-ons/pulls-offs:

AmSweep.jpg

Note that you're down picking (strum) as you ascend the arpeggio and up picking (strum) as you decend. This is the basic technique. Is this what you mean?

that's how i started out with 5 strings ones..... they're the easiest....

i think i made an instruction video for someone one time explaining how to play one of my songs... if you wana see?

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Edit: I forgot to mention. As part of the technique, you need to use left hand muting to only let the note begin picked to ring out... I guess this is the hard part... what differentiates sweep picking vs. strumming :D.

there is another way to do it, it's alot harder from my expericence, you roll your finger off of each note and... one of the best sweepers out there plays that way... i've been trying to catch him for almost 2 years now...

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Yeah, roll your finger off the note but still keep it touching the string after it's played to mute it (left hand muting) then proceed to the next note.

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Ok, last example, I promise :D... this one incoporates a tap/slide:

AmajorSweepWithTap.jpg

The PowerTab file is here.

Tap the note on the 21st fret with the right hand middle finger and slide to/from the 22th fret, pulling off to the 17th fret.

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Sweep picking in it's simplest form can be thought of as a slow strum (hold a chord and arpeggiate the notes in a strum [no alternate picking].) It's when you incorporate hammer/pull/tap that it starts to sound cool B).

Here's one of the simplest sweep arpeggio incorporating hammer-ons/pulls-offs:

AmSweep.jpg

Note that you're down picking (strum) as you ascend the arpeggio and up picking (strum) as you decend. This is the basic technique. Is this what you mean?

that's how i started out with 5 strings ones..... they're the easiest....

i think i made an instruction video for someone one time explaining how to play one of my songs... if you wana see?

yea sure. send it to me or post it or whatever...my email is

snowboarding_stinks@msn.com

thanks for the help everybody! :D

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Hmm... can you differentiate what you mean by lesson vs. exercise?

oh, ok sorry, I meant that I've found all of these things that help you improve on your sweep picking but nothing that actually tells you what to do,..if that makes sense...

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ok, i just watched it... it's pretty bad (about a year old) so instead i'm going to post an instructional video that "thejonezter" used to have for free on his website...

jonezter - slop (mp3)

jonezter - swizeep (mp3)

jonezter - swizeep (video)

jonezter - sweeping tutorial (video)

EDIT:

This guy is also really good, Gabriel Hildalgo (hope i got that right) used to go by the name pickblade on guitarwar, he's in some heavy metal band in chile now.

Pickblade - Sweep Blade Master

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I can do that but i don't want to right now.

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I've got a great 3-string sweep that I like to practice/warm-up with. If you'd like it posted, let me know and I'll go dig it up.

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I've got a great 3-string sweep that I like to practice/warm-up with.  If you'd like it posted, let me know and I'll go dig it up.

i would love to see it.sweep picking is definately my weak point

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Here are a few posts between Jeremy Ferguson (LGM Guitars) and I from an old thread on 'that other site'. Hopefully this will get ya going.

LGM: Posted: Sun May 27, 2001 12:48 pm    Post subject: sweep picking help

YAY, something I can contribute to in this section!  My sweep picking, while maybe not quite as radical as Yngwie, is pretty good, I've worked quite hard at it, here's a couple tricks I've found that make it go along a little better.

1.  Use a hard pick, the smaller the better IMO.  I use the Dunlop Stubby 2.0mm picks.  

2.  Choke up on the pick as much as you can, leave only enough pick hanging out of your fingers as you need to brush the strings, you can never get a clean smooth sweep with a half inch of pick hanging out.

3.  Hold your pick loosely so it is always trailing the strings, when you sweep from 6 - 1, you want the end of the pick pointing towards the sky, when you sweep 1 - 6 you want the end of the pick pointing to the ground.  If you hold the pick loose, it will just follow the strings, but of course you still have to have enough grip to hold it and allow some pick attack on the strings, you'll find the right grip.

4.  I use a circular motion when I sweep, not just straight up and down, when I sweep down (6-1) I arc my sweep towards the neck and continue in a circular shape (it looks like a tight oval actually) and arc towards the trem on the up sweep.  This just allows a constant motion in your picking hand, you're not stopping to change direction which can slow you're picking hand down in respect to your fretting hand.

5.  Next, pick easy arrpegio's or phrases to sweep when you're starting.  The standard minor arppegio is a very good one to start out with.  I'll show it in A minor.

                        h  p

-------------------5-8-5----------------------------------------------

----------------5---------5-------------------------------------------

-------------5---------------5----------------------------------------

----------7---------------------7-------------------------------------

-------7---------------------------7----------------------------------

--5-8---------------------------------8-5----------------------------

   h    /up                       down\   p

Practice this one until it is fluid, nice and smooth, then you can try the major arppegio, I'll do it in A as well.

                        h    p        (9) is just a nice touch.

-------------------5-(9)-5----------------------------------------

----------------5------------5-------------------------------------

-------------6-------------------6---------------------------------

----------7-------------------------7------------------------------

-----4-7------------------------------7-4-------------------------

--5------------------------------------------5---------------------

/up   h                                         p    \down

that one's tougher, but it gets your fingers thinking more too.  Then you can start to use sweeps as a way of entering another sequence of notes rather than just a stop and change.

                                                               h  p

------------------5-7-8-7-----------------------5-8-5--------------

----------5-6-8------------8-----------------5---------5-----------

--4-5-7-----------------------9-----------5---------------5--------

5---------------------------------10-9-7---------------------7-----

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

                                  \up           /down          \up

Have fun with it and practice practice practice.  Sweeps aren't easy to learn initially, but once you get a technique you like, you can do almost anything you want with sweeps.

Good luck!!!

Jeremy

KEVAN: Posted: Mon May 28, 2001 11:23 am    Post subject: sweep picking help

------------------------------------------------------------------------

When I started out learning to sweep, I (of course) started at the top- learning some Malmsteen.  I never said I was smart.  :-)

Jeremy's exercises are cool, but covering all 6 strings at once is a bit tough for those just jumping in.  Let me offer one of my favorites as an option for you to get started and get your right/left hand coordination going.

This was originally done for my buddy Shannon's 7-string site.

This is one of my favorite sweeps, probably because it's the most versatile.  Here's the first part of the pattern:

(The up-sweep the notes are marked with a "*", and the down-sweep notes are marked with a "^". Pulloff= "p" )

E--19^--16*-----------------------------------------------

B------------17*----------18^--15*---------------------

G---------------19*--16^----------16*------------------

D-----------------------------------------18*---15^------

A------------------------------------------------------------

E------------------------------------------------------------

So, you would DOWN pick(^) the 19, then UP (*) sweep the 16, 17, and 19 in one fluid motion, then down pick the 16th fret on the G string, getting ready for the next set of sweeping. Follow me here? Try the same thing on the second one (starts on the 18th fret). Same pattern, but one string lower and a half step (one fret) down the fretboard. Keep following those same pattern, all the way down...like this...

E-------------------------------------------------------------

B-------------------------------------------------------------

G--17^--14*-----------------------------------------------

D------------15*--------16^--13*------------------------

A---------------17*--14^--------14*---------------------

E--------------------------------------16*--13^-----------

E-------------------------------------------------------------

B-------------------------------------------------------------

G-------------------------------------------------------------

D--------13^--16--14--13--------------------------------

A-----14^--------------------16--14--13--14~~~~----

E--16^------------------------------------------------------

         For some variation, the last seven notes can be done legato, individually picked, or (if you have enough sustain...heh heh) try sliding inbetween them...whichever works for you. Hell, change that whole section if you want!

Don't forget to play it SLOW at first, and work your way up to your desired speed. ALWAYS practice with a metronome or drum machine, and keep the notes sounding clean.

These sweeps are very versatile and can be used all over the fretboard once you get the first section down. Try it out on the lower frets (1-12). Fun, huh? You can also pick each note individually if you like.   

It's just one of the bajillion different ways to express yourself.

Jeremy- thanks for the ideas.  I'll be practicing those.

LGM: Posted: Mon May 28, 2001 11:23 pm    Post subject: sweep picking help

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hey Kev, actually, I put down the A minor sweep because it rolls so nice, it is a very simple arrpegio to do actually.  It'sthe first arrpegio I teach to my students just because it is such an easy shape, and you don't need the same control of your picking hand cuz you just flow off of the strings.  

Anyway, sorry on the MP3's now guys, I'm not set up for that yet but hopefully in the next month or so I will be.

Jeremy

KEVAN: Posted: Tue May 29, 2001 1:14 pm    Post subject: sweep picking help

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jeremy- please don't take offense.  I didn't mean it in a "Harmony Central"-kinda way.  :-)

I just thought that starting with a 3-string sweep would be a good start to getting a smooth technique down before tackling more strings/larger sweeps.

One way to look at it is that folks here on the Forum have access to DOZENS of instructors; all with different methods to approaching guitar techniques.  What better way to find the one that suits you best?

LGM: Posted: Tue May 29, 2001 4:40 pm    Post subject: sweep picking help

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hey Kev, no offense taken man, I just personally find that one to be a very simple one to do, but as Jay said, actuall results may vary, hehe.  I agree on the less number of strings aproach too, here's a real simple one to do.

G major.

                h p

-----------3-5-3--------------------------------

--------3---------3-----------------------------

-----4---------------4--------------------------

--5---------------------5-----------------------

-------------------------------------------------

-------------------------------------------------

Here's A minor as 4 strings

                h p

-----------5-8-5------------------------------

--------5---------5----------------------------

-----5---------------5-------------------------

--7---------------------7----------------------

------------------------------------------------

------------------------------------------------

When I get back home to my computer and have more time, I'll put up a couple more kewl ones for ya to try out!

Jeremy

MAD KEITH V: Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2001 8:44 am    Post subject: sweep picking help

------------------------------------------------------------------------

OKay guys, I've decided to finally tackle the dreaded sweep picking - but I've snagged on something:

you say to "roll" your fingers when playing notes on the same fret but different strings.

The problem I have is this: my fingers don't bend backwards.  They don't go any further than absolutely straight.  I've heard people say that you need to be able to bend your fingers back just slightly (so that they are arched, making it easier to "roll").

Can it be done if you can't possibly arch your fingers?

KEVAN: Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2001 12:01 pm    Post subject: sweep picking help

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Keith- I've been thinking about this all damn morning.    I've come up with a few things (It's kinda tough to describe this with simple words, but I'll try)....

I don't think it's necessary for fingers to bend "backwards" as much as they need to bend "flat" at the first knuckle.  This will help you cover two strings with only one finger.  The tough one to get "flat" (and precise) is the pinky.  Think of it as a micro-barre. :-)

In the caboose of that train of thought, it helps to be able to "angle" all your fingers- where you only use the very tip of your fingers on a particular note, keeping them 100% clear of all the other strings.  This is VERY helpful, and something good to practice, esp. the pinky.

I was learning some Malmsteen stuff a LONG time ago... (how long?  Let's see...I was learning it when the Dead Sea was just Sick! LOL)...and I picked up a little trick:

Instead of doing the micro-barre thing with my index finger, I moved my ring finger to the appropriate note.  In the example below, the ring finger is done doing it's job, and the index finger is on it's note, so I quickly move the ring finger to the "other" note that the index should/could cover.  

Maybe it's time for a visual...

------------------12-17-12--------------------

---------------13------------13----------------

------------14------------------14-------------

---------14------------------------14----------

-----15-------------------------------15-------

--17-------------------------------------17----

Now, here's my fingering (1=index, 2=middle, 3=ring, 4=pinky)

------------------1-4-1-----------------

---------------2----------2--------------

------------3----------------3-----------

---------1----------------------1--------

-----3-----------------------------2-----

--4----------------------------------3---

I've shot a video clip of this sweep.  It was shot REALLY early in the morning, and with no warm-up, so you'll have to excuse the un-cleanness of it and the lack of Rusty Cooley-esque speed.  :-)

IM me if you'd like to see (me hack through) it.  (It won't load into my email.  Sorry.)

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Try to do something like this

--------------------------------------------------------

-------4--6---------5-7-------------------------------

-----4------6-----5-----7-----------------------------

---4----------6-5---------7---------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------

On every string, using the index finger for the first three notes, the ring finger for the second grup of three notes, the middle finger for the other three and the pinky finger for the last

Follow LGM advices, start at a low speed.

When you're doing it clean and correctly, increase the speed.

Then there's this other exercise

i m i r p r

--------4---6-------------------------------------------

----5-----------7---------------------------------------

-4-----------------6-------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------

These are only for warming up and start to learn the tecnique.

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For those who haven't checked this one out yet:

Insane Guitar

Even though he's tried to be as basic as possible, I think he's missed explaining a few things that an experienced player might take for granted. Still, once you understand the basic technique of sweeping, the examples get gradually more difficult in a very accessible way.

Really, what it comes down to (and I'm no sweep master here, I'm just starting, too) is that moment when you understand how to mute the string after playing it, and then actually successfully doing so. The rest is just about learning different patterns or making your own.

As for the 'rolling' technique described, this may or may not help:

You don't need to make your finger (usually the index, which is making the barre in most cases) into one long stiff arch-shaped thing. It's much easier if you just think of it as pressing down on the string with a different part of your finger each time. Let's say you have an all-index finger sweep with a bit of pinky thrown in there (similar to the Insane Guitar example)

e-----------12---15-p-12------------

B-------12----------------12---------

G---12-----------------------12------

D--------------------------------------

A--------------------------------------

E--------------------------------------

When you play that first 'G' (on the G string) you're playing it with your fingertip as usual. But since you don't have time to lift and replace the fingertip, you just fret the 'B' a little bit lower on the finger. For me, it's like playing the G with the tip (though I'm not really arched... my index finger is still touching all strings), and then the B with the flat part near the first joint, and then the 'e' with the area right around the joint.

If you don't concentrate too conciously on the muting, but instead concentrate on putting pressure ONLY on the string being played, I think you'll find that the other strings will have a tendency to mute themselves anyhow, or at least you'll only have to devote a very small amount of concentration to lifting the finger a bit to get the proper mute. (ie. putting pressure on the new string and muting the previous one will become -one- action instead of requiring your brain to process 2 events).

Cheers,

Greg

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anybody else have some purely sweeping songs or exerpts from songs?

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alright here are those powertab files...

well actually i think they cleaned up the site a bit and the ones i was thinking of aren't there, but there are some 'more' difficult ones - they aren't hard but they aren't the 3- or 4-stringers i was thinking

here is one

http://www.powertabs.net/pta.php?page=lesson,59

and there are a bunch of other lessons at

http://www.powertabs.net/pta.php?page=lessoncat,1

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