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Any tips for learning how to sweep pick?

Nocturne

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  • Dec 1, 2019
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    Hello guys, so I've been practicing sweep picking with Papa Gates' lesson and it's quite a hard technique. I'm practicing it everyday and slowly, and I notice a great improvement (thanks to Papa Gates' awesome tutorial and point of view on the role of the left hand when doing this technique). I was wondering if any of you shredders had any tips or thoughts to share about this technique that made a difference while you were learning it.
     
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    Manvir B

    Garage band Groupie
    Nov 11, 2019
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    Kingston, England
    The way i went about it was to make sure i was doing it slow, because both hands need to be in sync, and as Ids said make sure that you're muting as best as you can. Another thing that helped me was playing to a metronome, and breaking up the sweeps into little segments when i was starting out, to make sure each note was ringing perfectly and was muted perfectly. Sweeping is very hard without a doubt but it's my favourite technique.It's all about muscle memory, i literally sit for hours in total, sometimes just watching youtube videos while i slowly sweep away.
     

    Nocturne

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  • Dec 1, 2019
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    The pull off and even more important left hand muting.

    Left hand muting is basically making sure there's no unwanted string noise anymore.
    Thank you, yeah I noticed that there is a lot of noise when I try to sweep. Why is the pull-off so important?

    The way i went about it was to make sure i was doing it slow, because both hands need to be in sync, and as Ids said make sure that you're muting as best as you can. Another thing that helped me was playing to a metronome, and breaking up the sweeps into little segments when i was starting out, to make sure each note was ringing perfectly and was muted perfectly. Sweeping is very hard without a doubt but it's my favourite technique.It's all about muscle memory, i literally sit for hours in total, sometimes just watching youtube videos while i slowly sweep away.
    I totally agree for the hard but favorite technique, it sounds so well. Alright, I'll make sure that I practice slow and that I divide the segments, thank you so much!
     

    Moonrunner

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    Nov 11, 2019
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    I kid you not, i learned sweeps with this video. My advice would be to practice slow and focus on your hands, how they move whenever you do this, or that...
    That way i realized about mutting the low strings. Take a look at how you move your thumb when doing the arpeggio etc.
    For me, focusing on my hands, and then doing this simple arpeggio on the video was all i needed. Then, of course, practice practice practice over and over again with different forms.
    PLEASE, trust me in this: use all 4 fingers. Dont overstretch some figures and use pinky or whatever. I know guys who never used their pinky and after some time they had to re learn how to sweep properly.
    ALSO, when you get it, jump onto finger-rolling sweeps. On sidewinder you have quite some examples. Hope this helps

    TL;DR : focus on hands restings, go slow, use all fingers.

     
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    Jak Angelescu

    Guitarist for Unknown🎸 Mother of Dragons🐉
    Staff member
    Legend
  • Sep 24, 2019
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    Hello guys, so I've been practicing sweep picking with Papa Gates' lesson and it's quite a hard technique. I'm practicing it everyday and slowly, and I notice a great improvement (thanks to Papa Gates' awesome tutorial and point of view on the role of the left hand when doing this technique). I was wondering if any of you shredders had any tips or thoughts to share about this technique that made a difference while you were learning it.

    ABSOLUTE FUCKING PATIENCE dude. Seriously. And really focus on letting your rhythm hand be 1000000% relaxed. I can't stress this enough. I know it seems redundant but it's true. Every other picking technique requires you to really control the pick (except flutter picking). But with sweeps you must surrender the control. Practice on the clean channel so you really can get a sharp, clear and percussive sound
     

    Moonrunner

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    Nov 11, 2019
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    I should also say, check the way you are picking. Which way do you start the motion. Going down or up.
    that way you dont fuck up your muscle memory for the future.
     
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    Calvin Phillips

    Music Theory Bragger
    Nov 11, 2019
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    ABSOLUTE FUCKING PATIENCE dude. Seriously. And really focus on letting your rhythm hand be 1000000% relaxed. I can't stress this enough. I know it seems redundant but it's true. Every other picking technique requires you to really control the pick (except flutter picking). But with sweeps you must surrender the control. Practice on the clean channel so you really can get a sharp, clear and percussive sound
    This right here. My hand wants to pick ascending runs when I sweep. It took me some time to relax my hand to let it just sweep past rather then pluck. I think that's the HARDEST PART. And takes ton of patience. Been 2 months now. I'm still not happy with those sweeps.

    The decends however ... so fucking easy. I find that the easiest. It came to me pretty naturally. Just gotta stay on it to avoid sloppiness. I literally single note 180 on my sweeps. It's really slow but I try to do it for 5 minutes up.. down. Then up and down together. I also noticed that a and e shapes are my hardest cause I'm not the best at finger rolling yet. I don't have enough callase build up on my fingers yet there.
     
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    Andrei Moraru

    Campfire Attention Holder
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    For whatever reason, my problem on sweeps is NOT my picking hand. It's fretting hand. My fingers just DO NOT want to go those ways that fast. The sweeping motion on the picking hand? No problemo. The fretting? Pure Spaz.

    I sympathize with this. My fretting hand is in a world of its own when sweeping.

    But going back to the subject at hand, as Jak said, patience is a must. Also, do not neglect what Ids said. Knowing how to mute those bloody strings is quite important. Sure, when recording you can get away with it by placing a fretwrap on your guitar. I cheese my way through it with one, but I know it's a bad habit. Do not do it unless you're recording. It's going to be a bit of a nuisance, but you'll get there. One note at a time.
     

    Jesse Salmons

    Stairway to Heaven Tab Studier
    Nov 11, 2019
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    Indiana
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    I kid you not, i learned sweeps with this video. My advice would be to practice slow and focus on your hands, how they move whenever you do this, or that...
    That way i realized about mutting the low strings. Take a look at how you move your thumb when doing the arpeggio etc.
    For me, focusing on my hands, and then doing this simple arpeggio on the video was all i needed. Then, of course, practice practice practice over and over again with different forms.
    PLEASE, trust me in this: use all 4 fingers. Dont overstretch some figures and use pinky or whatever. I know guys who never used their pinky and after some time they had to re learn how to sweep properly.
    ALSO, when you get it, jump onto finger-rolling sweeps. On sidewinder you have quite some examples. Hope this helps

    TL;DR : focus on hands restings, go slow, use all fingers.

    YES! Another person who went through skwisgaars advanced finger wizard master class😂
     
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    Nocturne

    Campfire Attention Holder
  • Dec 1, 2019
    291
    457
    France
    Thank you so much for all these tips guys, I knew I could count on you! It gets me really motivated to see that you all answer and each one of you gives its own little trick or shares its experience and difficulties. Best forum hands down. I will soon do a video about my progress on sweep picking!
     

    ashley willis

    Free Bird Player
  • Nov 11, 2019
    55
    370
    36
    Georgia, USA
    I’m working on those lessons now myself and I’ve found resting the pick on the next string as Papa Gates mentions, has made a big difference for me. That and using my fretting hand correctly have been what I was always missing before.
     

    Calvin Phillips

    Music Theory Bragger
    Nov 11, 2019
    2,259
    1,357
    I sympathize with this. My fretting hand is in a world of its own when sweeping.

    But going back to the subject at hand, as Jak said, patience is a must. Also, do not neglect what Ids said. Knowing how to mute those bloody strings is quite important. Sure, when recording you can get away with it by placing a fretwrap on your guitar. I cheese my way through it with one, but I know it's a bad habit. Do not do it unless you're recording. It's going to be a bit of a nuisance, but you'll get there. One note at a time.

    Theres really 2 ways to do it. Do it all in e and a shapes. Or do it in c g and d shapes. You either can get good with rolling the fingers or moving one finger at a time. One way usually comes easier for others.
     
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    Lucas Weiman

    Free Bird Player
    Nov 11, 2019
    59
    156
    I’m working on those lessons now myself and I’ve found resting the pick on the next string as Papa Gates mentions, has made a big difference for me. That and using my fretting hand correctly have been what I was always missing before.
    I can also attest to the validity of this statement. Once upon a time my sweeping speed was stuck at about half of what I needed for a song, and no matter how long I practiced, it never improved. Once I learned about these "rest strokes" and started implementing it in my practice, my progress started going up again, and eventually got me to play the afterlife solo at full speed! Also important side note, you must also apply rest strokes to your economy picking if you want that to be fast as well :) It's one of the most important fundamental techniques you must get your picking hand to understand when learning how to play fast.