2 String Mini Sweep Issue (EJ Fives)


Hi everybody,

Long time youtube channel follower, recent subscriber, first time poster :slightly_smiling_face:

So I have been on a mission since May to get out of my legato rut and get my picking together and have been experiencing some (non linear but exciting) progress. That said there is a bit I am really blocking on at the moment.

Big EJ fan over here so really keen to get those fives down, as well as the myriad other penta runs possible with a good DWPS technique, but I am having trouble with the 2 consecutive downstrokes sections across two strings, or mini sweeps. Whenever I start to go for faster tempos I find it very hard to stop it turning into one fudged down stroke that just smushes straight through and runs away from my left hand. Often times after attempting this, it stays nasty when I go back down to a more moderate tempo. Anyone have this problem or have any tips for how to control that motion?

As pointed out in one of the cascade seminar clips, EJ himself doesn’t seem to think of it in terms of sweeps and possibly just views it as an extension of his ‘bounce’ technique… as he puts it, and subsequently, when i try to think of it less as a fluid motion and try it a bit more heavy handed then it does get a bit better, but I find it hard to imagine breaking through to the higher tempos going about it that way.


P.S. Big thanks to the guys at CTC, the free content alone has been a massive boon, love what you guys are doing for the craft!


Good catch! This is something we tried to get across in our discussion of this, and it’s a guess on our part. It could be just that he’s not all that conscious of what he’s doing, and isn’t think of it in any particular way at all.

Despite the low-res webcam quality of this, I come back to this video a lot because it’s one of the better descriptions we’ve done of how you can combine alternate picking and sweeping. You already know the basic concepts so what we’re talking about here will make more sense to you technically than the average YouTube drive-by viewer:

Basically, rest strokes. They should feel fluid. You’re not putting a ton of force into them. You’re just hitting the note in a relaxed way and letting the pick flop over to the next string and sit there. The faster you go, obviously, the consciousness of this flopping goes away. And it could be that after a certain speed, the picking hand is no longer making individual rest strokes and just making one smooth motion.

At this speed, for example, I can no longer feel the rest stroke, but you can see pretty clearly in slow motion that it’s happening:

I like this pattern a lot because it sounds cool and smooth, and also because there’s not a ton of sweeping in here. There’s just one moment every seven notes where you have to do this, so I think it might be a little easier to get the hang of this compared the pentatonic stuff where they come up more often.

Give these a shot and see if any of that helps.