Advice on not rushing through sweeps?

Among all the other road blocks I’ve faced with this alternate picking journey, this is probably the biggest conundrum to me ever getting it down. I can’t stop rushing through the sweeps to where they’re in time with the rest of the lick. If I’m doing EJ 5’s in the E box position for example it never sounds right rhythmically because of it. It doesn’t have that triplet, swing feel. The only way I can get them in time is to play at a snails pace, but when I play really slow, I string hop and do all these other bad habits that normally aren’t there when I play fast. Have any of you found a way around this? Are you pausing a split second before you do the sweep? It seems like so much of learning this stuff is by feel so maybe it can’t be explained. :thinking:

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Here’s how I learnt sweep picking

The Pop’n’Stop or Harsh staccato method:

Put the pick touching the string on the first note

Pick then note (pop) then immediately put the pick on the string on the next note ready to pick (stop)

then repeat

Take as long as you like after the stop to get your fingers into position. Don’t try and speed it up at all - it will happen naturally!

you end up with a super clunky staccato sweep chord - but you have plenty of time for you fret fingers to get into position for the next note.

I did that for a few hours a day for about six weeks - I never once tried to speed it up - or even test any speed improvements. Six weeks later - Bam I suddenly realized I could play sweeps at hyper speed.

I suspect that worked because it’s about synchronization - that’s the key part of sweeping - and that method totally worked for me. And that method requires and teaches extreme picking control.

A cautionary tale:I have showed it to a few friends - and it didn’t work for them - because they constantly tried and tested to play it faster and ended up “unlearning” all that synchronization.


Is there any way you could record a example? Thanks

example of

  1. How to practice this


  1. My Sweep skillz?

Currently I’m drilling economy picking for the next few days - and it’s actually a similar technique. I totally stopped sweeping a long time ago (about 12years ago) about 2 months after I mastered it - because I found it really really boring :slight_smile: . But once I’ve finished my economy drill stuff and I’m happy with it - I can resurrect my sweep skills - the muscle memory patterns are still there - I tried earlier and it’s still there - just a little rough, since I’ve been pure rotation for the last year or so!

Both! :grimacing: the kind of sweeping I’m trying to get down is the EJ economy 5’s patterns. It’s so damn hard to get that 5th swept note in time for some reason?? I’m sure if I was trying the Yngwie type of stuff I’d have similar issues.

Would a metronome help?

Sure - it’ll be a few days tho - like I said I’m drilling economy - but once I’m happy with that - I’ll try and post a vid of how I learnt it, and my current totally neglected sweep skills :slight_smile:

One thing I realized I missed out in my post - and it’s important - that pop’n’stop thing - my hand is under pressure the entire time esp at slow speed - all muscles are super tense - fingers,wrist and arm (all on picking hand). I think that’s because it requires both a push and a pull at the same time to get that extreme control. But when I’m actually playing sweeps - there’s no tension apart from fingers to keep the pick straight.

No unfortunately :confused: I’m starting to wonder if maybe my left hand fingering is what’s throwing me off.

Cool! Thanks I appreciate it. :pray:

Let me argue in favor of a metronome for a minute. Either your notes are landing before they’re supposed to, after they’re supposed to, or missing entirely. What’s the problem? Note that in all of your above text you were somewhat fuzzy and I could not really comprehend what the problem is, there are statements about psychology (the word “rushing”), but no real statement about measurable impact regarding to the notes themselves (other than they’re not where you want them; but where did they end up?). I think a metronome brings real clarity about what is happening, so you might want to consider trying it for a while.

The reason I like a metronome so much is that I finally realized (I am sometimes stupid) that once you get used to it, you can then record to a “click track,” and then you can trivially edit things because they’re perfectly aligned and can be turned into loops, etc. Indeed, it seems that modern production (I am just learning Logic X) is all about getting things carefully aligned in time, and then just moving them in/out/etc. A second benefit to metronomes is that a drum machine is basically a fake drummer that plays along to the same click track, so boom, practice becomes so much more interesting!

Anyway, a metronome is not for everybody, but if one thinks of it as a click track, it really is…

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Hey @Regotheamigo, if you want to try something slightly different, in my opinion easier to keep in time, you can check out this hybrid strategy to play the fives: middle - pulloff - down - up (escape) - down

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Wow!! I just pulled the metronome out, and really focused on everything being in time especially the sweeps and it has that EJ 5’s triplet swing feel to it. You were so right! The issue was the 5th note was always out of time so it never sounded right. I’m really having to listen intently to the beat and focus on that 5th note which is chunking I guess. I’ll catch myself swaying out of time playing faster than I’m suppose to and it will stop sounding right so will stop listen to the beat and carry on. I think for me it was the trying to fit a square peg in a round hole analogy so even if I properly hit the notes right it never sounded on. I can do it at around 145 BMP, but if I push it to 150 it’s starts to go haywire, and stops making sense. I’ve used a metronome many times in the past, but it looks like I was focusing on the wrong stuff. Thanks so much for the advice! :pray: