Does the pick orientation dictate sweep path?

I’ve been working a bit on my sweeping technique lately but have been having a hard time finding one that’s usable in both directions and which dovetails with my regular RDT picking technique. In particular certain sweep paths will change the pick point, which creates a problem when I then move back to alternate picking. The search space seems quite large, since there are examples of great sweepers that use only wrist, and those that use wrist+elbow, which essentially means you can sweep in any motion path you can imagine.

Since the RDT picking technique essentially fixes the pick orientation, does it also dictate the direction I should sweep? What are the rules here?

There a lots of options! You could be an USX player who only uses downstroke sweeps or an DSX player who only uses upstroke sweeps, a lot of people will be one or the other but break out of their normal picking orientation for a sweep that goes against their typical setup and then immediately switch back to their normal setup :slight_smile:

You could also take it one step further if you can comfortably switch between USX and DSX picking motions and then you end up with Gambale Sweeping:

Gambale is still more of a DSX guy though, so even with his ability he still has a preference. Not sure if he is switching from RDT DSX to RDT USX or if he is switching from RDT DSX to deviation-based USX though, always wondered this, might be the reason why he sticks with the higher fluency of RDT the majority of the time!

I think you are confused here, you can do RDT in USX and DSX :grin:

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Yeah, but once you’ve made your choice the pick orientation, in terms of edge-picking, pick point and pick slant will be fixed. Of these three, the pick point at least probably has to be stable across all your movements, because you can’t easily modify it.

I guess it’s just personal preference, surely Frank Gambale is a great example of how easily this can be done, unless I’m misunderstanding? :slight_smile:

I’ve read some cool posts from Tom Gilroy where he talked about not being great at sweeping at some point, then trying to intentionally imitate Frank’s technique (even using the big triangular pick) and it being surprisingly easy. I don’t mess with sweeping much myself, but I know the other aspect of it that always tripped me up with keeping the notes from bleeding into each other, and string noise when releasing the fingers (to address the aforementioned bleeding lol). We’ve seen lots of awesome sweeping clips from @cmcgee11235 and I asked him for some tips directly in this post:

It was super helpful too, I got good results nearly right away. In typical “me” fashion I abandoned and went back to working on stuff I’m not good at lol! I just love the struggle :wink: