Need some sweeping advice!

Any tips for a novice sweeper? Not sure when to start pushing the speed, but also not sure if using correct motion for this. Also good muting techniques? Sort of trying to sweep near the neck pickup like jason becker did, but noticing its harder to mute. My primary alternate picking is wrist motion. Dont judge the canon in D, im working on my triads haha.

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Looks pretty good to me! I think you could start going a bit faster, it will be sloppy but as you get more comfortable it will clean up over time :slight_smile:

Personally I only sweep up near the neck pickup if I want to add a tap so I’d just do what is most comfortable/gets the best results

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@cmcgee11235 is awesome at sweeps (and picking in general). I asked him for some tips in this thread

It was really helpful advice


How do you get good muting when you play closer to the neck?

Okay, i tried unanchoring my forearm and wow what a difference for muting. Really helps

Frank Gambale, Marshall Harrison, tons of resources out there from these guys! Troy’s FG series is extremely informative…

***EDIT Rick Graham has all kinds of cool stuff too! Worth checking…

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I find Rick Graham to be pretty useful for sweep and economy - also one thing to try is playing scalar economy lines first, and working on extending that across strings, alongside practicing 3 string shapes.

If you can get some of Rick Graham’s economy tabs it might help, but experimenting with things like starting on an upstroke when the shape starts with 2 notes on the low string for instance, and playing with using legato on the first and last string of the shape where they have 2 notes present, you’ll figure out what feels comforable for the turn arounds on sweeps.

Rick likes to push through with his thumb ascending and pull with his thumb descending. I find that to be helpful for control and keeps you more conscious of pick angle.

Some other weird things to play with, try making a ‘circular’ motion coming from the elbow or shoulder, or even wrist, when sweeping. See if any of them give you a more even attack across strings and feel comfortable. A lot of arm joints can come into play when controlling the pick for sweeping.

You might find that holding the wrist straight and pushing through with the larger arm joints works great, you might find keeping the palm planted and moving the wrist works better etc. each approach works, but the biggest difference seems to be how you’ll have to execute the turn around at the top and bottom of the sweep depending on the overall motion. You really have to try each way you can get the pick across the strings while effectively muting them.

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He’s the king

His picking is more economical than the bargain bin at Walmart.

I found his style is breaking me from the neoclassical cliche trap of sweeping where the various three and 4 string with a pull off reign and they turn into the shredder version of those bend legato licks from rock/blues playing.

Here’s the PDF for Monster Licks and Speed Picking. Obviously requires two way pickslanting.

Agreed this was a must when I started learning economy picking of three note per string when you connect the first string to the next.

I think a common mistake novices make with sweeping is locking the various muscles in the picking hand in an attempt to make the movement stricter and it ends up actually becoming counter productive as it’s harder to make sudden movement when locked up.

I think it’s the Joe Stump interview where he talks about the “thumb thing” when playing economy style.

As sweeping is a component of economy playing I always recommend learning economy runs as well it’s gonna make your string change control that much better and cut down on the hardest to master aspect of sweeping, avoiding slop and noise in the middle strings of the sweep.

And don’t do what I did and make your self insane by setting the unrealistic standard that there has to be zero pick noise. Chances are a little isnt noticable in a mix. Wish I knew that 10 years ago :joy: The important thing is note articulation, is every note audible, is the timing as even as it needs to be for the desired speed.
Case in point 3:35mins into this classic. If I heard that pick noise in my playing I would have agonized that it’s trash playing.

I think it’s this vid where Troy delves into this pick noise conundrum.