Question on sweeping

My question is I’m really into Eric Johnson’s Technique but in order to sweep should I study Yngwie first? Really curious.

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I would start with the licks and techniques of the player that inspires me the most. Either way, you’ll have to put in some serious time and in the long run you’ll get more results from sustained passion.

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I wish someone told me this when I was a kid, instead of “you should learn acoustic before you can start electric” and similar b_____

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Eric uses sweeping often but only on two strings at a time. There’s no need to learn big five-string arpeggio sweeps to do Eric’s stuff. So if that’s what you mean, I wouldn’t say learning big sweep arpeggios is the first step. But we do have easier sweep stuff in the Yngwie section so in that sense yes there are good things you can start with in those parts of the site.

But first:

The very first thing you should do, before working on phrases of any kind, is go through the Pickslanting Primer and make sure your core picking motion is working. We have detailed instructions up there now, including a nice checklist we put up yesterday if you really get stuck:

Second, try get to get single-string phrases happening. We have more of those in the Yngwie lessons, but it’s not really about Yngwie, per se, it’s just where we have the single-string phrases.

Then, once you have that, try and get some phrases happening that have two-string sweeps in them. I think the easiest ones are more diatonic scale-oriented, and not pentatonic scale-oriented. The pentatonic stuff switches strings more often, after only two notes. The diatonic fingerings have more notes per string and switch less often.

These seven-note licks that Yngwie does I find particularly easy to do, and they sound cool:

If you can sort of halfway get these to happen, then try out some of the pentatonic stuff that also involves sweeping, like the EJ five-note pattern. That’s the big one:

That’s a quick cheat-sheet. Let us know how you make out.


Thank you so much for the info I’ll most definitely be checking out everything

I took lessons from Joe Stump at Berklee and he was big on starting small with 2 and 3 string shapes before moving on to larger shapes. I still teach my students this way, too.

I think there is good musical application here, besides technique. You can learn to bridge the 2 string arpeggio forms into the 3 string forms, and then bridge those into the 5 string forms etc. Stump did 4 string shapes, but those were always super awkward for me.

IMO, though, the 2 string sweeping application, while the least “flashy” looking, is your most bang for buck application of the technique. Especially for arpeggios, the 2 string shapes are the easiest to improvise with and move around melodically.

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Im gonna be 50 in august and I started playing electric because i was taken to see KISS in 76 that to me was the game changer for me now I’m relearning everything I’ve learned and Im finding it to be a chore lol

I just turned 52 and feel I have made my best gains after turning 50. I mean, at some point one needs to learn “how to practice” to actually learn. Once you “learn how to learn” (how to groove stuff into the fingers and central nervous system blah blah) then it seems you can learn most anything you want.

Your question is itself slightly flawed. “Studying Eric” or “Studying Yngwie” are pursuits that will probably take years. Learning to sweep is a much smaller thing. You can be sweeping nicely in a matter of months etc

As a matter of fact, Yngwie himself somehow claims that he doesnt sweep lol. In a way he is correct because he mainly “sweeps” going downward from low string to high, but then when he comes back from high string to low string he is combining picking with pulloffs. Its pretty weird actually. Well thats how he has to do it to match his “always downward slanted” pick orientation

for a more standard sweeping approach its usually downward slanting for ascending low to high, and then upward slanting for descending high string back to low etc. Check the interview and examples with “Teemu” and probably some of the Michael Angelo stuff too.

As someone else mentioned, there is a Joe Stump vid online called “Joe Stump String Arpeggios” where he shows examples from 2 string up to 5 and sometimes a few different ways of each. He isnt as explicit as far as minute pick mechanical details but once you start to learn the CTC stuff you can pick apart most of these things easily.

A lot of stuff isnt as it seems in lead guitar mechanics. For example 3 or 4 string sweeps seem WAY easier to me than fast 2 string sweeps. By the same token, one of the super hardest things for me has been fast 2 note per string pentatonic licks. In both cases you are having to move and coordinate both hands continuously at high speed etc.

Fast 3 nps scales are WAY easier than fast pent stuff. This is why I say you can probably be sweeping decently long before you play fast 2 nps pent stuff

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Thank you all soo much for all the advise, I’m really liking this group alot