Of course I hear what you’re pointing out here. You are absolutely allowed to like or not like the timing of this particular phrase. But to be 100% clear, the examples you’re citing are not actually strictly sweeping:
These examples are sweeping and alternate picking, with an alternate picked string skip. That’s a whole different animal. It may very well be that the string skip part of a sequence like this has a tendency to take slightly more time. We’d have to test that. But to take these examples and make a “sweeping” conclusion (thank you, I’ll be here all week) about sweeping:
…really isn’t accurate. If you prefer totally straight time, there are lots of examples of sweeping in Frank’s playing and the playing of other players that have it. Tommo’s example is a good one. So we know already that this is not strictly due to sweeping per se, but perhaps a specific usage of it.
I’ll give you an example of my own where sweeping does not automatically lead to time issues:
Similar to the above examples, this isn’t pure sweeping - it’s a mix of sweeping and alternate. The hand needs to actually start and stop the picking motion to keep note-level timing equal, or more equal, for all notes. If you watch in slow motion you will see that the way I do this is with rest strokes. The pick actually hits the string and waits. The trick is not to push too hard on the note before the sweep - this makes it easier to stop the motion after that single note. Hitting the string helps, but it’s actually you, deliberately turning “off” the pickstroke, that really does the work. Over time, as the coordination of doing this increases, you’ll be able to do the start/stop thing faster and still be smooth. The payoff is that you can now play a fretting sequence that most pure alternate pickers, even all-time greats, have tended to avoid.
That’s just one example. My point is that techniques have characteristics. I won’t even call them strengths and weaknesses because that’s a value judgement. One person’s strength is another person’s weakness. Instead, I’d suggest that we simply need to be aware of the characteristics that techniques have and use them we want those characteristics.
When I listen to Frank, I hear a player in total control of time. When he wants totally even subdivisions he can get that. He alters his choice of phrase to aid that, so he’s not doing the multi-string skips. And he gets that time with serious groove. And sometimes he even gets it with pure alternate picking as in the earlier example I posted.
When he goes into rush time mode, especially for the big descending sweeps that become almost like rakes, no doubt, that’s a choice. You can like it or not like it. But the “rakes” are placed expertly in time. They start where he wants, often in syncopated fashion. In no way do I hear that stuff and think, this guy can’t control his tempo. He’s controlling it precisely as he wants.