How long did it take you to master sweep picking?

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Thread: How long did it take you to master sweep picking?

  1. #1

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    How long did it take you to master sweep picking?

    So, to me, sweep picking represents one of the hardest things to master on the guitar. It is all muscle memory, which by its nature requires endless repetitive practice. I am not gifted with a natural talent for music. Every technique I try to learn is a struggle, and I sometimes can't help but wonder if there are some things that I'll just never master no matter how much effort I put in.

    So I'm curious how long it took everyone to master sweep picking. Was it days, weeks, months, or years? And when you began training yourself, how much mastery did you already have over similarly "shreddy" skills like fast legato scales? And do you feel that mastering sweep picking unlocked (i.e., made it easier to master) other techniques for you?

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  2. #2

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    Im far from any good at sweeping. IMO though, alternate picking is much more difficult at a decent speed than sweeping at a decent speed. Dweeping doesnt really translate into much else either. Alternate picked arps sound better too.

  3. #3

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    I remember it taking me about two weeks to gather clean speed on a single position. But it seems, once you get one down, the others come more easily.

    When I first started trying to sweep, I was already a decent guitarist. There's like an overall walking finger motion that you'll grow acustomed to (unless you're position requires barring). I'm sure you've read this before but, start slow and speed up when you feel you're getting the hang of whatever you're doing.

  4. #4

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    All of my students and a lot of people that I run into put way too much thought into sweeping. Sweeping isn't what you are doing with the fretting hand, it's what you are doing with the picking hand. Learning to sweep is just like learning to alternate pick for the first time. It is difficult, but all it is is a different technique. Once you get down the technique, it's the left hand patterns that you apply it over, which is what more people focus on than anything.

    Learning to sweep took me about a month to master completely. There are always different left hand patterns that you can apply sweeping to, which you will be learning separately. Just like alternate picking.

    Try not to think of sweeps as learning a left hand shape. Sweep picking is a brushing motion with the picking hand. How you apply it is when it increases difficulty.

    If you'd like I can write up a tutorial tonight when I get home.

  5. #5

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    Okay, yeah, I see what you mean.

    I can definitely say that my left hand is simply unaccustomed to playing such fast, smooth arpeggio patterns, regardless of picking style. Certainly not fast enough for the right hand to just sweep through the strings as one fluid picking motion (like a slow strum). So while you are technically correct that sweep picking is a picking technique, for me it has become a form of left hand arpeggio training more than anything else (at this point).

  6. #6

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    Um, it took me like a year and a half to be competent. Sweeping is one of my least proficient techniques still.

  7. #7

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    9 years and counting

    Yeah, I don't practice it that much
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  8. #8

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    About 3-4 months of incorporating a mini sweeping practice session in my regular routine. just practice playing the Major, Minor and Diminished shapes with alt picking + hammer on , pull offs to get the fretting hand used to the shapes and then work on picking hand when you dont have to look at the fretting hand.

    The hardest thing to get right is the muting so that the strings don't sound like ass.

    Just keep practising and you'll get there.

    EDIT : it was Michael Romeo that got me interested in this technique and I still think he is the master of it.
    Last edited by wolfenstein; 07-04-2011 at 09:21 PM.

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