Metal Guitarist Forums banner
1 - 20 of 40 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ive been playing for more then 2 years now... Ive learned alot and I am good at everything but solos... Infact I cant play one to save my life... I started to learn Alternative and sweep picking... My issue is, i have been trying to learn some licks from my favorite artists. Ive been trying to play the Thunderhorse(A song by Dethklok) sweep solo in the beginning of the song(about 19 seconds in) and I cant do it. I am using a program called "Amazing slow downer" which slows the song so I can slowly learn the solo... I have tried soo hard to do it, and I cant do it without messing up, or being sloppy about it either... Its really making me mad cuz i mess up soo much that i get really pissed off at myself.

Can somebody please give me some method of learning sweep picking easily and allow me to get faster and faster at it? I really want to learn soloing... :james:
Thank you all...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
...As with all things? Troy Stetina has the answer.

Troy Stetina - Sweep Picking on Vimeo

To me, it helps to think about the related classical guitar concept of the rest-stroke, except with a pick--in other words, your pick is supposed to hit a string and then move to the consecutive one without rotating your wrist or moving the pick away from the strings. As far as fretting the sweeps, what you have to think about more than the notes (they're arpeggios, so they're all pretty predictable and easily-memorable patterns) you should focus very much on playing the notes cleanly, muting the previous note and employing hammer-ons and pull-offs to make the lines sound smooth (legato.) Also, practice them slowly to start, and then to build up speed you can do one of two things: you can either a) build up in speed gradually, or b) alternate between playing them as cleanly as you can slowly and then as quickly as you can sloppily to the point where the notes are still recognizable. I know that the second one sounds counter-intuitive, but it seems to work very well for me--I'm not sure why, but most of the time it does more for me than gradually building up speed. Eventually you'll be playing as precisely at the fast speed as you did on the very slow speed. I can't stress enough that you practice the technique a lot, and that the first few times you practice it very slowly and very precisely, being certain to get each note and stroke correct. Practice with a metronome (metronomeonline.com has a free one if you don't have a metronome, but I strongly recommend you get one if you don't have one already,) and go through several different patterns in your practice. Eventually, you will probably "get it," and will be sweeping marvelously.

But seriously, for specifics, the video I posted will be more helpful than I could be. Best of luck to ya and happy shredding!

BTW, did you notice that crazy guitar Troy was playing? That thing looked sick!
 

·
NSLALP
Joined
·
13,286 Posts
I also would not start with 6- or 7-string sweeps. Work on 2-string sweeps (i.e. those nice 16th note cyclical pentatonic licks ala Kirk Hammett), and add strings as you get the feel down. You don't have to do that, but I think it's one way to work out a few basics before tackling the whole enchilada.

<-- Not a sweeping pro, but a Stetina lover. :wub:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
I also would not start with 6- or 7-string sweeps. Work on 2-string sweeps (i.e. those nice 16th note cyclical pentatonic licks ala Kirk Hammett), and add strings as you get the feel down. You don't have to do that, but I think it's one way to work out a few basics before tackling the whole enchilada.

<-- Not a sweeping pro, but a Stetina lover. :wub:
Most excellent advice, brother. Work on smaller licks before tackling full-neck sweeps.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,582 Posts
I have a pretty practical approach. Just practice the sweep at slow-to-medium speed about 50 times. Make a mental note of the 'start' and 'end' notes/positions and then just go for it fast/blind with a metronome...works perfectly for me.

Keep playing the same shape in different positions down the neck for a while ..and you're ready to go...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
367 Posts
Yeah, you just have to do it slowly a couple million times. ;) Focus on proper technique, not speed. Your picking hand should sort of float across the strings. Don't try to wrist pick it like you're doing alternate picking (at least that's how I do it).
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
13,827 Posts
Ok... What do you think I should start with? The video? I jus wana basically learn soloing and i thought sweeping would be a good place to start...
Nobody told you this but, IMO, sweep picking is not the easiest part of soloing to start with... Do you know your basic scales and modes?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
32,765 Posts
Nobody told you this but, IMO, sweep picking is not the easiest part of soloing to start with... Do you know your basic scales and modes?
Great advice. Sweeping can be fucking awesome, if applied in a musical manner. However, arpeggios over and over again with little musically interesting going on are more or less on par with musical Tourettes. Take the time to learn how to do it, sure, but also spend some time deconstructing a few David Gilmour solos.

That said, I'd start with 2- or 3-string arpeggios first.

EDIT - watching that video... One, Troy really IS a good teacher, I picked up a whole bunch watching that and I wish I had a guitar here with me to try some stuff. Two, he's also not one of the cleaner sweep pickers I've heard. Go figure. :lol:
 

·
Señor Member
Joined
·
12,297 Posts
Sweeping | martingoulding.com

Did wonders for me. I burned through each exercise until I found something I stumbled on and spent a couple weeks on just that one until it was descent enough, then moved onto the next. Slow progressions. Also... METRONOME.

Just to get the technique down, I'd hold a chord and just practice the strumming pattern of the right hand. I've heard a few different places that dragging the pick over the strings should feel like if you were a little kid dragging a stick across a picket fence... kinda loose; and that really resonated with me.

After that, I moved onto doing 3 string patterns... which is pretty easy because it feels a lot like a basic legato pattern. Once you get used to that, you become better acquainted with getting your two hands in sync with one another.

For myself, I used to use a "cheater band" (a hair band wrapped around the first few frets) to mute string noise when I was first starting, just to isolate whether or not my timing was correct. The bands mask a lot of unwanted noise and "make you sounds better than you are" but if you're just starting out, too much excess noise can make you confused as to what you're doing wrong. Think of it like training wheels. If you're TOTALLY hitting the wrong strings at the wrong time, it'll still sound like shit just like if you're leaning too far over, training wheels won't stop you from falling on your ass.

Lastly, a lot of people advocate practicing with little to no gain; which is absolutely great if you want to "perfect the art" but when you're starting out, it can be off-putting. For me, I used a fuck-ton of gain with maybe a light bit of reverb just to "get" things to sound close. As I started feeling more comfortable, I killed the reverb, then dialed back the gain until I could practice with a clean signal.

Best of luck to you. :yesway:
 

·
Read Only
Joined
·
1 Posts
Thanks for all of the great links guys. Im no super sweeper but I have been slowly improving.. These links should help a good deal
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
142 Posts
Nobody told you this but, IMO, sweep picking is not the easiest part of soloing to start with... Do you know your basic scales and modes?
Yeah--the scales and modes are definitely where the music comes from, but it really takes a lot of playing in the context of chord progressions in order to develop a really good sense of harmony. If you want to solo in a metal or hard rock context, I think one of the best things to do is to really listen to and deconstruct the solos of other players, but in order to do this, you need to know--as a bare minimum--how the major scale (and the modes of the major scale, which are essentially just the major scale recontextualized--you'll understand more the more you study the theory) and the harmonic minor scale (and modes--same deal as with major modes) sound and function, so that you can make sense of what is being played. Practice, practice, practice.

Sorry about my first response to your topic being a little insubstantial--I was trying to answer your question without trying to derail the thread or shove you in a different direction. And yeah, Troy isn't one of the cleanest sweepers around--I find that, really, he's a pretty good player, but he's an even better teacher.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
32,765 Posts
And yeah, Troy isn't one of the cleanest sweepers around--I find that, really, he's a pretty good player, but he's an even better teacher.
I hate to fall back on the "those who can, do, those who can't, teach" because Stetina really is a very good well rounded player, and it's not like his sweeps are bad, exactly - he's better than me, easily. :lol: It's just kind of striking that his sweeping really isn't jaw droppingly clean, yet you're sitting there watching him go through the mechanics and explain it, and his explanation really IS phenomenal. He's every bit as good a teacher as he's reputed to be, and I think we need that just as much as we need guys with Rusty Cooley grade clean arpeggios.

I went home and spent part of the evening practicing sweeps on an acoustic because of this. :D
 

·
Pallin' around
Joined
·
9,532 Posts
^Yeah, you never know how much time he has to practice though. The saying should be, those who teach, don't have time to practice. He may have been awesome at sweeping 10 years ago (I kinda think this is the case, need to try to find a vid), after which time he could have been so focused on teaching and dissecting that he hasn't practiced his own mechanics lessons. He explains it right, so he can do it, but he probably doesn't spend 5 hours a day practicing anymore :2cents:
 
1 - 20 of 40 Posts
Top