Sweep Picking Tip

Posted: March 20, 2010 by Paul H in Tips & Tricks
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SweepIf you’re having trouble getting a feel for this technique, maybe this tip will help.

Think of sweep picking in the same way that classical guitarists use the rest stroke. With a rest stroke you push your finger through a string to pick it, then without stopping the motion, you let your finger bump into the next string and then rest on it. Lets apply this to using a pick. Pick down on the B string and push that pick through to bump into the high E string. In one smooth motion. Now hold the pick on the high E string with slight pressure and when you are ready to pick it, push it through the high E string. This is slow motion version of what sweep picking should feel like.

Lets try an up-sweep. Pick up on the high E string and push the pick through to bump into the B string. Then, when you’re ready, push through the B string and then bump into the G string. This motion requires that you do not stop your pick in between the strings. Make sure that your pick always bumps into the next string.

Next, add notes with your left hand. Make sure your left hand fingers only play one note at a time on each string. Otherwise it will sound like a chord. 

If you follow these simple steps that’s all there is to it. What I suggest is try several different sweep picking licks, focus on only 3 strings until you get the hang of it. As a subscriber you will have access to lots of sweep picking lessons. You may find the first few sweep picking licks you won’t get it, then finally you’ll figure it out. It definitely is a brain coordination thing, once you have it, it’s easy. Sometimes if you keep trying the same lick over and over that you’re having trouble with it doesn’t get better. I think especially with sweeping keep trying new licks until you find one that breaks through for you. I just made my sweeping video from the Power Tools section a free one for Tips and Tricks guys. Rock on!




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