Learn how to sweep pick and how to practice sweep picking plus loads of monster sweep picking tips.
Here’s a summary of what’s in the video:
0:37 Why you need to get the basics right and three super common sweeping triad shapes.
2:15 What is sweep picking? Here you’ll find a basic explanation of the technique and why you might use it. Discover the advantages of sweep picking over alternate picking when playing certain types of passages and how overcome many problems guitarists encounter when they start trying to learn how to sweep pick.
3:22 How to start sweeping in one continuous down or up pick with the plectrum. We don’t want our sweep to be several small up or down picks. It needs to be a single smooth ‘glide’ or ‘sweep stroke’ with the pick. This takes a little practice to feel natural, but once it does you’ll find the technique comes together quite quickly.
3:55 Essential picking hand guidelines for sweep picking. Your hand should be relaxed and free of tension and try to pick from the wrist rather than elbow or arm. Pick firmly enough to get a clear, solid note from the string but don’t pick too hard or you’ll get a harsh and ‘unmusica’sound.
4:30 Some guitar players like to angle the pick slightly as they sweep as they find it helps them cross the strings more easily. I don’t really do this but feel free to experiment and find the pick angle that you prefer the most!
4:46 Often with sweep picking players put a lot of emphasis on their picking hand but the fretting hand has a crucial role to play if you are to develop great sweeping technique. Your fretting hand fingers need to ‘roll on and off’ the notes as the pick passes through them. Don’t hold down a fixed or locked chord shape and sweep across it or the notes will ring together and be unclear. This will only come from slow and accurate practice.
6:14 Let’s take a look at some three string ‘sweep arpeggio shapes’ and fingerings for A minor, G major and C major.
9:10 One of the best ways to practice sweeping these shapes is to break them into two parts. Then you can focus on perfecting each half before joining them together. Use a metronome and focus on getting your sweeping really in time. Check the notes are lining up with the click of the metronome so that you know you’re getting it right!
13:40 Now we’ll join up the two parts of the sweep to play the entire shape. Watch your timing and cleanliness here – it is absolutely crucial!
14:45 How can you build up speed in your sweeping? Here I’ll show you how to using a simple practice method to help you really supercharge your sweep picking big time! Take your time with this and increase the speed of your metronome more gradually than I do here!
18:20 Here’s a complete sweep picking study or practice exercise for you to learn and use to hone your sweep picking chops! It uses only the three shapes we’ve seen so far but we’re going to move them around a bit to get F major and Bb major triads as well.
23:30 Here I demonstrate the etude at a few different tempos taking care to stay in time with the metronome at all times.
Have fun with this lesson and take your time to get the basics of the technique right. It will pay off big time!