Sweep Picking Guide - Do YOU want it?

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by 80H, May 17, 2013.

  1. metalmonster

    metalmonster SS.org Regular

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    What really helped me through sweep picking was to practise it on scale arpeggios.

    For instance you take the C major scale :
    C D E F G A B

    You make chords out of these notes :
    C7M Dm Em F7M Am Bm5b

    (you can also see that these chords kinda "symbolize" our seven modes, eg C7M = major 3rd, standard 5th and major 7th. In a convenient way : one string = one of the most important notes of the mode).

    I'm getting deeper on this :

    we got :

    -----
    -5--
    -4--
    -5--
    -3--
    ----

    for C7M

    We can add a few notes here and there :

    --------------------3---7----3---- (then it goes the other way, same notes)
    -----------------5---
    -------------4--
    ---------5--
    --3--7--
    -----

    I simply added the major 3rd after the fundamental, added on the E string the 5th and the 7th and we got a badass arpeggio shape.

    Now i do the same for the 6 next chords (i'm letting you figure out these. Because what i want you to do is to think on "how to build arpeggios" instead of just playing shapes, this is an important step. Think twice about "what is this note ? 3rd, 5th, 7th, fundamental, 11# or whatever ?" )

    So now we got 7 "shapes" to practise. A little goes a long way, start slow.

    That's for which arpeggios to play -they sound badass- now let's check some technique.

    I really like to use my pick parallel to the strings while sweeping, i also like to mute some of the strings with my right hand. I mute gently, so it's only to keep my sweeps clean and tidy.

    Also it's important to notice (at least in the way i sweep) that i use my LH fingers to mute the notes, so they're very "staccato". Especially when starting to sweep. I try to play as "staccato" as possible while i practise. I like to do this, at least. Now i'm trying to play all these notes very precisely tied together so it sounds like this : "blublublublu" instead of "pluck pluck pluck pluck" while maintaining precision in my playing. Precision is everything. Like i said, start slow, because you want slow'n'clean at first. You'll get to a point where you sweep like a badass in 6 months out of daily practise (then, there will be TONS to learn and soon you'll realize you're just starting out).

    Great exercise is to play 4 notes of your sweep, then go back 3 notes, then play again 4 notes so it kinda looks like these spanish processions where people walk 2 steps, go back one step (it's a way to mess with any demon that wold otherwise follow them. At least that's what i've been told) then walk two steps again ...

    Another great way to improve your practise is to play the notes twice. You can try that alternate-picking style, or by going "up-up" on each note if your sweep goes in the direction of the treble (and same when going back to the low notes).

    Also, i love to play :
    chord
    arpeggio shape
    scale
    change mode
    chord
    arpeggio shape
    scale

    It goes a long way. Plus, the scale and chord and arpeggio look all a lot of the same.

    Now what you can do is add more notes. For instance, i adore adding the 9th (or 2nd) to my arpeggios, and chords.

    And then that's what i like, and how i like to practise. And i would love your feedback and suggestions, because that's my way to do this, but i want other opinions to enrich my practise.
     
  2. 80H

    80H Banned

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    Imagine 10 valid, yet parallel posts that are near identical to your own. Something 10 different people would have tried, explained, and still been right without being complete.

    My practice sessions are the combination of those 10 perspectives, 15 perspectives...etc. I do not impose any limitations, favor any notes, push for any specific style or focus on one approach. Each one is connected to the last. For example, yesterday, I heavily focused on my middle and ring finger and note definition with the two when used sequentially. How might 10 different people approach the goal of improved definition with those 2 fingers? Who's the oddball, and what were they thinking? Who's the everyman, and what was he thinking? Would a girl/woman do it differently? Why does that matter? etc. Most of my general practice is an answer to a question, and specific practice is for music.
     
  3. metalmonster

    metalmonster SS.org Regular

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    haha, seems like we are tuned to the same note here :) It's exactly my approach to practise in general. I try to get ideas as broad as possible...

    ... and i truly dig the way you've put that into short, relevant, super-fundamental questions. I might start to meditate on these, apply these questions to what i do, play, practise, and teach, but as well think about it in the field of life. There is a lot of questions i have to ask that go unanswered (or in an incomplete yet valid way).
     
  4. 80H

    80H Banned

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    Thanks man :D Always good to find a fellow open mind. I was fortunate enough to learn that a good question is the only way to find a good answer. Any other way is just an accident. Finding the right questions has become more of a lifestyle for me now rather than an approach to guitar, and it's something that has improved my life more than any new set of strings or guitar pick ever have. I recommend it like I would recommend clean water.


    As for your meditation, the question I suggest that you start with is "What is the value of a question?" It will lead to profound epiphanies. What's more is that, if you have reasons to view questions as the source of answers, you're going to naturally ask them to yourself without even noticing. If you start with the questions that give way to asking questions, your skills have to improve by virtue of repetition, because questions themselves have become the question. And when they're difficult to answer, remember that it's pointing out a weakness or lack in your mind, and the process of finding an answer will produce its own benefits, just like overcoming any other challenge would. And just in case, for the sake of sanity, remember that it isn't your responsibility to find the answer. It's just a choice and a way forward.
     
  5. metalmonster

    metalmonster SS.org Regular

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    Woah ... i mean, really. If we don't look in the right direction, we can't see what we're looking for ... and therefore ... if we ask the right questions, we might get some answers.

    Reminds me of the old saying "knowledge speaks, wisdom listens" (applied to music, this sounds super-deep, too. And reminds me i have to rewatch the workshop by victor wooten i've posted on the forum) .
    Really nice ... and true. I know it's true, i mean, i have to try'n'get better at formulating questions. Perhaps one of the questions would be, which question to ask.

    And yeah, sometimes it may be "an unanswered question" (not to quote one song title i desperately need to put music on, then write it on paper, and forget it, forever :lol: ).
     

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