This lesson will cover the basics of sweep picking, from how you even start to do it to some killer exercises.
Sweep picking is very similar to strumming, the main difference being the clarity of the notes heard. For strumming, the notes are sort-of meshed up together to produce a chord, while in sweep picking, the notes are sort-of strummed but they are heard individually. Sweep picking would allow the guitarist to play really fast as compared to techniques such as alternate picking.
How to do sweep picking?
1. Let's start with 3 strings. First, get your fingers on the 3rd string 14th fret, 2nd string 13th fret and 1st string 12th fret.
2. Now play these notes using only the down stroke, starting from the 3rd string down to the first. Play it with a sort-of strumming pattern, fast but the individual notes must be heard clearly.
3. That was for the down stroke, now for the up stroke.
4. Place your fingers on the 3rd string 12th fret, 2nd string 13th fret and 1st string 14th fret.
5. Now pick these 3 notes using only the up stroke, working your way up from the 1st string to the 3rd string.
6. Take note that leaving your fingers on the strings will allow the notes to continue to ring, so after playing the note, lift your finger from the string so that it does not sound like a strum.
This short riff shown below is to give you a small introduction to sweep picking. You should get used to the feeling of moving your picking up and down the strings in a single motion. Do not forget to lift your finger off the string once the note is played.
d = down stroke
u = up stroke
———— 12-14 ————-
——— 13 ——— 13 ———-
—— 14 ————— 12 ——-
Take note: When doing sweep picking, you want to make sure that all the notes are heard clear and that your picking hand is going in a single motion, unlike the normal picking techniques. One more thing to consider is to always start slow to get your coordination up to standard before speeding up.
Source by Jerome Tann
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