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Thread: A Quick Sweeping Question

  1. #1
    Registered User Jamie FT's Avatar
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    A Quick Sweeping Question

    Sorry for asking yet another sweeping related question.

    When sweeping is it 'better technique' (I know there's no such thing as perfect technique and you do it your own way, ya da ya da) to rest on the lower strings on the right hand and like move down the strings with your palm quickly to mute any un-wanted noise that may occur as well as lifting off you're left hand fingers gently off the strings? Or is it better to have your hand floating off the strings when doing sweeps? When anchoring (Which I thankfully got out of the habit of) surely your right hand must be like floating as you're not touching the lower strings with your palm and so you can't do the first method I mentioned?

    Or is it better to learn both approaches?

    Sorry if I've not explained my question well.

  2. #2
    Actually, I find it often sounds better (specialy when playing longer sweeping lines like 5 or 6 string sweeps) to not mute the lower strings cause you can really hear the notes (even when playing with lots of distortion)

    If you`re muting and also use a light touch on your picking (sweeping) hand chances are you won´t hear anything but a percussive noise.

    The separation should come from the fretting hand simply by pressing down quite hard on the strings.

    Also pick (sweep) hard to make every note stand out. Synchronization of left and right hand is the most important thing when sweeping.

  3. #3
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    I'm usually quick to help you out whenever I can, but I suck at sweeping. if anyone has any pointers other than "start slowly", I'd be appreciative. I seem to have massive trouble w/ my left hand. do you finger each note seperately(for a "caged" arpeggio), or do you finger the chord shape and roll off of the notes other than the one you're playing? I hope that makes sense. you know, like i'm making the barre chord shape, but only applying pressure to one note at a time?

  4. #4
    Mad Scientist forgottenking2's Avatar
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    I think Thorsten hit the most important points with his post. I'll just add the use of a metronome and instead of going for sextuplets like you see in those "crazy shred licks from hell and back that will make your grandma's hairs in the back of her neck stand up" try simple 8th notes with a straight 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & pulse, make sure that every note is exactly in time. What I do is I alternate pick the arpeggio and then I sweep it and try to match the timing as well (the attack is simply impossible to match you will get a more defined sound with AP, sweeping sounds more legato to me). Once you start paying more attention to the definition and rhythm of the actual notes (instead of just going as fast as you can with your right hand and then try to keep up with your left) you will see results.

    It does take time though, so be patient and keep practicing.
    "If God had wanted us to play the piano he would've given us 88 fingers"

  5. #5
    Latin Wedding Band Los Boleros's Avatar
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    This clip is pretty cool. Sweep picking on a Tres Cubano.

    http://www.salsasf.com/video/coto02_mov.html
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  6. #6
    Registered User Jamie FT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thorsten
    Actually, I find it often sounds better (specialy when playing longer sweeping lines like 5 or 6 string sweeps) to not mute the lower strings cause you can really hear the notes (even when playing with lots of distortion)

    If you`re muting and also use a light touch on your picking (sweeping) hand chances are you won´t hear anything but a percussive noise.

    The separation should come from the fretting hand simply by pressing down quite hard on the strings.

    Also pick (sweep) hard to make every note stand out. Synchronization of left and right hand is the most important thing when sweeping.
    Quote Originally Posted by forgottenking2
    try simple 8th notes with a straight 1 & 2 & 3 & 4 & pulse, make sure that every note is exactly in time. What I do is I alternate pick the arpeggio and then I sweep it and try to match the timing as well (the attack is simply impossible to match you will get a more defined sound with AP, sweeping sounds more legato to me). Once you start paying more attention to the definition and rhythm of the actual notes (instead of just going as fast as you can with your right hand and then try to keep up with your left) you will see results.

    It does take time though, so be patient and keep practicing.
    This has been incredibly useful, thank you both!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Los Boleros
    This clip is pretty cool. Sweep picking on a Tres Cubano.

    http://www.salsasf.com/video/coto02_mov.html
    Yeah, not bad but I´d prefer Tres Cuba Libres...

  8. #8
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    Actually, I find it often sounds better (specialy when playing longer sweeping lines like 5 or 6 string sweeps) to not mute the lower strings cause you can really hear the notes (even when playing with lots of distortion)
    Hi, TK , i don't understand...if we don't mute the low strings, isn't that low strings will keep ringing and creating a chord, not an arpeggio? thx u
    Last edited by Jeansen; 11-28-2007 at 09:00 AM.

  9. #9
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    Sweeping must be one of the worst techniques in guitar playing, considering how difficult it is to master and how little possibilities it really gives to you. It sounds cool though and you can play ridiculously fast by sweeping once you're really good at it. But it's mostly used just for basic triads and diminished sevenths, though the latter one probably needs economy picking approach.
    Just compare it to tapping and other legato techniques for example. It's pretty easy to learn, probably the easiest way to high speed, and it's also useful for more melodic style of playing.
    So I think guitarists should generally first develop a really good alternate picking and legato technique and only after that move to the sweeping stuff if they feel like it.
    What I find almost impossible is to play "barre sweeps" cleanly. Either you get a lot of unwanted noise or the notes won't ring properly.

  10. #10
    Registered User Obivion's Avatar
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    Evil Smurf, you're missing the point.

    You're thinking like so many other players do- oh this is time for tapping or- oh this is time for legato. Sweeping is only useful when it's integrated into your playing, check out Friedman solo in Tornado of Souls by Megadeth. He mixes sweeping with picking and legato to create a masterpiece.

    Sweeping is a good way to vary the dynamics of speed. Rather than doing the super cheesy sweeps over the chord changes, try out some different stuff i.e. mixing it up with the melody.
    No one sings the blues quite like Yngwie!

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeansen
    Hi, TK , i don't understand...if we don't mute the low strings, isn't that low strings will keep ringing and creating a chord, not an arpeggio? thx u
    Hey Jeansen,

    no, the seperation of the notes should come from your fretting hand not your picking hand, otherwise you´d still have a chord...just muted. With your fretting hand only press down hard on the string you´re actually playing and use the rest of the fingers of your fretting(!) hand to mute the strings you´re not playing. You can still mute with the palm of your picking hand if that´s the sound you wanna use but again, the seperation of the notes to play an arpeggio opposed to playing a chord should come from your fretting hand.

    Also, yeah some thoughts in general:

    Sweeping is just another technique to play notes. So think of the notes you wanna play first and then of the technique you wanna use to play them...not vice versa! I think creating music should always come first not just the display of a certain technique. I find many players have a misconception about that...

    Cheers
    TK

  12. #12
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    Hi,TK,thx for replying.. ... sorry for bringing this up again, n i reply it so late..sorry, i haven't got a chance to open my computer in a last few weeks...


    no, the seperation of the notes should come from your fretting hand not your picking hand, otherwise you´d still have a chord...just muted. With your fretting hand only press down hard on the string you´re actually playing and use the rest of the fingers of your fretting(!) hand to mute the strings you´re not playing
    sorry for being so dumb , but i don't get it...i have tried your instruction in your posts but it seems that it didn't work for me..ex. i found out that after i hit the strings quiet hard and then i lifted up my finger (so that i can fret the other note in other string) , i noticed that i always made a pull-off unintentionally to the open string

    it seems that it is very hard to use my fretting hand only to mute if i am doing the 5 strings- C shape arpeggio or even 6 strings arpeggio- E shape...especially if i want to sweep fast..

    please help me to know what you mean, i really need to know if i have practised my sweep well enough all this time...thx u ,TK, U're great
    Last edited by Jeansen; 12-17-2007 at 02:10 PM.

  13. #13
    Hey Jeansen,

    thanks mate, no problem!

    I think the pulloff thing happens when you actually lift off the finger off the string which you shouldn´t do. Just lift off the string from the fretboard but keep the finger on the string so it´s still muted.

    Economy of motion is the key word here. The less you move the better.

    Also, of course there´s no rule to not mute with your picking hand. So if it works for you...do it! All that matters is the end result so like I said...if it sounds good it is good. I think trail and error is still the best way to come up with things...no book can teach you that.

    Also a very important thing to know is that your technique will have to change depending on what sound you play with. E.g. if you have a very distorted metal tone I found that it really sounds better to not mute the strings with your picking hand. As od as this may seem but it actually sounds more clear and defined if you don´t mute, specially if you play really fast.

    So keep in mind there´s not only ONE right way to do it. You have to accommodate your technique to the sounds you play through.

    Use your ear and then use your fingers, that´s the most important lesson!!!

    Cheers
    TK

  14. #14
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    You need to listen to Frank Gambale. Difficult, yes, but there are a huge amount of possibilities if you are creative about it.
    "I second-hand smoke two packs of cigarettes a day." -- Jerry Seinfeld

  15. #15
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    Hi, TK, merry Christmas ! ...thx a lot! now i see, if i don't misunderstood you, ..you are talking about the same muting technique that EricV has mentioned in Bret Garsed's article : muting technique in the "all hammer on" aprroach), am i right?

    btw, thanx u for the lessons...amazing, i haven't got a chance to play with the real heavy distorted tone,so i really don't know anything about it,but now you have told me..thx a lot for sharing your experience to a novice like me, it means a lot!!!
    but if you don't mind..i just want to ask you a couple of question,so i'm not misunderstanding your lesson:

    Also a very important thing to know is that your technique will have to change depending on what sound you play with
    i don't really understand what you mean here...,do you mean that we have to change ( re-learn, experiment and practise again) how we play our techniques if we want to play in any other sound? btw,just want to make sure, what is sound? do you mean clean, crunchy, distortion,or something like that?

    please give me another example about what you mean in your lesson here..i'm really interested

    E.g. if you have a very distorted metal tone I found that it really sounds better to not mute the strings with your picking hand. As od as this may seem but it actually sounds more clear and defined if you don´t mute, specially if you play really fast.
    are you talking only about the sweeping technique in here or it is for other techniques too?

    last question, when will you use the picking hand muting technique?
    thx u a lot,TK..sorry again for responding so late again...sorry-sorry, someone in my church called me to play guitar on the Christmas day ,so i didn't have much chance to go the net in those days..thx u-thx u so much for replying

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