Sweep Picking

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Balex the Shizzle
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how do you go about starting to learn sweep picking, are there any excercises that i should practice to get the technique?

what simple sweep picking shapes are there around that you'd reccommend?
Skyscraper
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Hi,
The problem isn't so much finding shapes, it's disciplining yourself to do the early part. I still haven't made it yet!

Anyway, the most common shape is a three string sweep using the last three strings of the D major shape - it looks like this when you do it on the 12th fret (so in C major):

|-------------12------(15)-----(12)------------------------------------
|-------13-------------------------------------(13)---------------------
|--12----------------------------------------------------------(12)-----
|------------------------------------------------------------------------
|------------------------------------------------------------------------
|------------------------------------------------------------------------

That's 12 (G) - 13 (C) - 12 (E) for the upward sweeps, then the bracketed notes are if you want to do a repeating pattern. To do it you can hammer on the 15 (G) and then go back down the arpeggio (the other bracketed notes indicate this). You can go down the other notes by pulling them off at first and then when you feel more confident maybe just hammer on the 15 and sweep down the rest of them. For a minor shape, just change the top E 12 to an 11 (Eb) and you have a three string sweep arpeggio minor pattern which you can make into a repeating pattern in the same way by coming down again with the 11th fret Eb instead of the 12th fret E on the top E string.

For a five string arpeggio Yngwie recommends this one to try:

|------------------------------------------------12---17---12------------------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------13--------------------------------13-------------------------------------|
|--------------------------14-----------------------------------------------------14--------------------------|
|----------10---14-------------------------------------------------------------------------14---10----------|
|--12-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------12-|
|--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|

Again it's a repeating pattern, up and down all of the notes. You can pick the 17 (A) here if you want. It's an A Minor two-octave arpeggio. That's the trick for finding shapes, you just have to think of chord shapes mostly, since you're going to be arpeggiating a chord or at least something to fit over a chord progression, so what those chords are should suggest what you might find more appropriate to use. You can do different scale runs as sweep arpeggios, but mainly just arpeggiating the chord/progression that is backing you up will produce the best results.

Don't forget that when you sweep slowly on these kinds of exercises you want to pick in such a way that you're raking across the strings rather than picking the notes individually (picking them individually would be lifting up the pick after each note, you want your sweep picking to resemble a strum instead), even though you're only playing slowly. That way when you get faster you'll be able to use the motion you've mastered slowly and sweep properly, rather than your action being more like trying frantically to pick notes individually across strings. That might sound confusing, but if you think that you should be raking/strumming rather than just picking, that's the idea. For sweep arpeggios you might even want to practise your right and left hands independently as well and then try to bring them together, so for example with those three string patterns you could use your right hand to mute the strings and just hammer on the patterns to practise your left hand motion (keeping it slowly enough that you can do it without mistakes of course), then you could practise your right hand picking technique while muting the strings with your left hand, so that you're not worried about notes, just picking accuracy. This way you might find an efficient pattern, for instance for the five string arpeggio you might want to go down (12) - up (10) - sweep down (14-14-13-12) - up (17) - sweep up (12-13-14-14) - down (10) -down (12, so that you can repeat the pattern). Your picking hand will probably develop more quickly with these examples since it has an easier job to do but try practising each hand independently and bringing them together at a speed that's comfortable for both hands.

I'm at the beginning just like you, but I have looked into it and these seem to be the best starting points, after that it's just a question of finding positions to arpeggiate chords over three, four and five strings, or however you want to do them. I would suggest using a metronome and starting slowly to get accuracy first and then build up to speed later, otherwise you could end up with a sloppy technique or not mastering it at all if you try to go quickly too soon or get carried away through enthusiasm and lack of discipline into a world of widdly, which is pretty much what I do. :D Hope that helps.

Steven.
u2
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Thx alot! Nice stuff! :D
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Moderator777
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Good info. A forum search will show lots more information:

http://www.vai.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3430

http://www.vai.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1546

Happy sweeping!

--------------
Moderator777
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jemgirl
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Moderator777 wrote:Good info. A forum search will show lots more information:

http://www.vai.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3430

http://www.vai.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1546

Happy sweeping!

--------------
Moderator777
www.vai.com
aha!! thanx mod 777! :wink:
Balex the Shizzle
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ypu, nice stuff guys, thanks a lot.

now

onto insanity and vai, how do you play the sweep picking bit from the attitude song?

i am gonna learn it really really slowly, cos its pretty ace

hey, i mite even be able to do it by the time i am 21 (im 14 now btw) lol
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b2
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Here is a nice classic piece called "Canon" that is good for practicing
sweeping. It uses only major and minor arpeggios with root on the
5 string and in C-form.
The first section uses not fully 2 octave arpeggios, but in the second part
you will add a tapp with your right hand to make them 2 octave arpeggios.
But also the tapped note in section 2 will sometimes be a melody note.
This is music and not just some boring arpeggios, a lot more interesting
to practice. I first learned this piece from a guitar player named Marc Seal who
has some nice video lessons on the Internet.

I would suggest to first practice and remember section 1.
Later practice section 2 with the tapp.

Use the picking/sweeping pattern suggested in the first bar for section 1.
And for section 2 note the use of sweeping, hammer-ons, tapping and pull-offs.

Section 2 is quite advance so maybe you could wait to practice this.
Learn first all the basic arpeggios. I only show you two different forms
in this piece, the major and minor with root on 5 string and in C-form.

d = down pick
u = up pick
H = hammer-on
P = pull-off
T = tapp

Code: Select all

Section 1:

 D-major                               
|-------------14-17-17-14-------------------------14-17-17-14-------------|
|----------15-------------15-------------------15-------------15----------|
|-------14-------------------14-------------14-------------------14-------|
|----16-------------------------16-------16-------------------------16----|
|-17-------------------------------17-17-------------------------------17-|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
  d  d  d  d  d  u  d  u  u  u  u  u  d  d  d  d  d  u  d  u  u  u  u  u

 A-major
|------------9-12-12-9-----------------------9-12-12-9-------------|
|---------10-----------10-----------------10-----------10----------|
|-------9-----------------9-------------9-----------------9--------|
|----11---------------------11-------11---------------------11-----|
|-12---------------------------12-12---------------------------12--|
|------------------------------------------------------------------|

 B-minor
|-------------10-14-14-10-------------------------10-14-14-10-------------|
|----------12-------------12-------------------12-------------12----------|
|-------11-------------------11-------------11-------------------11-------|
|----12-------------------------12-------12-------------------------12----|
|-14-------------------------------14-14-------------------------------14-|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|

 F#-minor
|---------5-9-9-5-----------------5-9-9-5----------|
|-------7---------7-------------7---------7--------|
|-----6-------------6---------6-------------6------|
|---7-----------------7-----7-----------------7----|
|-9---------------------9-9---------------------9--|
|--------------------------------------------------|

 G-major
|----------7-10-10-7-------------------7-10-10-7----------|
|--------8-----------8---------------8-----------8--------|
|------7---------------7-----------7---------------7------|
|----9-------------------9-------9-------------------9----|
|-10-----------------------10-10-----------------------10-|
|---------------------------------------------------------|

 D-major
|---------2-5-5-2-----------------2-5-5-2----------|
|-------3---------3-------------3---------3--------|
|-----2-------------2---------2-------------2------|
|---4-----------------4-----4-----------------4----|
|-5---------------------5-5---------------------5--|
|--------------------------------------------------|

 E-minor
|---------3-7-7-3-----------------3-7-7-3---------|
|-------5---------5-------------5---------5-------|
|-----4-------------4---------4-------------4-----|
|---5-----------------5-----5-----------------5---|
|-7---------------------7-7---------------------7-|
|-------------------------------------------------|

 A-major
|------------9-12-12-9-----------------------9-12-12-9-------------|
|---------10-----------10-----------------10-----------10----------|
|-------9-----------------9-------------9-----------------9--------|
|----11---------------------11-------11---------------------11-----|
|-12---------------------------12-12---------------------------12--|
|------------------------------------------------------------------|



Section 2:
                     T                                   T
|-------------14-17-22-17-14----------------------14-17-22-17-14----------|
|----------15----------------15----------------15----------------15-------|
|-------14----------------------14----------14----------------------14----|
|----16----------------------------16----16----------------------------16-|
|-17----------------------------------17----------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
  d  d  d  d  d  H  T  P  P  u  u  u  u  d  d  d  d  H  T  P  P  u  u  u 

                   T                               T
|------------9-12-21-12-9--------------------9-12-21-12-9----------|
|---------10--------------10--------------10--------------10-------|
|-------9--------------------9----------9--------------------9-----|
|----11------------------------11----11------------------------11--|
|-12------------------------------12-------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------------------------------|


                     T                                   T
|-------------10-14-19-14-10----------------------10-14-19-14-10----------|
|----------12----------------12----------------12----------------12-------|
|-------11----------------------11----------11----------------------11----|
|----12----------------------------12----12----------------------------12-|
|-14----------------------------------14----------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|


               T                        T
|---------5-9-17-9-5---------------5-9-17-9-5--------|
|-------7------------7-----------7------------7------|
|-----6----------------6-------6----------------6----|
|---7--------------------7---7--------------------7--|
|-9------------------------9-------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------|


                 T                           T
|----------7-10-15-10-7----------------7-10-15-10-7-------|
|--------8--------------8------------8--------------8-----|
|------7------------------7--------7------------------7---|
|----9----------------------9----9----------------------9-|
|-10--------------------------10--------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------------|


               T                        T
|---------2-5-14-5-2---------------2-5-14-5-2--------|
|-------3------------3-----------3------------3------|
|-----2----------------2-------2----------------2----|
|---4--------------------4---4--------------------4--|
|-5------------------------5-------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------|


               T                        T
|---------3-7-12-7-3---------------3-7-12-7-3-------|
|-------5------------5-----------5------------5-----|
|-----4----------------4-------4----------------4---|
|---5--------------------5---5--------------------5-|
|-7------------------------7------------------------|
|---------------------------------------------------|


                   T                               T
|------------9-12-17-12-9--------------------9-12-17-12-9----------|
|---------10--------------10--------------10--------------10-------|
|-------9--------------------9----------9--------------------9-----|
|----11------------------------11----11------------------------11--|
|-12------------------------------12-------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------------------------------|


                     T                                   T
|-------------14-17-22-17-14----------------------14-17-22-17-14----------|
|----------15----------------15----------------15----------------15-------|
|-------14----------------------14----------14----------------------14----|
|----16----------------------------16----16----------------------------16-|
|-17----------------------------------17----------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|


                     T
|-------------14-17-22-17-14----------------|
|----------15----------------15-------------|
|-------14----------------------14----------|
|----16----------------------------16-------|
|-17----------------------------------17----|
|-------------------------------------------|
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jemgirl
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holy shit!!!
thank you to b2!! :wink:
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b2
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Jemgirl, practice them. They are funny to play.
More like a song not just some arpeggios up and down the fretboard.
But section 2 is only for true guitar freaks :D

OK!! Now something new.

And here are some very nice arpeggios that I have seen Vai
are using. I think he uses some of these in "The Attitude Song".
The maj6/m7 in 12 and 14 position.

These are really fun to play, you will see the power of sweeping.
First I will give you the 7 different positions.

NOTE!! I will show you how to sweep these at the bottom

Code: Select all

Gmaj6 if root is on 2 string
Em7 if root is on 3 string and highest note
|-O-|---|---|-O-|---|
|---|-O-|---|---|---|
|-O-|---|-O-|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
  7 fret


Am6 if root is on 2 string
F#m7b5 if root is on 3 string and highest note
|-O-|---|---|---|-O-|
|---|---|-O-|---|---|
|---|-O-|---|-O-|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
  8 fret


Bmaddb6 if root is on 2 string
Gmaj7 if root is on 3 string and highest note
|-O-|---|---|---|-O-|
|---|---|-O-|---|---|
|---|-O-|-O-|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
 10 fret


Cmaj6 if root is on 2 string
Am7 if root is on 3 string and highest note
|-O-|---|---|-O-|---|
|---|-O-|---|---|---|
|-O-|---|-O-|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
 12 fret


Dmaj6 if root is on 2 string
Bm7 if root is on 3 string and highest note
|-O-|---|---|-O-|---|
|---|-O-|---|---|---|
|-O-|---|-O-|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
 14 fret


Emaddb6 if root is on 2 string
Cmaj7 if root is on 3 string and highest note
|-O-|---|---|---|-O-|
|---|---|-O-|---|---|
|---|-O-|-O-|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
 15 fret

Gbdimaddb6 if root is on 2 string
D7 if root is on 3 string and highest note
|-O-|---|---|-O-|---|
|---|---|-O-|---|---|
|-O-|---|-O-|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
|---|---|---|---|---|
 17 fret


Two of these chords I see have strange names.
maddb6 and dimaddb6, (b6 could also be #5).
If someone have their real names please let me know.

OK!!! Now comes the beauty!!
This sweeping is from Mr. Vai himself.
Normally when you see these chords/arpeggios you may wonder
how am I gone sweep these small arpeggios?
Well I learnt from Vai and this is how he does it.

I only show you the sweeping for the first position, the rest
are all the same.

Gmaj6 if root is on 2 string
Em7 if root is on 3 string and highest note
||---------7--10---------||
||------8---------8------||
||O--9---------------7--O||
||O---------------------O||
||-----------------------||
||-----------------------||
     d  d  d  u   u  u

Repeat this as many times as you wish.
You sweep down 3 strings, then up 3, then down 3 etc...
You will see that it is quite easy to play these arpeggios
when you are using this sweeping movement.

This is an example of how important it is to take your time
and find the easiest way to play licks.
If you want to play something fast then you always should find the easiest way to play it
before you start practice. 
sktralternative
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Balex the Shizzle wrote:ypu, nice stuff guys, thanks a lot.

now

onto insanity and vai, how do you play the sweep picking bit from the attitude song?

i am gonna learn it really really slowly, cos its pretty ace

hey, i mite even be able to do it by the time i am 21 (im 14 now btw) lol

which sweep are you talking about the one at the very end or the one that comes after the arpeggio a little more than half way through the song? either way just practice slowly then slowly build up speed you can do it!
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