Sweep Cheat Sheet [3 Sweep Picking Myths]

Are you having trouble with Sweep Picking? Does the technique not seem to be going very well for you? If so, you're not alone. Developing this guitar picking technique is challenging. However, with time and patience you can break down the limitations of learning this technique and eventually integrate it into your own guitar playing...

The training involved with performing smooth and accurate sounding sweep picking technique is centered around making several perfect hand movements combined with the most highly correct picking movements possible.

Each of these movements across the guitar strings needs to occur perfectly between the left and right hand. Plus, they have to be fully synchronized. Each movement made (from each fret-board hand's finger) needs to be perfectly aligned with the location of the guitar pick to the guitar string of where the picking hand's finger is situated.

if we don't have this, we won't have a good sounding sweep pick as an end result. So, on this episode of the Guitar Blog Insider, I'm going to dispel three myths that surround getting a nice clear sounding sweep pick technique on guitar.


A lot of guitarists buy into the idea that sweep picking is all about the picking hand. The first and foremost thing that has to be realized - is that sweep picking primarily has to do with synchronization between the hands.

This technique isn't a technical idea that's isolated to the picking hand only.

That said, in getting started with this technique, you'll want to make sure to spend time generating a smooth rake movement across the strings in time with a metronome click-track.

Here's a good study that you can begin working on to help you get trained up on the initial pick-hand skills for developing the hand movement across the strings. It won't take long to achieve success here, and as soon as you do, be sure to move on to synchronization...

Example #1).

MYTH #2). Chord SOUND? WHAT Chord SOUND?
There are some players who either don't bother, or perhaps don't realize that they need to focus on the sound of the sweep as it occurs across the chord or the arpeggio pattern being studied. It really is quite important to understand that the sound of the individual notes does in fact matter when you sweep across a collection of tones.

When you're practicing your sweep picking training, be sure to quickly lift off the fretting hand fingers from the notes that you're playing so that each note sounds clearly.

Let's do some work with this concept using another three string sweep idea. But, this time instead of covering up the notes, we'll perform them, making sure that each note sounds on its own, (without any bleed over from one note to the next).

Remember, we want individual clarity when it comes to each note. Not a wash of notes "ringing out" as if the sweep pick was a chord being strummed...

Example #2).

The final factor that guitar players will often leave out when it comes to sweep picking practice is using a metronome to slowly and incrementally perfect their timing and to build speed and skill for the sweep study being practiced.

I suppose that perhaps "some players" have had "some success" with sweep picking practice done without the use of a metronome. But, I'd wager on it that most guitarists who've really nailed down their skills for sweep picking have done it by way of using a metronome for hours and hours on end.

One of the guitarists, that I've actually seen up close, who has truly mastered sweep picking is "Tony MacAlpine." His ability with this technique is incredible. And, yes he spent hours working with a metronome... Here's a final sweep picking drill that you can work on with a metronome for perfecting the ascending and descending sweep picking technique...

Example #3).

Sweep picking isn't exactly an "easy" technique to develop. And, that's probably why a lot of guitar players try studying it for awhile, but then many will unfortunately just give up on it.

And, for anyone who's into instant gratification, sweep picking probably won't end up becoming a part of a person like that's skill set. This technique just simply takes a lot of hours dedicated to reach a level of perfecting the ascending and the descending movements. And, it's not a technique that everyone is drawn to.

But, if you are interested in sweep picking, take into consideration the points I've covered here, along with the myths I've broken down in this discussion. With practice, you might be able to hold your own, and maintain your discipline to be able to eventually nail down what it takes to become successful at performing the sweep picking maneuver.

I'd like to end the discussion by saying, thanks for joining me... If you want to learn more about what I do as an online guitar teacher, then head over to my website at creativeguitarstudio.com and sign up your FREE lifetime membership.

When you want more, you can always upgrade to either a Basic, or a Premium lesson package and start studying the guitar courses I've organized for the members of my website.

Also, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on all of this in the comment section below... if you enjoyed this lesson and the video on YouTube, give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more. Thanks again and we'll catch up next week , for another episode of the, "Guitar Blog Insider."


Join Now

Guitar Chords | F Chord | Guitar Notes | G Chord | C Chord | D Chord | Guitar String Notes