Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sweeping stuff- palm muting and general picking!!

Through the comments, I was unable to get what you guys really wanted, (not to say that they weren't awesome and completely, totally, and undeniably appreciated) so I will make a series on all aspects sweep picking.  It seems to be the one thing that people consider to be that "Virtuoso" technique.  It is not.  The most difficult part of sweeping is muting the strings with your picking hand, and coordinating each hand to the others movements.  Its really cool too, because one moment sweeping will be really difficult, and you can't get it fast or flowing, and then all of a sudden, BAM.  There is a giant leapfrog from beginner to proficient.

So first off, palm muting.  Assuming you are using an electric guitar, the largest problem you will face, (especially with distortion), will be excess string noise.  It is easily rectified by applying light pressure using the palm of your hand near the end of the bridge.  Just block out each string right after the note has sounded, so the next not does not "bleed" together with it.  An easy practice is to hit all the open strings, and seeing if you can dampen them out after being played. I will have a sound recording tomorrow to demonstrate better.

Next is picking form.  With sweeping, you are not alternate picking.  That is, you are not individually striking each string with a back and forth wrist movement.  You want your pick to glide across the strings gracefully, using a forward wrist movement when going down, and backwards when going up (hey, I want to cover all the bases here).  This is when palm muting really comes in.  As you are gliding around, you want to use your palm on the strings you just finished playing.  I hope I am being clear, if not, leave a comment please. 

Thats about it for palm muting, and general wrist movement and stuff.  Its not too complicated, its just that if the fundamentals are not down, the more advanced concepts seem impossible. Tomorrow I will show a major and minor sweep and show why they are called that.  As always, leave comments to whine, cry, praise, thank, or anything else.

Cordially yours,



  1. Awesome information.

    Thanks for sharing that, it's appreciated!

  2. Lemme get my guitar... it's time to play!

  3. Sounds about right :) I haven't played in years though.

  4. I think I will put my old guitar out of closet and try playing it again :) I never found a site which would explain things in detail :)

  5. Well, it's time to share your skills XD