The selection of sweeping with speed and precision is based on mastering the balancing technique in the fret hand. By mastering this technique, you can play notes on adjacent strings, on the same fret, and with the same finger without them getting mixed up and sounding sloppy.
Having great rolling technique means:
* Have a good knowledge of the mechanics of the technique so that you know how to practice it correctly.
* Avoid mistakes in guitar practice that make rolling more difficult than necessary.
* Know how to see when you are practicing something correctly, so selecting to sweep at high speeds becomes easy.
Poor finger rolling technique usually occurs for these reasons:
Cause # 1 of sloppy sweep selection: playing with a barbell instead of dynamically rotating your finger
You have to worry about every note on the roll at once. This helps your sweep selection stay clean even while playing with high levels of distortion and volume.
When you press multiple strings at once with a bar, the notes sound together. This makes the sweep selection sound very sloppy. Watch the video around 2:20 to hear what this sounds like and why it makes the sweep selection sound so bad.
How to fix this:
Step 1. Practice isolating the rocking motion as you collapse / open the knuckle of each finger on your fret hand.
Step 2. Once you can properly use the roll technique in isolation, work on using it within the context of different arpeggios. Don’t make the mistake of practicing too much in isolation; this takes away your ability to integrate technique into your guitar playing (for when you need to play real music). Train in isolation, but over time, continue to integrate this movement into your performance.
Cause # 2 of sloppy sweep selection: string action is too low
How far your strings are from the fretboard (aka the action) is a major factor in how difficult it is to use the roll effectively. When the strings are closer to the fretboard, it is more difficult to prevent them from ringing while you roll. Whenever you collapse your knuckles, the note you previously played tends to keep playing.
How to fix this:
Take the time to plan your action. This makes it easier to prevent notes from sounding while you roll.
Cause # 3 of sloppy sweep selection: you can’t hear errors at fast speeds
Your mind has to keep up with the notes you are playing and the mistakes you are making in real time in order to play accurately. Doing this makes your guitar practice more effective and helps improve your sweep picking faster.
Training your mind to listen for mistakes while playing fast is made up of:
1. Listen to the mistakes you make at high speed. It is not enough to simply know that you are not playing fair; you need to identify the specific mistakes you are making without having to play at a slower pace.
2. Active training to listen to music at high speeds. This can be trained in the same way that you would train your hands to play fast. Create an arpeggio using some kind of music software and play it back at high speed. Repeat this same sample many times.
With headphones, listen to each note of the arpeggio.
Shift your focus through different notes on the arpeggio. This trains your brain to keep up with what you are playing.
Cause # 4 of sloppy sweep selection: Failure to track / measure progress
Many guitarists just think about playing as fast as possible. Very few think about other important aspects of their performance, such as:
* The speed at which they can play a particular item without error, with full consistency, precision and with their hands out of sync.
* The skill gap between these things and your highest game speed.
If you play guitar and make a lot of mistakes, it doesn’t matter if you can play fast. Master the sweep pick balancing technique by finding the maximum speed at which you can sweep the pick cleanly and bringing it to its maximum overall speed.
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