Wednesday Technique… on Saturday
The second part about sweeping that is the more difficult aspect is the coordination between your right and left hand. To paraphrase from a sweep video with instructor Herman Li of Dragonforce, this is what you need to know about sweeping:
Sweeping is like playing an arppegio (that’s why I use chordal arpeggio shapes in sweeps) but instead of playing all the notes and letting them ring out (listen to the 3 Doors Down single “Kryptonite”) you need to abbreviate and choke the note so that it plays really REALLY short. You also need to keep your movement in one specific direction.
So lets look at the two hands:
Your left hand needs to keep the notes short. Either choke them with your left and right hand combined or some variation of just one hand or the other. When the note is struck, I tend to lift the finger immediately off the string while not using my non fretting fingers to choke that string out!
Your right hand needs to execute the sweep in one direction. If you’re using your fingers, use one finger or the other to achieve the sweep. Going down (from higher string to lower string) I use my index finger, and going up I use my thumb.
There are millions of different sweep videos and lessons for bass out there on the giant interwebs, but this is the closest things I’ve seen to executing guitar sweeps on the bass. Try it for four strings, 5 strings, whatever type of bass you have. But again, start SLOW!