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Finger roll technique

Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 1283
Topic starter  

I don't even know if it is called the finger roll technique, I just made that term up in the absence of another term :D

When sweeping, I really struggle with patterns that require rolling the finger across the "A" shaped barred chord. I find it so difficult to mute the strings and cant play it cleanly at all.

I am absolutely fine sweeping with shapes that don't require the finger barre, but I feel limited and have to shift positions more often than I would like to sweep in my preferred way.

YouTube is no help in how to practice this technique properly.

Anybody any advice on what I might be doing wrong??


"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)

Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 680

It really is called rolling...... you are not wrong...... but I don't sweep pick at all so I can't help.

together we stand, divided we fall..........

Active Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 17

Don't remember having that much trouble with the rolling technique, so I'm not sure i can help you there. I also use my thumb on my picking hand to mute.

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Active Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 7

ya it's called the finger roll technqiue.

What you need is to release each string after you played it during the roll. So after playing the D string, release it as you roll the figner to G string and then release again as you roll to B. This will prevent the notes from playing together which you do not want.

hope this helps bro.

Illustrious Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 8306

see, the thing is, stuff like that tends to use a bunch of tiny micromovements that are harder to explain. what i'm getting is that you have the technique down, it just sounds worse when you're playing that particular shape.
this might not help much, but when i'm working on technique, i always try to use my ears, listening as much as possible and trying to correct what i hear in my head and in my ears, not paying attention to my hands so much, and my fingers tend to respond on their own after a while. i've never actually worked on sweep picking per se, they just sort of showed up in my playing one day because i was improvising fast runs that were basically sweeps. which is how they originally came about, didn't they? sweeps are really fine motor skills requiring a great deal of dexterity. the more you try to muscle it, the more opposing muscles will tense up and slow down. the key is relaxing. you're probably within a few days of getting it down. it happens to me a lot. you struggle with something, the frustration gets so bad you complain or seek help, then it goes on the back burner for a couple days while your brain makes new neural connections, and your tired muscles repair, and then out of the blue it's happening effortlessly.
if i misread you and you're still needing technique help, what you're doing is sort of a combination between muting and lifting your left hand off each string as you play it. you fret it fairly lightly, and as you play the sweep, you lift your fretting hand so the chord doesn't ring out.
what i'd suggest is that you practice it until you're sick of it for few days, then forget about it for a couple days and try again.