Another Guitarist Takes the 100-Day Sweep Picking Challenge

(Image credit: The Interwebs)

Two and a half years ago, we shared a video about a gent who had been playing guitar for "many years"—but he couldn't sweep pick worth a damn.

So, he did what any red-blooded guitarist with too much time on his hands would do; he practiced sweep picking for 100 days straight.

His poorly lit video, which you can watch here, details his left-handed ups and downs and—ultimately—his success. I mean, the guy nails it in the end.

Back in 2014, some readers questioned the validity of the famous clip (which has been viewed almost a million times) and/or the merits of the "100 straight days of practice" method. Last year, an ambitious YouTube user named Neo Ninja even decided to take the challenge himself.

"[Here's] one man's quest to suck less at guitar," writes Neo Ninja, who has been playing guitar for sweep-picking-free 30 years. "And, yeah, I know the down-strokes are not swept. The upstrokes are cleaner and smoother, though not perfect at all. Remember—I'm not holding myself up as a teacher, just sharing [the] results of a personal challenge. And, yep, I'm aware that one has to practice very, very, very slowly on this, so thanks to everyone reinforcing that advice. Michael Angelo [Batio] makes that point extremely clear himself.

"As for the conspiracies about whether I played this myself or not—um, well, enjoy yourselves!"

Note that Neo Ninja actually practices for 103 days. He, too, details his many struggles along the way. Like the time he whacked his "crazy bone" on his chair. What do you make of the results?

By the way, we appreciate the fact that Neo chose one of Michael Angelo Batio's recent Guitar World lesson videos—"Getting Started with Proper Sweep Picking Technique"—to help him kick things off.

If you need more of a push to get started, be sure to check out "Big Strokes: A Beginner's Guide to Sweep Picking" and watch Batio's original video, which we've provided below. Remember you can find the tabs right here.

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Damian Fanelli
Editor-in-Chief, Guitar World

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas, was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron, a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums. He now plays in two NYC-area bands.