How to Sweep Pick on Guitar for Beginners

Hi guys and welcome to my sweep picking techniques lesson. In this article we’ll be taking a look at a progression that we have already used in the previous lesson, Pachelbel’s ‘Canon’. This time though we will be adding some tapping into the mix for some really cool sounds. I’ll also show you a very cool sounding arpeggio shape that makes use of extended left hand positioning.

Now that you have been practising sweep picking technique in the manner we discussed in the previous lessons (I hope!), you are ready for some more challenging things to play. This one is quite a tricky pattern to get down, so make sure you practice it nice and slowly before attempting to push the speed up.

OK, the first shape we’ll be using is a 1st shape G major arpeggio (root on the 6th string) and we’ll be putting the 3rd degree of the arpeggio on the A string at fret 14. We will then proceed to add a tapped note at fret 22 of the 1st string. Just like the previous examples we have been working with, we’ll be descending through a different arpeggio pattern.

What is and What Should — Led ‘Zeppelin

Marty Friedman – Playing with Fire

In this case it’ll be the 2nd shape of a D major arpeggio, the first note of which is the same tapped note that we used for the G major arpeggio at the 22nd fret of the 1st string.

Once that has been negotiated, we are in position for the 3rd arpeggio, which is an E minor using the 1st shape. Again, we ascend through that and include a tapped note, this time at fret 17 of the 1st string. This gives us a 4th interval against the arpeggio, which we will then change for the following descending arpeggio. The arpeggio which follows E minor is a B minor with the 2nd shape but this time we’ll be tapping at fret 19 of the 1st string before we descend through the shape. The next arpeggio is a C major with the 1st shape, this time we’ll be playing the 3rd degree on the 6th string and we’ll be tapping the high note at fret 13 of the 1st string.

As before, we descend through a 2nd shape G major arpeggio, again tapping the same fret as with the C major arpeggio, fret 13. To finish the pattern we’ll play two 1st shape arpeggios starting with an ascending C major and then followed by a descending D major arpeggio. This then leads us back to the beginning where you can repeat the entire sequence as many times as you wish.

It’s a very cool sounding sequence of arpeggios, especially with the addition of the high tapped notes.

The next sequence involves using a 1st position minor arpeggio with the root on the 6th string. Tilings get a little challenging when we get to the 1st string though, as we need to extend the left hand to play the 3rd of the arpeggio with the 2nd finger, the 3th with the little finger and tap at fret 24. This is pretty demanding, especially if you are not used to such wide stretches and will undoubtedly need a lot of slow, controlled practice to get right.

Once you have that down you can then move exactly the same shape up to fret 14 and then again to fret 13, which sounds very cool. For this example, I shift positions using the same shapes and finish up with a 1st shape D major arpeggio.

These sequences should keep you busy for some time! Remember to try to use these as a framework to create your own ideas with. Have fun and I’ll see you for more sweep picking in the next issue!

 

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