Learn Sweep Picking - How to SHRED the ArPegGiO

This lesson is going to be all about sweet picking. We are going to go through the fundamental technique of it. I'm gonna give you some advice on actually how to perform this technique some of the problems you might run into and then I'm going to give you one little exercise and three really cool


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This lesson is going to be all about sweet picking. We are going to go through the fundamental technique of it. I'm gonna give you some advice on actually how to perform this technique some of the problems you might run into and then I'm going to give you one little exercise and three really cool sweeping shapes that you can use to develop some serious ridiculous speed when you're playing lead guitar. All right, so there's going to be a lot going on here. And if you want there should be a comment down below that helps you walk through the different sections if you want to skip through some of the technique you might be already familiar with how to sweep and if that's the case you don't need my help on the Basic technique there you can just get to the fun stuff. But if this is a brand new technique to you, I really encourage you to go through the first few minutes here to figure out what this is all about.

And my advice on actually had to perform this. All right.

So let's start off with what sweet picking actually is essentially all a sweep sweep is is you're going to be moving your pick all the way down the strings and all the way up the strings.

Sometimes we use all six strings. Sometimes we just use a feat a few strings and for our purposes today.

I'm going to demonstrate just using these three Rings my first three strings.

So if you look at my pic here, I'm going to let my pic drag all the way down three strings. I'm going to let it drag all the way back up and I'm sticking my pick out so you can kind of see the angle that I use to address the strings when I sweep pick. All right, I don't have my pick completely dead on like this. I have it with this little bit of an angle. All right and what that allows it to do it is it allows it to drag up and down and kind of skim over those strings a little bit easier as it would if I just had it. It straight in on the strings. So that's my first piece of advice is getting that little angle there on your pick. All right.

The other thing is you want to be addressing each string at The Identical angle as close as you can which means like I don't want to be at this angle on the 3rd string and then all of a sudden be at this angle on the first string that's that's not going to work out but that might happen on accident if you end up planting your wrist on your guitar and just trying to You Know cover that entire distance without moving your hand.

So when your We picking you end up having to use a lot more of your arm past just the wrist and as a lead guitar player, I mean a lot of what you do is localized to just your wrist and your fingers and your pick and you don't use a lot of arm.

But this is one of those instances where you're going to engage a lot more muscles past the wrist to keep that angle always approaching the string at just the same angle. All right, you can see like that and once again if I don't move my arm, then all of a sudden what happens is I get these different angles as my pic comes across. All right, so So now that you got the basic idea here of sweet picking I should mention really quick to that. There's going to be a lot of extra notes ringing out when you do sweeps, especially when you're doing Distortion when you have distortion on your guitar, so you'll have to start developing methods to to mute the extra strings that are ringing out and as a general rule if I need to mute a low string after I'm done playing it. I'll use my right hand and try and mute the note after I'm done picking it so you can see with my right hand here. I can pick this note and then as my pic progresses, actually my palm is That note to rest it so I can kind of Ascend through my strings like that and mute him with my right hand at the same time. It's extremely difficult. Okay. Well, he was for me. I mean you might not have any problem with it.

But I've also seen other techniques as unmuting with the right hand. I've seen people use Parts with their thumb instead of part of their Palm. But essentially I'm using right there under my thumb. That's the part of my palm that I'm using to catch the string after I pick it to make sure it doesn't ring out afterwards now on the thin strings on the first string and 2nd Street. You're probably going to use your fingers.

Themselves to keep those notes from ringing out and you can do that just by cutting your fingers like that. So as I'm coming up an arpeggio, you'll see that I'm going to use this hand to rest the low strings and then on the way down.

Okay, I'm descending here and I'm going to use my fingers to kind of just rest on the strings to keep them from ringing out. Otherwise, you'll get very noisy arpeggios.

Alright, so now that we've talked about what this is all about. Let me give you your first exercise. We can actually start practicing the technique and bear with me on this one. It might seem stupid, but it's extremely important to practice this We're not even going to use a note. We're just going to sweep on some muted strings. So I'm resting my left hand on the strings like this and I am going to be going down and up. All right, just like that down up down up and I'm trying to get steady pick Strokes. Okay, what's important here is you don't individualize your pick Strokes? It should be one big down one big up. All right, I'm not doing down down down. Up up up. I'm doing down down up. All right, so I'm going to put my picket of the position that I normally what I choke way up on the pick and I don't have much of it sticking out and I can get a little bit more speed.

going with this little exercise and I'm listening for steady notes 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 and I'll try to speed it up.

Okay, what you don't want is this that's just that that's a strum. You're not sweeping your just strumming at that point in time and a sweep is supposed to be a controlled falling of your pic like that.


So once you've done it with three strings, I would recommend trying it with four strings. It's going to get substantially harder adding in that fourth string doing four downs down down up down up.

All right, trying to keep them perfectly steady. It's pretty difficult.

But if you can do that, then you are ready to go into the first actual sweeping pattern that we're going to do. So here's where the fun actually begins once you've got that down. We can take a look at this arpeggio shape.

You can think of this as a minor 7 arpeggio. We're going to start here with our ring finger on 12.

Okay, and that's going to be followed by 11 with my middle finger and then 10 with my first finger. So my first three notes are just simply three Downs like this 12 11 10 pretty simple.

All right.

Now I'm going to do my upstrokes by doing 13 11 and 10 like this 13 11 10.

So I've got my three downs and my three UPS Downs UPS Downs UPS Downs UPS.

All right now on this note this middle finger occurs on the both up and on the way down. So if you just leave it there, it'll have a tendency to ring out and get you know, you'll get in a little trouble there and I don't want to hear that note ringing out.

So you'll have to pick it up or you'll have to mute it. All right. Now this one really really Blaze is what I'll try and do is I'll try and start slow and pick it up and then I'll try and Ascend through it chromatically. So just one friend at a time and you can hear how much speed you can develop when your pick just has to move in just that direction like that. All right. So, let's see what I can do.

All right, so it's pretty freakishly fast and it's about as pure of a sweeping exercise. You can get just going down the three strings and up the three strings. All right, so let's move on to our next weeping exercise and that exercise is going to be the same shape, but we're going to perform a differently. We're going to add some hammer-ons and pull-offs. Oh check this out starting on 10 with my first finger on the third string and then I have On the ring finger.

All right, and then from there I can continue my shape with all down Strokes.

Then I'll just do an up stroke with my pinky and I'll do a pull off and then I'll do all my upstrokes.

So down down down up up up down down down up and this is more reminiscent. This is more similar to the stuff. You'll actually see in guitar solos. I don't know unless you're into like really guitar, you know, progressive rock kind of stuff. I don't see a lot of straight sweeps. I see a lot of sweeps like this though. We have a hammer on the top and bottom Mmm, and this way you can develop a lot of speed as well. I think it's a lot easier to but it's not an uninterrupted sleep. So I actually started with the harder exercise first. I think this one is a little simpler to develop some speed on them.

All right, so I've got one more sweeping exercise here for you. And it's I don't know there's a few ways you can think of it. I'm gonna think of it as a minor 13th chord essentially your to skipping notes of the minor scale and here's what's going to happen. I'm going to do Starting on the 9th fret on the 4th string.

I'll put my pinky on 12 and I'll hammer that note on then the next few notes are pretty simple. I'm going to use my ring finger my middle finger and my first finger all in position. So that's 12 11 10 9 just like that.

Alright, and then I'm going to do an up stroke with my pinky on the first string here for a pull off.

All right, and that can help me come back down those notes. Alright.

Alright another nice little shape here. And when I play this one to practice, I like to just kind of play it and then move it up three Frets or move it down three Frets. Just modulating that chord sounds kind of nice. So take a listen to that and I'll try and start slow here and work it up to an impressive tempo.

All right, so you can see at the faster tempos. I start falling apart. I definitely start missing some of the notes on the sweeps on the way down and up and truthfully. I mean it might sound like really if you're new to the guitar, you might be really impressed by the stuff but you have to take my word for it. There's guitar players that can do phenomenal and outrageous things with sweet picking just last week. I saw hey can live in Chicago and the band opening had a guitar player Liam Gallagher and are no Liam McLaughlin.

Okay, Liam Gallagher, I believe is from Oasis Liam limit Lachlan and he was doing sweeps that just made me want to quit playing my guitar. All right. So I mean this is something that I've put a lot of time and effort into playing but the limits to how high you can go with sweet picking is totally up to you. I really don't know how much necessity you have to you know, how often are you going to have to do these really fast full sweeps? Probably not that often unless you're into really technical Progressive guitar bass music, which is cool.

But if you're not then you know, I would just develop the very fundamental techniques here use these exercises. To kind of get you comfortable with the technique you don't have to be, you know, incredibly fast at it but you should at least be able to apply it when it comes around and you know using these in your own kinds of shapes and your own ideas.

It's never it's not going to hurt you to learn and practice a new technique, but you don't have to go completely crazy with it and put the time in to get the speed that I've developed here. And like I said, I mean, I'm not even in the grand scheme of things you're going to find people on YouTube that can do some insano things with sweeping that I can't so I hope this is going to help you get started into the world of sweet picking. And it's a pretty difficult technique, but it's not as difficult some of the other ones, you know, I've given up on other techniques because they were too hard and sweet picking. I just kept doing because I don't know. I thought it was kind of fun and as a double bonus, you usually end up working with arpeggios and arpeggios really help you as a lead guitar player as well.

So, I don't know if I went through anything too quickly, which I have a tendency to do. Please leave me a comment and let me know or if you have any requests on lessons coming up. Please leave me a comment below or get a hold of me on Facebook or Twitter.

And once again, thank you for watching and I will see you soon.


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