#1 Sweep Picking Exercises | Video

Sweep Picking Lesson - Easy Guitar Lesson

How’s it going. Welcome to the Guitar Tricks Channel. I’m Ben Lindholm, one of the instructors at guitartricks.com and I’ll be filling in for Neal this week. Today we’re going to do some guitar sweep picking. I’m going to talk about two string sweep arpeggios, but first the tip of the week which is that tapping doesn’t always have to be done fast. It can be pretty nice sometimes to just use the tap note as a pedal note for example just like I did at the end of the intro here or just played around with the E harmonic minor scale. Well, what is sweep picking?

So instead of picking it like this- -give a softer sound if you tap it- -and you can have some slides to spice it up a little bit- -or you can tap just the arpeggios. That was pretty nice.
Okay, on to today’s lesson: two-string sweeps, really useful for playing fast, repeated, three note arpeggios. Yngwie Malmsteen uses this technique a lot and it sounds something like this [guitar playing]. Now we’re just going to use the D string and the G string here in this lesson because I think they are the easiest strings to play these arpeggios on and I’m going to play a C minor arpeggio, D flat major arpeggio and F minor arpeggio but then we’re going to move the top note of each one from the B string to the G string like this. So [guitar playing] move this here and then this one. So we’re going to have one note on the D string and two on the G string.

The real tricky part, however, is your picking hand. So let’s take a closer look at that. Now the picking pattern here is going to be down, down, up, down, down, up. Down, down, up, down, down, up, over and over again and I usually palm mute the strings with my picking hand so it doesn’t sound too muddy when I play it fast with a lot of distortion.
Now it takes a lot of practice to really get this technique down so you just take any opportunity you can find to practice, in front of the TV or wherever. Whenever you see a guitar and don’t play anything with your fretting hand until you feel comfortable with your picking hand. Just mute the strings with your fretting hand and practice with a metronome or a drum machine until you can play fast, even triplets. Just go down, down, up, down, down, up, down, down [guitar playing]. When I play it fast, I tend to create a kind of a circular motion here. I don’t know if you can see it but then I create kind of a circle with the pick.[guitar playing].

Now once you feel you have the picking under control, start by playing two notes with your fretting hand and with the top note played twice, like this. [guitar playing] And when that feels comfortable, it’s time to add the third note. [guitar playing].
That’s it for this week. Check this out on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Youtube and of course the main site guitartricks.com. See you later.