Mini Sweep Picking Arpeggios

Possibly the most requested thing missing from this site is advanced rock techniques and sweep picking. I've been avoiding it because I'm just not really very good at it. But I do use this mini-sweep picking stuff a bit, so thought I'd share this with you, it's a great thing to get the technique down and will help you with big sweep patterns if you decide to get into them (I am working on the big patterns now, just so I can teach you them!!).

The pattern is small and simple, but simple ain't easy. Things to remember:

1. Get the fretting hand sorted first, so you don't have to look at it, that way you can focus on the sweep motion.

2. Aim to keep your hand relaxed and make the sweep motion smooth, even and don't make a pick motion for each note, try and 'sweep' through the strings.

3. Once you have the technique right, do it many times very slowly, and just sometimes have a go at going full speed. You'll find that once you have done it enough times very slowly, the muscle memory will work properly and you'll be able to sweep effortlessly.

4. Once you are happy with the basic pattern, start to explore other shapes and ways of using the concept.

I'm giving you the basics, and I think it's best that you explore this a bit yourself, but I will do some follow-ups to this with some more advanced tricks at some point.


Example 1 - The small Amin7 shape you should get started with.

Example 2 - Move just one note and it's now an Amin7b5 arpeggio - which works great as an F9 arpeggio (the same notes, this is called superimposing arpeggios, lesson to come sometime in the future). Try it - it sounds cool.

Example 3 - A diminished 7th arpeggio. These move up or down 3 frets and the root note is any one of the notes! So in this case,m it's a G, Bb, C# or E arpeggio!

Example 4 - A neoclassical style lick using dim7 arpeggios linking up - using slides to shift positions.

Example 5 - The A minor lick extended over 2 octaves.

Rock Techniques