Author Topic: Sweep Picking (will add to this. Not whole lesson)  (Read 1277 times)

Offline SadisticKeith

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Sweep Picking (will add to this. Not whole lesson)
« on: August 13, 2014, 02:32:56 PM »
Here it is: SWEEP PICKING! If mastered and performed cleanly and correctly this will add all kinds of speed and options to your playing. In this lesson we are going to play through a couple of arpeggios broken up into ascending and descending patterns. Then I am going to put it all together and it should show you how you can do this moving through a chord progression.

There are a couple of ways you can do this. You can begin with a downstroke on the "E" before the hammer-on to the "G" on the fifth string and continue down in ONE fluid downstroke motion (which is how I have always done it). Or you can play the hammer-on with an upstroke
in order to help keep your hands synchronized. The most important thing is synchronization. If you can't alternate pick very well this is going to be impossible so practice that and get proficient with that FIRST!

As you move down the strings keep in mind that you DO NOT want each note ringing into each other. We are NOT playing chords, we are playing arpeggios. It will sound sloppy and horrible! So remember after sounding each note to deaden it by pulling your finger off the fret as you press down the next note to mute them and prevent them from bleeding into each other. You will do this whether you are ascending OR descending.

This is an Em(sus2) arpeggio because of the "D" note at the seventh fret of the third string instead of the E note at the ninth fret of the third string. It will be played on the fifth string at the seventh position. And this is the ascending pattern. The reason it is called "sweep picking" is because you are trying to play ALL these notes with ONE continuous downstroke (or upstroke depending on whether ascending or descending). In this first example you can play the first set of notes with an upstroke in order to give your picking hand a quick break during the hammer-on which will help prevent it from getting ahead of your fretting hand. So the picking pattern for this will be "up, down, down, down, down." Do not break up the downstrokes into separate motions. Rather glide across the strings in ONE continuous motion. Think of it like sweeping the floor with a broom. Or if you are into playing Blues think of them as "string rakes" with actual notes instead of percussive sounds.


As stated earlier that is the ascending pattern for the Em(sus2) arpeggio. Now we will look at the descending pattern. One thing you may notice right away is that when you change direction (whether ascending or descending) that these patterns all contain a hammer-on ascending and a pull-off descending. This just makes it easier to change direction. Now when descending you will take everything you just did and do it in reverse. So the picking pattern will now be "down, up, up, up ,up." And as before mute the strings before you move on to the next note in the arpeggio. I have broken up the entire lick into ascending and descending because I strongly suggest you practice them individually before putting them together. As with everything practice SLOWLY as it will take time to synch everything up properly and a lot of practice.


Now a D Major arpeggio:


Now it starts to get a little tricky. You would play this arpeggio the same as the one above with one small exception. All the notes at the 7th fret are fingered with you middle finger of your frethand. In order to prevent them from bleeding into each other roll pressure off of the previous string and onto the next. This can be tricky because you are going over three strings with the SAME finger! And do the same in reverse for descending.



Now let's look at C Maj:


Once again roll your middle finger across all the notes on the fifth fret muffling each string as you ascend. And of course the same in reverse when you descend. Which will look like this:


What we have here is a chord progression that is i (minor 1), VII (major 7), VI (major 6) descending in the key of E minor. Which will also work as vi (minor 6), V (major 5), IV (major 4) in the key of G. Not very common but I think it sounds cool and serves it's purpose. If you put it all together and add some slides and taps you can get this:


And doing so will have you moving through a Emsus2, Dmaj, Cmaj chord progression. If you want to use a more common progression you can do the same thing by playing the G major, C major, and D major arpeggios. Doing that will move you through a common I-IV-V progression in the key of G Major and will work over a G major, C major, D major progression. The meter for this is a little weird I am not sure but I think it is a 5/4 but if you want something that is more basic and straight to the point I can take some stuff out and I will do another in the key of G major using a typical I-IV-V-I progression. I think this one is kind of out there but I like how it sounds.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2015, 04:25:03 AM by SadisticKeith »


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