How To Play Sweep Picking Guitar Arpeggios Easily Starting With 2 String Patterns
Want to play amazing sweep picking guitar arpeggios, but can't play them fast and consistently clean?
There is a way to make learning sweep picking patterns much more fun and effortless.
What is it?
Begin by mastering 2-string guitar arpeggios first to nail down the correct technique.
From here, playing larger, more impressive sweep picking licks becomes a breeze.
Learn how to practice using this idea by watching the following guitar arpeggio tutorial:
Click on the video to begin watching it.
The video above is just the beginning when it comes to playing amazing arpeggios that demand attention.
Here are some more tips to help you make progress:
Sweep Picking Tip #1: Play Every Note Evenly
It's a common mistake for guitar players to play arpeggios by making the highest inner and outer notes clean while rushing through the ones in the middle.
The rhythm of the guitar arpeggio becomes distorted and the lick sounds
Correct this issue by investing a few minutes into warming up before practice...
Play each note 3 times at a much slower tempo than usual. This forces you to keep your hands in sync to play the notes correctly while training you to hear the notes more clearly.
Make sure to also use this idea with any legato in a given guitar arpeggio you play. Each note should ring out for the precise same amount of time.
Question: “Tom Hess, should I play guitar arpeggios from the wrist or the arm?”
Answer: The motion should come from your forearm by using a single motion.
Use this to avoid the common mistake of playing guitar arpeggios using individual pick strokes from the wrist for each note.
This mistake is critical to avoid.
When you play a guitar arpeggio, your picking motion needs to be continuous and unbroken.
This motion is similar to the one you use to strum a chord.
Watch your picking hand as you practice to observe mistakes and correct them using your eyes and your ears.
Sweep Picking Tip #2: Practice Using Overdrive/Distortion
Playing guitar arpeggios with distortion helps you identify when strings ring together so you are able to make small adjustments to fix your technique (that would be hard to hear on clean settings).
Sweep Picking Tip #3: Pay Attention To Note Rhythms
It’s sometimes hard to notice when notes in an arpeggio are slightly longer and duration than other notes. This usually happens during the difficult notes of a guitar arpeggio.
Fix this problem by doing the following:
Play the guitar arpeggio by starting slow and gradually speeding up until you begin making a lot of mistakes. This will quickly show you which notes you struggle to keep in time with the others. After this is done, simply use the concept in the video to make every part of the guitar arpeggio smooth, 2 strings at a time.
Sweep Picking Tip #4: Don't Cut Your Notes Short
It's a common mistake for guitarists to cut-off notes in guitar arpeggios with their picking hand by accident.
Why does this happen?
This usually happens when people try to prevent notes from ringing together.
Fix this by doing the following:
Mute strings at the specific moment when the next played note sounds.
Sweep Picking Tip #5: Make Picking Motion A Main Priority
As discussed already - it's essential to keep your picking hand momentum going without stopping in order to play smooth arpeggios.
Here is a good way to keep your momentum going and play cleaner guitar arpeggios:
Right when you pull off on the highest string of a guitar arpeggio, your pick should be moving to the next string (and not be getting caught in the trenches). Move the pick to where it is pressed against the next string so it is already waiting for you to fret the next note.
Note: Learning how to play sweep picking arpeggios on your own can be very frustrating when you aren't 100% certain what to work on to make improvements fast.
This is why I encourage you to begin taking lessons with a guitar teacher.
This is the best way to make fast progress, because an expert guitar teacher helps you identify mistakes, poor playing habits or new ideas about playing guitar that you wouldn't realize on your own.
When you are tired of making slow progress, taking lessons with a guitar teacher is the next step.
I give lessons to thousands of guitar players across the world and help them make BIG progress not just with sweep picking, but in all other areas of their lead guitar playing.
Here are some of the results:
“When I first heard about Tom Hess, I saw that he was a teacher that was very dedicated and serious about it, and that drew me in immediately. That this is a guy that has a plan, has a goal and really if you’re serious about learning guitar, this guy is equally as serious in a way. So it resonated with me straight away.”
I started out just learning by myself and as many others I got stuck. I had a few issues I wanted to get by, but when I met Tom and talked with him and started lessons with him, he opened up a whole new world of possibilities of what guitar playing can be.
I feel very grateful that I found lessons from Tom since I then did what worked from the very beginning. Many guitarists I see that played way longer than I did, they have build up many bad habits. That from the very start, there was clear instruction of how to practice correctly. You build the ability for high speed and whatever you want from the very beginning and you don’t waste time doing inefficient things. So I’m very grateful that I did that, and now I really feel I am able to reach whatever level I want.
The reasons why I think I feel so motivated all the time is because I know that the thing I’m working on is relevant for me and it’s exactly the direct thing I need to get.
The forum just kicks ass. The people in the forum - it’s just like unconditional help all the time. They love to help out, and you also get very inspired by seeing someone just really getting speed really quick and then you say if he can do it, I can do it. It works on the mental side of being a guitarist and that of course that’s the most important thing. Just being around other musicians like that, is just you learn so much faster, is so much less frustration when you can see that all the people are having the same issues that you do, not anything special or anything. It’s just part of learning process, so it kicks ass.
Magnus Gautestad, Norway
“I found Tom Hess on the net through articles, and I read quite a few of those before I went to Tom’s website. Even though I’m not a metal player at all, and Tom is obviously a metal player, I could still see that his ideas and way of teaching could really benefit me. So I pretty much signed up for online guitar lessons with Tom straight away once I’d gone through the website, and it’s just been a real eye opener with the way he teaches…”
... the integration of concepts that he’ll give you and having a really structured strategy… not just week to week lessons, but things that - you can see from one lesson to the next - really develop and continue to work on your technique and your theory and aural skills and those types of things. So I’d played a long time… 20 years before I really caught onto Tom, and I’d had a lot of lessons, and I’d taught and played but I can really see improvements in my technique, sweeping, and picking which weren’t strong parts of my playing.
I feel like Tom has a good gauge of where you’re at as a guitar player and what you need, and there just seemed to be so much more stuff in the lessons week to week than what you’d ever get in an hour or so in a one on one lesson… way more. So yeah I think that and the forum. I think, I’d pay the money just for the forum. That alone would be fine… I wouldn’t have a problem with that at all. So that alone is massive!
The price for the lessons, that’s nothing... nothing. You know, I think it’s, pretty cheap to be honest. I don’t mean that in a bad way, cheap. Cheap is not a good word, but I just think it’s great value… awesome value. I mean, you know, you could pay that for one-to-one lessons and you just don’t get the same results and support of the forum and the content and the strategies.
Other teachers I’ve had have been good players, and some have become good friends too. But when I’ve started lessons with Tom I’ve got something to compare that to and a lot of it is just sort of teaching songs from week to week… a lot of the lesson will be left up to you… you’ll go to your lesson and they’ll be like what do you want to do today? At the time I said, oh do this song or that song, but with Tom you start to realize that you know, there’s more to it… the goals and you know he’s sort of more in contact with what you want to be able to do as a player, because he’s asking you the questions and then setting up the strategies, so I find that really good.
Yeah I can see more results in 18 months in a lot of areas in my playing than you know 20 years. So it’s sort of, you know, would’ve been great 20 years ago to have met Tom.
Simon Candy, Melbourne, Australia
"When I came to Tom for online guitar lessons, I already had a decent overall level of technique and understood the basics of music theory pretty well. I had taken lessons with other teachers before, and went through several guitar method books that promised to teach me how to become a great lead guitar player. I learned all the materials in these books and courses and picked up some useful tips and knowledge along the way. Yet for some reason I still wasn't feeling like a musician. I struggled very much with writing my own songs, creating my own solos and pushing my guitar technique and speed to a higher level (especially sweep picking, alternate picking, and playing clean at high speeds).
When I started learning from Tom, the main thing that made him different from other teachers was that he was showing me how to excel in all aspects of my guitar playing by applying the skills that I already knew together with the new material that I was learning from him.
He made me aware of both strengths and weaknesses in my playing that I did not even know I had. From there he gave me the knowledge, tools and guidance to literally transform my guitar playing by enabling me to overcome things that were preventing me from becoming a truly creative and self-expressive guitar player. These were the kinds of things that none of my previous guitar teachers and books I studied were able to do for me.
After Tom made me aware of all the things I was missing in my guitar playing and provided me with the strategy and tools for solving them, I began to make very fast progress in all areas of my guitar playing.
I can now write my own music and can create lead guitar solos that I am happy and fulfilled with. I also have the technical skills to confidently and easily play anything that I want to express. I have overcome all of the lead guitar challenges that I struggled with before, and increased my guitar speed to virtuoso levels. More importantly, I have the knowledge and understanding of how to continually improve my guitar playing and musical skills to higher and higher levels to continue expressing myself with my music. Overall, I have definitely transformed in a huge way as a musician and as a person through my lessons with Tom Hess. I am grateful to him for guiding me towards becoming the guitarist I always wanted to be!"
Mike Philippov, Indiana, USA
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