Question: Hi Tom Hess! I've got a small question about one specific guitar technique... Can you give me some tips on how to clean up my sweep picking? Thanks in advance!

Tom Hess's Answer: Isolate the rolling technique and practice it with each finger making sure that only one note is sounding at a time. Most sloppy playing from sweep picking is caused by 2 or more notes bleeding (sounding) together - this is especially true when one finger is used to play two or more adjacent notes in the arpeggio. This is why good rolling technique is critical to clean up your sweep picking on the guitar.

Use your thumb to mute the lower in pitch strings (those which you are not playing (read this article to learn about this muting technique to eliminate unwanted guitar string noise.

Lift each finger from the note it has played to mute that note instantly (don’t lift too far, only enough to mute the note). This will help to make sure that the notes sound separated.

Don’t use a raking motion with the pick, instead use a controlled but continuous upstroke or downstroke motion to play the arpeggios.

You also need to read my article on how to improve guitar technique.


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