Arpeggio Guitar Lesson- How To Use Arpeggios To Create Melodic Guitar Solos
By Tom Hess
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Is it possible to make fast arpeggios sound melodic?
Or do you always have to choose between playing fast or playing with melody?
When I first learned to sweep pick through arpeggios, all I wanted to do was shred as fast as possible.
I built lots of speed…
...and quickly got bored.
My solos lacked real emotion and didn’t impress anyone except other guitar players.
Eventually I found a teacher who taught me to combine fast sweep picking with melody.
This helped me to start feeling like a musician – not just a guitar player.
I’ve since taught hundreds of my own students to combine fast arpeggio playing with melody too.
Watch this video & I’ll show you in detail:
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Guitar Solo Tip #1. Create Arpeggio Variations
It’s easy to turn any arpeggio into dozens of cool licks. (These licks sound good even if you can’t play fast yet.)
- Play arpeggios descending only (or ascending only).
- Extend & harmonize arpeggios using inversions. Start the arpeggio on the root, 3rd or 5th (or 7th). This is a great way to play fast & clean arpeggio licks.
- Play the same arpeggio on 2 strings, 3 strings, 4 strings, 5 strings and 6 strings).Watch this video to see & hear how cool these ideas sound:
Guitar Solo Tip #2: Use Silence
Sometimes, the best thing to do is to stop playing in the middle of a fast arpeggio. Unexpected silence builds massive tension & creates a lot of excitement.
When you start playing after the silence – slide aggressively into the first note. This makes note grabs your listeners by the throat.
Watch this video & see what I mean:
Guitar Solo Tip #3: Combine Arpeggios With Tremolo Picking
What’s tremolo picking? It simply means to pick one note really fast.
When you combine tremolo picking with sweep picking – the result is: aggressive sounding guitar licks and solos.
Watch this video & see how cool it sounds:
Guitar Solo Tip #4: Use More & Better Vibrato
What’s the easiest way to ruin any fast sweep picking guitar lick? End it on a note that sounds nervous & out of control from sloppy vibrato.
Bad news is: if you’ve never had someone show you the right way to practice vibrato – your vibrato could probably use work.
Good news is: if you have 10 minutes a day, you can improve your vibrato very quickly.
Here is how:
Extra tip: make sure to mute the lower (in pitch) strings of your guitar during vibrato. Rest your picking hand’s thumb on the lower strings to keep them quiet.
Now you know how to play creative arpeggio licks. The next step is to make your sweep picking faster & cleaner, so you can use this technique to its full potential. Download this free sweep picking eGuide and discover the secrets to sweeping fast & clean like your favorite guitar players.
About Tom Hess: Tom Hess is a guitar teacher, music career mentor and guitar teacher trainer. He teaches rock guitar lessons online to students from all over the world and conducts instructional live guitar training events attended by musicians from over 50 countries.Want to become a better guitar player? Check out these rock & metal guitar lessons online.