How To Clean Up Sweep Picking Arpeggios Using Multiple Practice Approaches
by Tom Hess
Looking for ways to clean up your sweep picking arpeggios?
Don't rely on just the conventional approach of playing slowly with a metronome and building up speed over time. This approach can bring some results, but generally is limited when you compare it to the results you can get using multiple practice approaches.
Your sweep picking gets cleaner and faster in no time when you use many effective practice strategies. Plus, this makes improving your arpeggios much less frustrating so you can have fun while you practice.
What are some of these practice approaches?
I’ll tell you.
Clean up your sweep picking arpeggios in no time using the approaches below:
How To Clean Up Sweep Picking Arpeggios – Approach #1: Pick With Power
One of the most underrated causes of sloppy guitar playing is using a weak pick attack to play notes.
This not only produces lower quality notes that are less clear, but also makes it more difficult to play with perfect timing.
When you use strong power to sweep pick (or play anything in general), you:
- Play better quality notes that sound more clearly
- Force yourself to play with better two hand synchronization
- Find and fix your mistakes more easily
Note: Cleaning up sweep picking arpeggios requires getting both hands in sync together. Having perfect two hand synchronization is fundamental to clean guitar speed.
This is why it is critical to pick with power. This improves your overall picking technique as well so you get benefit in multiple areas from a single approach.
How To Clean Up Sweep Picking Arpeggios – Approach #2: Think 2 Strings At A Time
Rather than trying to play through an entire 6 string pattern (or any other large/complex sweep picking arpeggio), make things easier on yourself.
Break the pattern down into 2 note segments and master these segments individually. You can combine them together or play the entire pattern later.
This helps you more easily process what your hands are doing so you can fix your mistakes to clean up your sweep picking arpeggios faster.
How To Clean Up Sweep Picking Arpeggios – Approach #3: Use A Different Perspective
Don't restrict your sweep picking to just a single practice method. For example: Playing the notes of the arpeggio to a metronome and slowing increasing speed over time.
Using multiple practice methods to attack an arpeggio from different angles helps you:
- More easily isolate problems
- Fix problems faster
- Develop clean sweep picking technique that is cleaner than that of most other guitarists
Here is one practice method to try out right now:
Isolate each individual note of the sweep picking arpeggio by speed picking that note and picking the others as you normally would.
If you are playing a 3-string root position A minor arpeggio that starts on fret 14 of the G string, sweep pick like normal but speed (tremolo) pick the last note in the pattern.
Speed pick for a couple of seconds on this note before continuing back to the first note.
Then apply speed picking to the second to last note and repeat this process for every note in the pattern. Then speed pick on two notes of the pattern.
Mix up which notes you apply speed picking to.
This helps you to mentally process normal sweep picking more easily because it requires less overall picking motion than when you use speed picking. This is a great way to break out of your usual habits, see the arpeggio from a different perspective and improve.
Still looking for more tips to help you clean up your sweep picking?
No problem.Get more advice and play fast, clean arpeggios using this sweep picking beginners guide.
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.Learn even more powerful ways to become a better lead guitarist by taking online electric guitar classes.