How To Play Cool & Creative Guitar Arpeggios Using Slides
Want to make your lead guitar arpeggios sound creative and expressive?
Stop playing the same sweep picking shapes up and down continuously like most guitar players do.
Start combining guitar arpeggios with other techniques you can play to make your playing sound truly creative and expressive.
This is actually very easy to do...
...and it's super fun!
Watch this video to learn how to creatively combine guitar arpeggios with slides:
Click on the video to begin watching it.
The video above is just the beginning when it comes to playing creative guitar arpeggios that sound musically expressive.
Here are some additional tips to help you improve your guitar arpeggios and sweep picking technique:
Sweep Picking Guitar Arpeggios Tip #1: Maintain Consistent Note Rhythm
Don't fall into the common trap of rushing through your arpeggios so that only the high and low E strings sound clearly and the middle notes sound like a blur.
This makes your arpeggios sound sloppy, where the notes sound like an unclear mess.
To correct this issue, take the time to slowly play through your arpeggio patterns at a slower tempo, one note per click.
This helps you to mentally process the notes better rhythmically, so each note has the same rhtyhmic value in your mind. Then begin practicing as you normally would while keeping this in mind.
This concept is especially helpful when adding slides to your guitar arpeggios. Without a clear understanding of the rhythms being played, the slides and notes around them can often become blurred together. Each note should ring out for the same amount of time.
By simply paying attention to this during practice, you make much faster progress to clean up your guitar arpeggios.
Sweep Picking Guitar Arpeggios Tip #2: Articulate Every Note
Don't make the common mistake of accidentally cutting off notes with your picking hand while sweep picking.
This happens a lot when you try to orevent notes from ringing out together. However, this creates a separate issue by cutting off the notes too quickly.
Correct this by muting the previous string at the precise moment that the next one is sounding (pay attention and be very precise with how you time this).
Sweep Picking Guitar Arpeggios Tip #3: Use Efficient Picking Movement
Here is a solid approach to help you keep up picking hand momentum to play guitar arpeggios cleanly:
When you use a pull off on the highest string of a sweep picking pattern, press the pick against the next string to ensure that it is waiting for you when you go to fret the next note in the pattern. This prepares the movement in advance to keep things flowing smoothly.
Question: “Where should the sweeping movement come from in my picking hand?”
Answer: The sweeping motion should be one big motion that is generated from your forearm.
This is important as it helps you avoid breaking up sweeping momentum to play strings with individual pick strokes.
Remember: When you sweep pick, your pick should never stop in between strings.
This is similar to the picking motion you use while strumming chords.
Tip: Improve your ability to maintain momentum by actively watching your picking hand as you play.
Sweep Picking Guitar Arpeggios Tip #4: Listen To Your Mistakes Using Distortion
Playing guitar arpeggios with distortion is helpful because it brings any sloppy mistakes to your attention (as long as you are listening for them).
Treat these mistakes as a guide for what you need to do next to improve your sweep picking.
Sweep Picking Guitar Arpeggios Tip #5: Utilize A Metronome
Without practicing with a metronome, it is harder to see inconsistencies in your timing while playing guitar arpeggios.
As mentioned earlier, slow down to a slower tempo so that you can identify each note clearly and play them in perfectly even rhythm. Then speed up little by little, focusing on keeping everything tightly in time.
This is how you spot where things break down, so you can fix your guitar arpeggios.
Guitar arpeggios are actually fairly easy to execute cleanly but it can still be challenging to sweep pick when you aren't sure where mistakes are coming from or that you are even making them to begin with.
This is why I encourage you to take guitar lessons with an experienced teacher.
This is the fastest way for you to make progress.
An experienced guitar teacher knows how to help you idenitfy your mistakes and poor playing habits while giving you perspectives you may have never considered befored.
When you are ready to begin playing faster and cleaner guitar arpeggios than ever before, begin lessons with me and get big results just like my guitar students:
“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
There are many more ways to develop fast and clean guitar arpeggios than what I've mentioned here. This is just the tip of the iceberg!
Ready to learn more and improve your overall lead guitar playing? Let me show you more ways to play fast, clean and expressively with your guitar arpeggios. Get started with online electric guitar lessons.