3 Creative Sweep Picking Tips To Make Your Arpeggios Sound Better

by Tom Hess

Looking for creative sweep picking tips to make your arpeggios sound more interesting and impressive to anyone listening?

You're in the right place!


Most guitar players learn to sweep pick by practicing the same arpeggios over and over. This results in sweep picking that sounds very conventional and can quickly become boring when repeated too much.

Learning how to practice sweep picking creatively not only makes your arpeggios sound better…

…it makes your sweep picking stand out.

Use these creative sweep picking tips to play better, more unique arpeggios:

Creative Sweep Picking Tip #1: Practice Arpeggios & Scales Together

One of the best ways to become a better, more creative guitarist is to integrate your skills together. Many guitar players practice their skills in isolation from each other and miss out entirely on this opportunity.


They take much longer to become creative at sweep picking or any other technique (if they ever do).

While practicing sweep picking, don't exclusively play arpeggio patterns by themselves to a metronome like most people do. Instead, look for ways to integrate your arpeggios together with scales.

For example, by finding how a 3-string A minor 7 arpeggio fits together with the notes of an A minor natural scale. The more you practicing integrating these two things together, the more each skill sounds musical and natural (versus sounding like memorized patterns/licks when you solo).

Creative Sweep Picking Tip #2: Practice By Speeding Up And Slowing Down

Practicing sweep picking by gradually speeding up and slowing down helps you quickly identify the notes you struggle with.

It’s common from guitarists to make mistakes while playing specific notes in arpeggios that make the pattern sound sloppy or rushed. Practice gradually speeding up and slowing down to isolate problem notes. Then fix them by only playing them back forth with the note on the previous string. After fixing them in this manner, re-integrate them into the pattern again.

Guitar practice strategies


Creative Sweep Picking Tip #3: Don't Settle For Playing Conventional Arpeggio Patterns Only

Learning new sweep picking arpeggios is fun and makes your guitar playing sound more unique and interesting than if you just play the same conventional shapes everyone else uses.

Here are a few creative sweep picking tips to help you learn new shapes with ease:

Practice locating 3-string arpeggio shapes in root position, 1st inversion and 2nd inversion that begin on the E, A, D and G strings. (Examples of an A minor arpeggio: Root position = A C E, 1st inversion = C E A, 2nd inversion = E A C)

Turn any sweep picking arpeggio you know into a 7th arpeggio. For example: A minor 7 = A C E + G, D major 7 = D F# A + C#, etc.

Add any single note from the key of the arpeggio (or from outside of the key) to the shapes you already know and observe how they sound. For example: A C E + F# or A C E + B. Try playing these in any inversion as well.

Now you have some creative sweep picking tips to help you play arpeggios better. But this is just the beginning.

Learn more about how to play killer arpeggios by reading this article about fast sweep picking.

Tom HessAbout 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.

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