3 Guitar Playing Skills That Help You Create Killer Arpeggio Licks

by Tom Hess

Want to learn to play awesome arpeggio licks on guitar? Master these 3 elements of guitar playing creativity:

Fretboard Visualization

You must visualize any arpeggio all over the guitar, on any set of strings. This gives you many new options for creating awesome arpeggio licks.

Do this to improve your fretboard visualization:

  1. Play every arpeggio you know on 2 strings, 3 strings, 4 strings, 5 strings, 6 strings (and 7 strings, if you have a 7-string guitar).
  2. Learn the inversions of every arpeggio you know. Find at least 12 ways to play each arpeggio: on the high frets, middle frets and low frets. This helps you seamlessly connect arpeggios all over the guitar.

This video shows how mastering fretboard visualization helps you play creative sweep picking licks:

Music Theory

Understanding music theory behind triads, 7th chords and extended chords helps you turn simple arpeggios into awesome guitar licks.

Knowing how chords fit into keys helps you apply arpeggios in your guitar solos. This also helps you integrate sweep picking with other guitar techniques in creative ways.

This video helps you understand music theory on a deeper level:

Guitar Technique

These guitar technique elements make your sweep picking faster and cleaner:

  • Proper sweep picking motion. The picking hand plays any arpeggio using only 2 movements: one motion down and one motion up. Do not stop the pick between strings.
  • 2-hand synchronization. Both hands must play notes at the same time. This helps your fast guitar playing to sound articulate and clean.
  • String noise control. You must mute noise from the guitar strings you are not playing. Use your picking hand’s thumb and the fingers that aren’t holding the pick to achieve this.
  • Fretting hand finger rolling. This technique allows you to play notes on the same fret on different strings cleanly and fast. Practice this technique in isolation first, before integrating it into context.

This video helps you master sweep picking fundamentals:

This sweep picking article shows you 8 ways to make arpeggios sound cool.

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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