Improve Your Sweep Picking Technique Using 3 Simple Tips

by Tom Hess

Want to sweep pick fast and clean like the pros?

Practicing the 3 simple tips below is going to get you one step closer.

Even better?

These tips help you practice sweep picking in fun and creative ways to improve fast:

Sweep Picking Tip #1: Train Rolling Technique Using Pedal Point

Pedal point generally means you continually return to a note, like this:

A – B – A – C – A – B – A – E etc.

Combining this concept with rolling technique helps you solidify your ability to articulate individual notes during your arpeggios (this is critical).

This video shows you how to practice rolling technique using pedal point:

Learn more ways to play arpeggios with rolling technique in this article about how to master sweep picking rolling.

Note: Make sure you practice rolling technique with every finger and not just your index or middle fingers.

Sweep Picking Tip #2: Sweep Pick At Different Speeds

It’s very easy to quickly identify what needs to be fixed in your sweep picking technique when you challenge yourself to play at speeds you don't normally play at.

You amplify the power of this approach by gradually speeding up and slowing down during an arpeggio pattern.


This instantly shows you which parts of the arpeggio you struggle with (because you're forced to slow down to play it).

After you find the notes you struggle with, isolate them and improve them separately from the rest of the arpeggio. Once they sound good, combine everything together again and re-evaluate.

Sweep Picking Tip #3: Seek Out Unique Arpeggio Patterns

Learning sweep picking patterns challenges you in ways that standard/common shapes don’t.

What is are unique arpeggio shapes to look for?

Here are just a few examples (among many others):

  • 7th chords
  • Quartal chords
  • Add 6 9 chords

Note: There are tons of other ways to improve your sweep picking technique.

Still want to learn more?

No problem!

Play arpeggios faster and cleaner than ever using the advice in this sweep picking rolling article.

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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