3 Tip For How To Play Sweep Picking Arpeggios Fast & Clean

by Tom Hess


Having a difficult time playing sweep picking arpeggios as clean as you want?

It’s easier to find and fix mistakes that hold you back by using several practice approaches.

Learning 3 sweep picking practice tips to help you play faster and cleaner by quickly correcting mistakes in your technique.

Read about these tips and apply what you learn into your guitar practice:


Sweep Picking Practice Tip #1: Articulate The Notes Clearly

Picking with a weak pick attack is one of the common ways people make their sweep picking arpeggios sound sloppy because notes don't sound clearly from one another.

Picking with more power achieves multiple things:

  • You play each note with better articulation
     
  • You are forced to play with better two-hand synchronization
     
  • You spot your mistakes easily and are able to quickly correct them

Having perfect synchronization makes playing sweep picking arpeggios fast and clean feel like a breeze. Using this approach to identify where your sweep picking starts to fall apart helps you spend less time frustrated and more time making progress.


Sweep Picking Practice Tip #2: Focus On Training Your Picking Technique

Playing your usual sweep picking licks and patterns at faster than usual speeds has a benefit on your guitar playing.

In what way?

Doing this makes playing the original (slower) sweep picking lick feel easy by comparison.

Practicing with this in mind during your sweep picking is an excellent way to make your picking technique much tighter.

How do you practice this idea with sweep picking?

Try these 3 approaches:

  1. Use tremolo picking to isolate tough notes within a pattern.
     
  2. Alternate pick sweep picking arpeggios at a slower than normal speed.
     
  3. Set your metronome to play at 25 beats per minute faster than you usually would for several minutes, then play it at the normal speed.

    Don't feel too frustrated by any mistakes you make. Use these ideas to identify inconsistencies in your playing as you build faster & cleaner speed over time.


Sweep Picking Practice Tip #3: Don't Overwhelm Yourself

Overwhelming yourself with tons of new sweep picking exercises won’t make you better with the technique. Guitarists commonly do this in order to try to play exotic or difficult patterns ASAP. However, they end up bogged down and frustrated when they make slow progress.

Try this instead:

Break down difficult or large sweep picking arpeggio patterns into groups of either a few notes at a time or two strings at a time.

Then play through these few notes by sweeping at your max speed and adding a pause after each repetition. This pause gives you time to process how you are playing the notes and make any corrections you need to make.

Use all three tips from this article to quickly take your sweep picking technique to a high level.

Learn more ways to easily play killer arpeggios by watching this sweep picking tutorial video.


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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