Simple Ways To Improve Your Sweep Picking And Make Arpeggios Easier To Play
To play smooth, flowing and clean sweep picking arpeggios, you must avoid many common mistakes that cause guitar players to become sloppy. One of these mistakes is playing easier parts of a sweep picking lick (such as the notes that use downstrokes) faster than more difficult parts (such as notes that require pull offs or upstrokes). Once you can correct this fundamental error, your sweep picking technique will be much more efficient, and you will be able to play faster and more clean.
Watch the video below and find out how to sweep pick more effectively by solving this common problem:
Click on the video to begin watching it.
See my other guitar playing videos, available to my YouTube subscribers - follow my channel by clicking the button below:
Clean up all areas of your lead guitar playing and play memorable solos whenever you feel like it by taking online guitar classes.
Here are a few more ways to clean up your arpeggios and your sweep picking:
Sweep Pick Tip #1: Master Finger Rolling
If you want to sweep pick fast & clean, you’d better put in some time into mastering finger rolling guitar arpeggios.
How are finger rolling guitar arpeggios played?
It’s done by playing more than one note on the same fret on several strings…
… with the same finger.
Finger rolling guitar arpeggios come in many shapes that you play on guitar (and in some scale sequences too).
The hardest part about playing finger rolling guitar arpeggios is separating the notes and not letting them bleed together.
Many guitarists (even those who play scales at eye-popping speeds) struggle with this technique and avoid it as much as they can.
But finger rolling is quite simple when you break it down.
Here is how to do it:
Fret the first note of the finger roll as you would play any regular note on guitar.
Fret the second note of the finger roll by collapsing the finger knuckle (bend it backwards so it looks like a banana).
Then (if you are doing a 3-string finger roll), rock the wrist backwards.
If you need to reverse the arpeggio, simply do the motions backwards.
And that’s all there is to it.
Sweep Picking Tip #2: Combine Sweep Picking Arpeggios With Tremolo Picking
This is one of my favorite ways to not only clean up sloppy guitar arpeggios… but also play ripping fast licks you can use in your guitar solos or simply impress others with.
The concept is simple: you stop on a random note of any arpeggio using tremolo picking.
If the note you stopped on sounds clean – it means your hands are in sync and the arpeggio is sounding GOOD.
And if it doesn't?
Then you know exactly what to focus on as you practice the arpeggio.
Now that you know how to make your sweep picking faster and cleaner…
…the next step is to transform the rest of your musical skills (other guitar techniques, music theory knowledge, ear training, phrasing and creativity), so you become the guitar player you always wished you could be.
I can help you with this in Breakthrough Guitar Lessons.
Here is how it works:
First, you fill out an in-depth evaluation from, I ask you a ton of questions about your musical skills, knowledge, strengths, weaknesses, frustrations, background and guitar playing goals.
After you finish it and activate your account, I go to work on making you a better guitar player.
Here is how:
I go through your evaluation from in detail (I usually read it at least twice). Then I create a lesson strategy to get your playing from where it is today to where you want it to be.
It’s all based on everything you told me about yourself in your evaluation form.
(This is the part that takes me 2-3 hours to do for you. Please be patient. I don't want to rush through this step, because it’s going to play a huge role in you becoming a better guitar player quickly.)
When your 1st lesson is ready, I upload it into your student account and send you an email telling you that it’s ready.
You log in to access it and begin to practice.
As you practice your lessons, I'm here for you every step of the way.
- You can talk to me live on video during Newbie hours. (You’ll get access to this as a new student.) These are special bonus sessions I do with my new guitar students. It’s where I get to know you and help you get started with your first lesson.
- You can ask me questions about your guitar playing (or anything else you want) during weekly Office Hours.
- You get unlimited email support from me directly. If you have questions – email me anytime, day or night. I answer your questions in detail and you always get a reply from me directly.
- You can send me recordings of your playing for feedback. In my feedback, I help you diagnose and remove bad habits from your playing and erase all obstacles slowing down your progress.
- You can join our exclusive community on my students’ forum. There you can get support from my top guitar students – many of whom are now professional guitar teachers themselves. (I’ve coached them on how to teach guitar in the Elite Guitar Teachers Inner Circle.)
- All you have to do is practice what I tell you to do at least 30 minutes per day 5 times per week.
If you can practice more – that’s great. But if you practice the lessons I give you just 30 minutes per day, it becomes almost impossible for you not to improve.
Check out the results my guitar students are achieving:
"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
“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
“Before the online guitar lessons, I had a lot of trouble with phrasing. I couldn’t make good note choices, I was always fishing for the next note. I was trying to think of ways that I could play, but it didn’t sound good. I didn’t know how to write songs, it was absolutely terrible, everything sounded the same. I couldn’t really… I didn’t feel confident with my playing. I definitely couldn’t build speed for anything, I was really sloppy and I was dissonant… and it was really painful to play.”
I chose Tom Hess because when I read his articles they blew my mind away. I got so much out of that, that I didn’t get anywhere else.
The main reason I like taking lessons with Tom online is because, number one: yes it was the personalized lessons strategy… I read everything about it, and it was so compelling, just like that he really takes everything that I can or can’t do into account, and then he’ll take what I want to be able to do and then basically map out every step of the way until I get there. And that was just really powerful, and that I’d be able to get feedback every 6 weeks, and the fact that we’ve got the forum. We’ve got instant help and they all really know what they’re talking about… they’re not just like anybody… they… I mean some of them are virtuoso guitar players... I mean, they know their stuff and then of course the mindset of this whole environment. The friends I’ve made here just… I can’t really put into words.
I didn’t have a budget when I started. I had a good enough job that I could take lessons for however long I wanted, so that wasn’t a problem, but I feel like I’ve gotten 100 times what I paid you know.
Matteo Miller, San Diego, California, USA
Want to get the same results in your guitar playing too? Click the "Start now" button below to learn more.