How To Play Sweep Picking Arpeggios Fast Using Cool & Easy Patterns
Want to shred through sweep picking arpeggios and make people's jaws drop?
This definitely feels amazing, and you might be surprised to find out just how easy it is...
Playing killer arpeggios is actually easier than it seems when you know which patterns to play.
You don't even need to learn complicated, 6-string patterns to make your arpeggios stand out. Instead, let me show you something that isn't hard to play, sounds awesome and takes you sweep picking skills to a new level.
Learn how to get better at sweep picking right now using the advice in this video:
Click on the video to begin watching it.
The video above is just the beginning when it comes to playing amazing arpeggios that demand attention.
Here are some more tips to help you make progress:
Sweep Picking Tip #1: Don't Rush It
Sometimes guitar players play arpeggios by rushing when they get to the highest notes (on the high E string).
This is a problem because it distorts the rhythm of the arpeggio.
To fix this problem, spend a few minutes warming up before your practice by playing arpeggios to the metronome at 1 note per click.
This will force you to make each note last the same amount of time and will help you to do the same at higher speeds.
Note: Make sure to apply this concept to any legato used in arpeggios you play. Each note should ring the same amount of time. Paying attention to these nuances during lead guitar practice is key for making tons of progress in little time.
Question: “Do I sweep pick more from the wrist or the forearm?”
Answer: Make the motion come more from the forearm in ONE big movement down or up.
This helps you avoid the common mistake of using individual pick strokes with the wrist for each note.
Why is this important?
When you sweep pick, your pick needs to follow through all the strings without stopping in between each one.
Think of the motion similar to strumming chords.
Make sure to watch your picking hand as you practice this so that you can develop excellent control.
Sweep Picking Tip #2: Practice With Distortion
This helps you spot any problems with string noise or notes bleeding together that may go unnoticed when playing quietly (or when playing unplugged).
Treat these mistakes like gold for your guitar playing improvement!
Sweep Picking Tip #3: Don't Forget To Use A Metronome
It’s common for guitarists to accidentally have some hesitations between notes, making some notes last longer than others.
If you have this issue, iron it out by doing this:
Slow down your playing in general so that you can have each note last the same amount of time and then gradually speed up the tempo at which you can play and still make the arpeggio sound in time.
Although sweep picking is not as hard as most think (as you saw in the video) - it can still be frustrating to learn this technique when you aren't 100% sure what to work on to improve your mistakes and get better.
For this reason, I encourage you to begin taking lessons with a guitar teacher.
This is critical for your progress, because an experienced teacher helps you see mistakes, bad habits or new perspectives about playing guitar that you would have never seen on your own.
When you are ready to begin dominating guitar, I am accepting new (serious) guitar students.
I have given lessons to tons of guitar players across the world and helped them achieve amazing results not just with sweep picking, but in all other areas of lead guitar.
Here is what my students have to say about taking guitar lessons:
“When I first heard about Tom Hess, I saw that he was a teacher that was very dedicated and serious about it, and that drew me in immediately. That this is a guy that has a plan, has a goal and really if you’re serious about learning guitar, this guy is equally as serious in a way. So it resonated with me straight away.”
I started out just learning by myself and as many others I got stuck. I had a few issues I wanted to get by, but when I met Tom and talked with him and started lessons with him, he opened up a whole new world of possibilities of what guitar playing can be.
I feel very grateful that I found lessons from Tom since I then did what worked from the very beginning. Many guitarists I see that played way longer than I did, they have build up many bad habits. That from the very start, there was clear instruction of how to practice correctly. You build the ability for high speed and whatever you want from the very beginning and you don’t waste time doing inefficient things. So I’m very grateful that I did that, and now I really feel I am able to reach whatever level I want.
The reasons why I think I feel so motivated all the time is because I know that the thing I’m working on is relevant for me and it’s exactly the direct thing I need to get.
The forum just kicks ass. The people in the forum - it’s just like unconditional help all the time. They love to help out, and you also get very inspired by seeing someone just really getting speed really quick and then you say if he can do it, I can do it. It works on the mental side of being a guitarist and that of course that’s the most important thing. Just being around other musicians like that, is just you learn so much faster, is so much less frustration when you can see that all the people are having the same issues that you do, not anything special or anything. It’s just part of learning process, so it kicks ass.
Magnus Gautestad, Norway
“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
"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
Sweep Picking Tip #4: Don't Cut-Off Notes By Accident
Many gutar players cut-off notes in their picking hand while sweep picking.
This generally occurs when you try to prevent notes from sounding together. Unfortunately, another issue is created by cutting off the notes too soon.
Fix this on muting strings at the specific moment when the next played note sounds (be very precise with your timing).
Sweep Picking Tip #5: Make Your Arpeggios Perfectly Efficient
As I discussed in the video, you must keep your picking hand momentum going without stopping in order to play smooth arpeggios. If you kill the moment, your sweep picking becomes sloppy.
Here is a quick way to maintain momentum and play cleaner arpeggios:
At the moment when you performa pull off on the highest string of any given arpeggio (or somewhere within it if the middle strings contain more than one note), your pick should not stop in the trenches between the strings.
Make sure the pick moves completely to where it is pressing against the next string and waiting for you to fret the next note in the pattern.
That said, there is so much more to learn in this area of guitar playing...
I don't want to overwhelm you with too much information all in one day.
Want to learn mroe about sweep picking and how to play killer lead guitar solos? Let me teach you all about playing creatively on guitar. Sign-up for online electric guitar lessons.