Sweep Picking Tips To Help You Get Better At Playing Guitar Arpeggios In No Time

by Tom Hess

Ready to play sweep picking licks better, faster and cleaner than ever before?

You're about to learn sweep picking tips that help you quickly find these mistakes to improve your sweep picking in no time!

Apply the following sweep picking tips into your practice right away to make fast progress:

Sweep Picking Tip #1: Make The ENTIRE Arpeggio Clean

Listen to the lowest and the highest note of each arpeggio you play (as you play it) and focus on lining up those 2 notes with the click always.

When you do this, the other notes will be in time as well.

The point is that you must split your awareness in 2 while playing.

Part of your mind needs to focus on directing your hands to play the notes correctly but the other part must focus on listening to how well your playing syncs up with the actual beat of the music you are playing along to.

Focus on developing this awareness so you can apply it to playing along with a song or with a drummer.

This is just as important for lead guitar playing as it is for rhythm playing.

Sweep Picking Tip #2: Use Rhythmic Variety With Arpeggios

When practicing arpeggios, don’t have the metronome clicking in 16th notes/one click per note - play to a quarter note click.

This means that when playing in 16th notes you should have 4 notes played per 1 click. When playing an arpeggio in triplets you would play either 3 or 6 notes per click (depending if you are playing 8th note triplets or 16th note triplets).

The point is to not play one note per click all the time.

Playing more than one note per click will help you to build mental independence from the metronome while still being able to tell when you are playing in time.

As you improve your listening, you will start to hear the specific mistakes you make at faster speeds with everything you play and you know exactly how to fix them.

Sweep Picking Tip #3: Hold The Pick For Maximum Efficiency & Speed

Angle the pick towards the neck of the guitar when playing scales and scale sequences (as opposed to keeping it parallel to the string).

This helps minimize the pick bouncing up and away from the strings in between notes and will make the motion more economical. All of this will make your playing easier and faster.

Sweep Picking Practice Tip #4: Pick Faster Than You Need To

Playing a sweep picking lick at a faster speed than normal can have major benefits for your playing (even if you make mistakes).

This makes the original pattern feel easier since it is at a slower speed. When you go back to play it, it becomes a lot less difficult to identify the correct movements you need to make in your fingers to get it right.

Sweep Picking Practice Tip #5: Pick With Power

Picking without power in your pick attack allows your mistakes to go under the radar.

Picking with a lot of power forces you to play with perfect sync in both hands to get everything as clean as it needs to be. It also shows where your arpeggios tend to fall apart.

This is good.


Having perfect synchronization is essential for playing arpeggios fast and clean. Knowing where your guitar technique breaks down helps you practice the right things to improve in less time.

Still want to learn more ways to master sweep picking technique and play killer arpeggios?

Start with just 2 strings.

Learn how to make your arpeggios sound better than ever by reading this article about how to play 2-string sweep picking arpeggios.

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.

Learn how to reach your lead guitar goals fully by taking electric guitar lessons online.

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