If you’re ready to learn about sweep picking for beginners, you’re probably mesmerized by the jaw-dropping wizardry exhibited by today’s metal guitar heroes. You should be impressed, since it’s true virtuosity powered by double-stack Marshalls! Don’t kid yourself, learning how to sweep pick will be a challenge, but it’s well within your grasp. The concept is relatively simple, yet mastering sweep picking technique requires diligent, regimented practice. The good news is that your guitar heroes were beginners, too. If they can do it, you can do it!
Sweep picking patterns are most often arpeggios, which means the notes of a chord or pattern are played successively rather than simultaneously. In Italian, arpeggio means “harp-like,” so think about that for a minute. If you swept your pick slowly back and forth along the harp’s strings, what would it sound like? Pretty good, huh? Now, do it really, really fast. That’s sweep picking!
Learning the sweep picking technique allows you replicate the harp sound on the guitar. Unlike playing arpeggios on the harp, however, you don’t want any notes to ring through. So, sweep picking for beginners requires knowing how to mute strings as well as being able to effectively execute hammer-ons and pull-offs. Additionally, since the sweep picking patterns are arpeggios, you need to know how chords are built and where the chord tones are located on the fretboard.
The goal of the sweep picking technique is to perfectly coordinate the fretting hand with the smooth, gliding up and down strokes of a medium fast strum. The notes should not ring through, so you must lift your finger immediately after sounding the note and mute the string while being in position for the next note. It shouldn’t sound like a strum, nor should it sound like a fast picked lick. Remember, sweep picking arpeggios should sound “harp-like.” If successive notes are in the same fret, you’ll learn to roll your finger to achieve the effect. If successive notes are on the same string, you’ll learn to hammer or pull off in time with the pick stroke.
Since sweep picking patterns are derived from standard chord shapes or scale patterns, it’s important to associate the full shapes with abbreviated formations. Remember that chords are built in intervals of thirds. They contain the first, third, fifth, seventh, ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth degrees of the major scale, depending on the chord’s complexity. Of course, altering the third, fifth, or seventh scale tones determines the chord type – major, minor, dominant, diminished, or augmented. When sweep picking arpeggios, chord tones are the target notes.
Because this sweep picking for beginners lesson turned out to be a lot longer than I thought it would be, I decided to create another lesson for sweep picking exercises for beginners. Please read the rest of this lesson clicking the link: sweep picking exercises for beginners