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Sweep Picking

Sometime referred to as Economy picking, this technique lines up notes in such a way so that they can be played with either a down stoke or up stroke of the pick. Particularly with arpeggios  you can achieve a great deal of speed with minimum  picking hand effort. However once the technique is mastered the issue becomes how to you use them in a musical way. Going up and down arpeggios at lightning speed will be cool for guitar players but leave most offer listeners bored fairly rapidly.

You can emulate the way saxophone players play arpeggios with this technique  and is also a great place to start learning how to make music with them . Players who use this technique extensively are: Frank Gambale, Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci.

Sweep Picking Free Online  Guitar Lessons

The example above is a chromatic pattern, keeping the same shape across all the strings allows you you focus on getting the picking technique correct and sounding fluid.

Pay close attention to the pick stokes, working with a metronome gradually build up the tempo. To achieve the higher speeds you will need to keep the strokes light and the motion smooth.

The next example builds on the technique but puts it in to a diatonic and hopefully more musical context. The idea essentially strings various 4 note arpeggios together to achieve a smooth seamless line.

Sweep Picking instructional video

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