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Sweep Picking

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Techniques








Sweep picking is a fairly advanced technique where you 'sweep' your pick through the strings instead of alternate picking them. It's used commonly by shredders. The motion is a lot like strumming, only slower. And another difference is every note needs to sound separately. So before playing the next note raise the finger from the previous.



It is often used to play super-fast arpeggios like this:

   E minor
e|---------3h7-|p3--------------------------------
B|-------5-----|---5------------------------------
G|-----4-------|-----4----------------------------
D|---5---------|-------5--------------------------
A|-7-----------|---------7------------------------
E|-------------|----------------------------------
   D D D D D       U U U U

U is up, D is Down. You want all the notes to be individual and not ring together like a chord. Fret each note when you play that string and immediately release it and fret the next note.

Here are some other arpeggios



E|-----5-3---------1-0------
B|---6-----5-----3-----1----
G|-7---------5-3---------0--
D|--------------------------
A|--------------------------
E|--------------------------
   D D D U U U D D D U U U

E|--------------12h15p12-------------------
B|------------12--------12-----------------
G|----------12------------12---------------
D|--------14----------------14-------------
A|------14---------------------------------
E|-12h15-----------------------------------
   D    D D D D D       U U U

E|---------12h15p12------------------------
B|-------13--------13----------------------
G|-----12------------12--------------------
D|---14----------------14------------------
A|-15--------------------15----------------
E|-----------------------------------------
   D D D D D        U U U U


E|------------12h17p12------------
B|----------13--------13---------
G|--------14------------14--------
D|------14----------------14-------
A|-12h15----------------------------
E|-------------------------------
   D    D D D D       U U U

Use the guidelines in the building speed page to get this fast.

Basic exercises

3 string exercises

4 string exercises

Arpeggios

This is technique is most often used for playing arpeggios, so it makes sense to practice arpeggios with it.

 
  
      r m i   p i  m r  This is a simple A minor arpeggio good for 
    e-----12-17p12----  people who are new to sweeping. The letters
    b---13--------13--  above the notes are the fingers used. Below
    g-14------------14  are the type of stroke for each note. Fret
    d-----------------  one note a time as to not let any note ring
    a-----------------  out. D=down stroke U=up stroke
    e-----------------     
      d d d  u    u d
  
  
  
  E|-----5-3---------1-0------
  B|---6-----5-----3-----1----
  G|-7---------5-3---------0--
  D|--------------------------
  A|--------------------------
  E|--------------------------
     D D D U U U D D D U U U
  
  
     E minor
  E|--------------12h15p12-------------------
  B|------------12--------12-----------------
  G|----------12------------12---------------
  D|--------14----------------14-------------
  A|------14---------------------------------
  E|-12h15-----------------------------------
     D    D D D D D       U U U
  
  
     C major
  E|---------12h15p12------------------------
  B|-------13--------13----------------------
  G|-----12------------12--------------------
  D|---14----------------14------------------
  A|-15--------------------15----------------
  E|-----------------------------------------
     D D D D D        U U U U
  
  
     A minor
  E|------------12h17p12------------
  B|----------13--------13---------
  G|--------14------------14--------
  D|------14----------------14-------
  A|-12h15----------------------------
  E|-------------------------------
     D    D D D D       U U U
  

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