How to Sweep Pick Like a Pros
I’ve just begun a series of short compositions for the solo electric guitar. I just released the second one today – “Micro Caprice no. 2 in C# minor.” This one focuses heavily on sweep picking and is a great example of what you can do with sweep picking beyond the standard patterns and uses. I highly recommend checking out that video before you continue.
If you’re looking to become a better Metal Guitarist, you’ve either already started pursuing sweep picking or you’ve at least thought about it. Like many, you may think that it seems too difficult or nearly impossible to perform as well as some of your favorite guitarists. The truth is, if you know how to approach it properly, it’s easier to master sweep picking than you think.
The Sweep Picking Combo Pack is on sale for one week only from $69.95 down to $49.95. Sale ends next Wednesday.
There are a lot of myths out there about talent. It’s easy to believe them when you see someone expertly blasting through sweep arpeggios with each note being perfectly clear and articulate. In reality, talent has NOTHING to do with sweep picking. It’s all about knowing how to practice the technique correctly and putting the proper amount of time in.
If that seems like a controversial idea to you, take some time to read about some of the studies that have been done on the subject. Technical skill is not really a characteristic of natural talent. It’s simply a reflection of the time that has been put into practicing something and the quality of that practice. The studies are clear on that point. If there is such a thing as talent, it’s pretty much limited to musical sensibility, comprehension and expression – absolutely NOT technical skill.
Another factor that’s important is to have access to the right sweep picking exercises and patterns. If you approach practicing sweep picking correctly, with the right patterns at your fingertips, you will be able to push forward at the right times while continuously expanding your “arsenal.” Over time, this will lead to you having an intuitive understanding of how sweep arpeggios work, which is critical if you wish to write your own solos, use sweep patterns while improvising or do your own innovations.
I’ve always been fascinated with sweep picking. Ever since I first heard it, it struck me just how much more could be done on the guitar with that single technique. It opens up the possibility of playing music written for the piano or harp in the same way the violin’s analogous bowing technique does. It vastly increases the potential for dynamic effect in solos, improvisation and compositions for the guitar. It became something of an obsession for me for a long time.
As a result of spending over 20 years studying, teaching, experimenting, utilizing and adapting sweep technique, I made a rather large number of distinctions. These came in the form of optimal learning and practice methods, methods of rapidly memorizing patterns, building an intuitive knowledge of how sweep patterns work and methods of attaining absolute perfect precision and articulation at extreme speeds.
By understanding these methods, it makes it easy to find, expand on, or change any pattern as it’s needed. It supercharges the ability to visualize the fretboard – how notes and scales are positione, in an entirely new way. This is something that allows for an unbelievable degree of mastery in improvisation for just about any style imiaginable.
Coming to these conclusions, and seeing how well a lot of it worked with students back when I taught private lessons, I decided to put together a comprehensive study for other guitarists to learn from. This started with the making of The Sweep Picking Compendium, which contains a total of 455 sweep arpeggio patterns. However, it soon became clear that most of the information contained in the compendium was too obscure on its own for players to learn what I wanted them to learn. Instead of making all of the distinctions, they were simply learning the patterns. That’s when I decided to make the Compendium’s video lesson counterpart Sweep Picking Mastery.
With Sweep Picking Mastery, a guitarist can learn all of the correct practice methods that are so critical to breaking through the common frustrations associated with learning sweep picking. With these methods, a player will achieve absolute precision and clear articulation with their sweep picking. The patterns in Sweep Picking Mastery go from basic all the way up to advanced 6-string multi-tapped sweep arpeggios. Every step of the Mastery course is mirrored by the sections of the Sweep Picking Compendium. When the two products are combined, the player will have everything they could ever need to go from beginner to absolute master level.
From there I combined the two products together, with some extras, to create The Sweep Picking Combo Pack which we’ve put on sale for one week only from $69.95 down to $49.95!
Sale ends October 15, 2019
If you haven’t had a chance to look into these products yet, I highly recommend taking a moment to do so now.
Don’t be discouraged by the apparent difficulty of sweep picking. If you are willing to follow my methods to the letter, you will be amazed at how quickly you begin to get the technique down. If you continue do so consistently across time, you will see exponential growth in your progress.
From the starting position, the road can seem overwhelming; however, all you need to do to get to the end is know where you’re headed and take one step at a time.
Dan Mumm is a Metal Method instructor and shred master. Check out Dan’s lessons here