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Free Lesson

Sweep Picking Basics

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Learn to sweep pick in a few simple steps!

This free lesson by Dan Mumm includes tab and Guitar Pro files for the exercises.

What’s the difference between a sweep arpeggio and a standard strummed chord?
Really think about this for a moment. Both use strumming techniques and both are used to play chords. The main difference is that one is an arpeggio, the notes of the chord played in a linear sequence or melody, and one is a chord, the notes of the chord being played simultaneously or in harmony.

So the key to executing an excellent sweep pattern is to get it so that only one note rings out at a time.  As you ‘strum’ or ‘sweep’ down the strings with the picking hand, you remove each finger from the string after it’s been played. You don’t have to remove it by much; in fact it’s better to simply release pressure on it than to remove it completely.  This assists in muting the unplayed strings which, in turn, helps to get that clear linear ‘melody’ to appear and also helps with the overall speed of the pattern. When sweeping downward, you can use the edge of your picking hand’s palm to mute the lower strings that have already been played or aren’t being used in the pattern.

For more information on Sweep Picking please check out my full article based on this subject: Sweep Picking Made Easy

Dan Mumm

This Free Lesson is Part of Our Sweep Picking Mechanics Course

Sweep Pick Mechanics is a comprehensive guide to sweep picking. It covers basic to advanced techniques taught on an interactive DVD and digital download. Players who are new to sweep arpeggios will achieve perfect technique with each note sounding clear and audible at even lightning fast speeds.

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