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Intro to Sweep Picking - Intro & Explanation

Travis Montgomery 32 lessons


This tutorial is on the basics of sweep picking. We’ll be going over my view of sweeping, my technique, and a few 3 and 5 string arpeggio shapes to get you started. 


Check out artists like Frank Gambale, Nevermore/Jeff Loomis, Cacophony/Jason Becker to get examples of sweeping. All of them have great sweeping passages that work very well as exercises.



Sweeping is primarily used to take chords and triads, and break them up into arpeggios.  With sweep picking you can break the chords up into individual notes and make lots of cool arpeggio passages. 


This technique requires muting with both your left and right hand. Your left hand will come into play when you descend an arpeggio. You will use your fingers to mute strings as you lift them off of the fret board. As you move down the strings use the pads of your fingers to lightly mute the string you just moved down from. You will use your right hand to mute the strings as you ascend the arpeggio. Use the side of your hand/palm to palm mute the strings as you move up them. Palm mute moderately heavy to make sure each note has almost a staccato feel to it.

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