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Introduction to Sweep Picking

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Now we'll put it all together, first with our A Minor shape. Just like we did with the left hand, we're going to start with two strings. The arpeggio starts with two notes on the E string, so we’re going to pick once and pull off on the E string, and then start our descending sweep.

What's most important is that our hands are synchronized, that our right hand and left hand are playing the same string at the same time. Once we have two strings, we add one at a time, again only descending. The we follow the same pattern ascending, and finally the whole shape. Note that we are only plucking the E string once, and hammering-on/pulling-off the notes.

As you build up to tempo, what's most important is that the timing of your hands stays consistent. If you have a metronome, that can be a great tool. It takes some patience, but the rewards can be worth it!

Now let's look at our second shape, A Major. This is a similar shape and we can work it up to speed the same way. With both of these shapes, some people like to pick the top string a second time when reaching the apex of the arpeggio. Lastly, we can play the two shapes alternating between A Major and A Minor.

In a second series on Advanced Sweeping Techniques, we'll explore this approach in depth, along with several others, but that's all for now. It's been a pleasure, good luck, and remember with sweeping, timing is everything!

Lesson Info
Instructor Eric Barnett
Introduction to Sweep Picking