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Shred Academy - Free Guitar Lesson by Mike Campese



Sweep Picking Exercises

By Mike Campese


This lesson we will be covering sweep picking. A technique used a lot in shred playing, also known as economy picking, basically you are playing downstrokes and upstrokes on 2 or more strings consecutively, raking the pick across the strings, imagine a violin bow brushing across the strings. The notes cannot run together like a chord and it is good to start with a couple strings at a time and then add 3 strings, 4,5,6. For example, start with a 2 string idea like this Am arpeggio, (Fig A) master this first then move to 3 strings etc. It is important to practice this, slow and even, using a metronome. Many players first learning this technique sometimes rush and leave notes out, take your time and be patient and it will pay off believe me. Ok, Let me show you some examples.........

Ex.1 We have a 3 string arpeggio run in the key of E min moving up the chord scale (Em, F# dim, G, Am, Bm, C, D). The right hand picking pattern is the same through the whole run, down pick the first note, then pull off, down pick the second string and the up pick the last three notes consecutively. You must lift each finger off every note after you pluck them.

Exercise 1 Audio (.mp3)

Ex.2 This is a 4 string pattern based off the E min pentatonic scale (E,G,A,B,D) following the 5 main scale patterns. The right hand uses the same pattern all the way through, 4 down strokes then 3 upstrokes. Be sure to follow the fingerings playing this one, start slow and then build up speed.

Exercise 2 Audio (.mp3)

Ex.3 Now we have a 5 and 6 string arpeggio pattern in G minor using 4 Gm arpeggios (G,Bb,D) They are linked together across the whole neck using sweep picking with hammer ons and pull offs.This one covers a lot of fretboard territory, make sure you follow the right and left hand symbols on the notation and practice very clean without skipping notes.

Exercise 3 Audio (.mp3)

Ex.4 Here is a line constructed with 4 extended arpeggios. The first one is C 6/9 (C,E,G,A,D), then Bm11 ( B,D,F#,A,C#,E). Move the same shape down 2 frets to Am11 (A,C,E,G,B,D) and finally F 6/7
(F,A,C,D,E). The first 3 notes of each arpeggio are alternate picked, for the rest i use sweep picking. Be sure to follow the proper fingerings, start slow and then build speed.

Exercise 4 Audio (.mp3)

These examples only scratch the surface, be sure to experiment and write your own sweep picking lines. Check out some of my music, I use this concept in my writing.



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