Teacher: Hi everyone. This lesson we are looking
at 'economy' or 'sweep' picking.
Teacher: Metal, jazz, rock,
blues and fusion players all use this technique.
Gambale, a fusion player, is one of this technique's big proponents. Definetely
a must hear.
Teacher: Sweep picking is the use of consecutive
up or downstrokes to play notes on adjacent strings.
Teacher: We all may have
used this technique to play 'arpeggio' parts in rhythm guitar
Controlling sweeps seems to be much more difficult than actually learning to
play one so my recommendation is to take an exercise very slowly and play each
note as loudly as possible
Eddie_solo: do u hold the pick higher up and angle
Teacher: Many pick
positions can work. Ideally, the same position as usual will allow you to switch
picking techniques smoothly.
Teacher: Here is our
first sweep phrase.
Teacher: Move from string to string
without restarting your wrist. For the first three notes use a consecutive
falling downstroke, answered with a consecutive upstroke. Then loop the
Teacher: Coordinating the right
and left hands is essential to get clean 'single note'
Teacher: Start loud. This really speeds
up the development of the technique. After you have achieved clear, even notes
speed it up and soften the touch.
Teacher: Here is a sound clip to demonstrate the
potential of this speed technique.
The same sweep shape can also become a different chord type when moved to a
There are many 'sweep' shapes to take advantage of this technique. A familiar
and really useful one to practice the sweep is our familiar major bar chord
In the left hand pay attention to releasing each note as you play the next.
There is a 'rolling' technique that should be mastered to allow for the cleanest
sound and the quickest movement for the pick hand.
Teacher: Frank Gambale called
it the 'ink pad' move. Like using an ink stamp as you roll the pressure
Teacher: Pick up the finger as you play with the
next if the fingers are different. Roll the finger if using it on consecutive
Teacher: You might hear what is called a
Teacher: Now, a main concept is to have odd
numbers of notes when going in the same direction with your sweep. Then an even
number of notes to turn back the other direction.
Teacher: Notice that is done with each phrase
given so far.
Listen to the audio and follow the fingering of the tab
Teacher: Next try to learn sweeps with a small
scale run before, and after, the sweep
Scale Run +
Teacher: Play the last tab alternate picking,
then starting on 8th note of the phrase, at the 8th fret, use a consecutive
downstroke sweep until you get to the fifth string. Then alternate picking to
the phrase's end.
Teacher: Sweeps can incorporate hammer-ons and
pull-offs as well. This is a nice way to keep a sweep intact if there are an
even number of notes on a string. Or an odd number at the 'turnaround' point.
The riff includes a hefty 5 fret stretch on the 1st
Let's explore some popular chord shapes for sweep technique. I will show them
for a minor chord off the A root. For major chords off the G
Feel free to add or alter notes of the phrase. Try to keep the number of notes
per string the same, but feel free to experiment and let something catch your
Teacher: But these shapes coming are pretty
Teacher: And a couple more minor
shapes. Then the majors. We will have a jam track that these will all work
Minor Arpeggio Sweep Shapes
Teacher: The next tab is a
major shape in G. Should work against the jam track in A
Major Arpeggio SweepScale Sweep
Teacher: Keep in mind that you can play partials
of these shapes or start at different points within them. But, as written
now, these are setup to sweep, and then sweep again.
Teacher: A couple more major
Arpeggio Sweep Shapes
Try sweeping down one chord and the other for sweeping back up. In the same key
these can create interesting colors.
The last two tabs follow Am then to G. The last resolves to F, good for the jam
track. Here is a video.
It shows both hands working at the same time. This coordination is not easy but
comes with practice. Remember, start slow and LOUD>
Teacher: Try this as a good exercise. It will
work on the sweep and moving chord.
Pentatonic notes can be added to chord sweeps. This next lick adds notes to an E
major sweep. It incorporates hammers and pulloffs, too
E major pent
Here is a video clip showing it up to speed.
Finally, for those wanting to go to the extremes for sweeping. Scale shape to
take advantage of this picking
scale sweep exercise
The upstroke is perhaps the hardest for most to develop. This phrase is a good
one to work on consecutive upstrokes.
Teacher: And another exercise for
Downstroke scale sweep exercise
If it isn't clear, D=Downstroke and U=Upstroke in the
Teacher: sim... means simile. Again: repeat the
Teacher: Our three note per string scale shapes,
from our earlier speed lessons, can be adapted perfectly to this
Scale Fragment Sweep
Teacher: The first two speed archives emphasize
alternate picking. That is the fundamental principle for speed so you might work
those first. But this is an interesting supplement
Teacher: A tab of a scale covering all six
strings and back and then one more lick. Then were done.
Scale Sweeps in
Great. Master these sweeps. Impress your friends and loved
A Major Sweep
And finally a 'sweet' A major phrase. Just to prove all sweeps are 'bad to the
Teacher: Well that is it for our 'sweep picking'
lesson. Thanks so much for tuning in.