Most guitarists can’t play sweep arpeggios as fast or as clean as they would like. They struggle to improve their technique but in reality, they have no idea where to even begin. This is a problem I see all the time and have helped many of my guitar students overcome.
There are 2 ways to go about improving your arpeggio sweep picking. One will keep you frustrated and sloppy while the other will allow to progress your playing to a whole new level and get enjoyment out of the process.
Which Approach Do You Take?
Guitar Practice Approach 1: Most would assume that, since their sweep picking isn’t fast or clean, that they need to practice MORE arpeggio sweep picking licks. This approach’s biggest problem is that you are ignoring the problems that stem from your bad technique. By avoiding the root of your guitar technique problems, you are only distracting yourself from real improvement. So with this approach you will end up knowing a lot of different licks, but they will all be executed sloppily and with poor technique.
Guitar Practice Approach 2: If you want to make your sweep picking arpeggios cleaner and faster, then you need to take the arpeggio you are working on now and make it its OWN exercise. By doing this you will be able to expose where your exact problems lie (down to the note) and figure out WHY you aren’t playing as fast or clean as you should. This will benefit your guitar playing in 2 ways:
· By correctly identifying and fixing fundamental problems with your guitar technique in this first exercise, you will see vast improvements in your technique (speed and clarity) in ALL of the arpeggios you practice in the future.
· By modifying these standard arpeggio shapes your new exercises will often be VERY unique and cool. You will see your solos improve as you incorporate your new sweep picking arpeggios into them.
To see an example of this second guitar practice approach in action, watch this video about making your arpeggio playing faster and cleaner while turning your exercises into killer sweep picking licks:
Get the tab for the 5 string arpeggio lesson here.
How To Apply This Idea Into Your Guitar Practicing To Make Your Guitar Playing Better:
The biggest lesson here is NOT the arpeggio exercises themselves. It’s NOT even playing your arpeggio notes with tremolo (as the video demonstrated). The biggest thing you should take away from this is that you have to use the correct mindset when you approach solving ANY kind of problem areas in you guitar technique.
1. The problems and mistakes in your guitar playing always have a cause. They are never just random. These causes can be identified (and must). If you settle for sloppy guitar playing technique you are hurting yourself immensely.
2. Searching for more guitar exercises will not be the answer to all of your technique problems. Instead, you should understand exactly where your weaknesses lie in your current exercise. This will help you to see which parts of your technique need to be improved thus helping EVERYTHING you play be faster and cleaner.
3. You can modify even the most boring exercises in a creative way. Now you will be able to improve your guitar technique while creating awesome licks in the process.
The video demonstrated an exercise that is just ONE (of many) examples of how to clean up your guitar technique while increasing your overall speed and accuracy. To keep your practice time to a minimum while vastly improving your guitar technique, check out this article on increasing guitar speed.
About The Author: Tom Hess is a highly successful recording artist and guitar teacher. He teaches guitar lessons online to guitarists internationally. Visit his website tomhess.net for more information about learning guit