Sweep picking is not as hard as you might think. Getting good at it simply requires avoiding the common mistakes many other guitar players make.


Make it easy to sweep pick cleanly and fast by staying away from these mistakes:


Mistake #1: Killing picking momentum.


Playing a clean sweep picking arpeggio is done by making two key motions: one motion of the hand down when picking and ascending and one motion up while descending. Stopping the pick at any point in between kills your momentum and makes it impossible to keep your hands in sync. This leads to missed notes and sloppy playing.


Regardless of how many notes there are in the arpeggio or how many hammer ons, pull offs it contains, the pick must maintain momentum during each of the two separate picking motions.


Your pick needs to fall into each string and push against the next higher string, like if you were playing a violin with a bow. Maintain consistent momentum and watch your arpeggios get cleaner.


Mistake #2: Not isolating the rolling motion in the fretting hand.


“Rolling” describes playing notes on the same fret but different/adjacent strings (using the same finger). Many guitar players mistakenly treat rolling technique like playing a barre chord. Meaning: they fret all the notes at once and play through them with the pick. This causes them to ring out together, making your sweep picking sound sloppy.


Isolate the rolling motion and practice to play it cleanly. Instead of treating rolling like a barre, collapse the knuckles of your finger to fret a note while lightly dampening the previous string to keep it from ringing out. This helps your arpeggios sound sparkling clean!


Mistake #3: Practicing too much with a clean tone.


It’s not uncommon for guitar players to spend a lot of time practicing arpeggios on clean settings or unplugged. However, don't make the mistake of doing this too often. Playing with distortion helps you hear where your technique breaks down so you know the exact notes that need to be corrected and can identify why they are sloppy.


Practice sweep picking using distortion for the majority of your practice time. Only use clean tone for the specific purpose of refining your articulation using heavy picking power to lock both hands in sync.


There are many more ways to play amazing sweep picking arpeggios. Learn exactly what you need to master to shred clean arpeggios by reading this sweep picking article.

Author's Bio: 

About The Author:
Tom Hess is a professional recording artist, composer, and expert guitar instructor. He teaches and trains guitarists how to become great musicians in his online rock guitar lessons. Visit tomhess.net to receive additional free guitar playing resources and to read more guitar articles.