Six String Arpeggios For Sweep Picking

In this tutorial I hope to fire the creative engines in players so that sweep picking can become a useful part of their song-writing arsenal. I like to use sweep picking in my songs as a basic emotional device, is there anything that moves a listener more than a well executed, simple but sophisticated arpeggio pattern?

Six String Arpeggios For Sweep Picking

There are two exercises, in two different keys (not the same key as I said at the beginning of the video!) in this tutorial. The shapes used can be found in the CAGED system for Major & Minor chords and I have constructed them to fit a 6 note-per-string (16th note triplet) rhythm. I have excluded any legato in these exercises so they are pure sweep picking. I think this gives the arpeggios an even, consistent sound but sweep picking arpeggios with hammer ons and pull offs are also important and something I will post on in future.

Exercise 1

This exercise, as described in the talk-through, is diatonic to the key of D Major. The actual piece, however, is rooted in B Minor/Aeolian, the 6th mode of D Major. This is established with the full bar of the B Minor arpeggio whilst the following 2 arpeggios (A & G) play for only half a bar each.

Right hand picking directions are described in the video but left hand fingerings for each string in the arpeggio are as follows –

B Minor

High E – 10th fret(1st finger), 14th fret(4th finger)

B – 12th fret(2nd finger)

G – 11th fret(1st finger)

D – 12th fret(2nd finger)

A – 14th fret(4th finger)

Low E – 10th fret(1st finger), 14th fret(4th finger)

A Major

High E – 9th fret(1st finger), 12th fret(4th finger)

B – 10th fret(2nd finger)

G – 9th fret(1st finger)

D – 11th fret(3rd finger)

A – 12th fret(4th finger)

Low E – 9th fret(1st finger), 12th fret(4th fret)

G Major

(Same as A Major)

Exercise 2

This exercise changes key to G Major. Again the exercise does not use it’s parent key’s root note. The piece is actually rooted by the C Major arpeggio which is the final shape in the exercise – the root note does not always have to be first. I think this is a cool way of using a modal sound without it being quite so ‘in your face’. The arpeggios are played in the same way as in Exercise 1 but there is a tricky position shift from B minor(shape 1) to D major(shape 2) which will take some careful practice.

Transcription

Download (PDF, 34KB)

Backing Track

The piece itself moves along at a mid tempo (110BPM) but due to the amount of notes per beat this will be a fast exercise up to speed. Building up speed is imperative and a starting point of half the target speed is advisable (55BPM)

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