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Clean Sweep

Hello once again my fellow guitarists. This month we are going back to the basics of sweep picking due to popular demand. if you aren’t already familiar with sweep picking, go to my master class on it right now and learn. Have you ever noticed that those rotten arpeggio forms where you have to roll your finger across 2 or more strings are always the hardest to get clean? This being true, let us analyze this and break down the mechanics. Hopefully the result of this month’s exercises will be cleaner arpeggios for both you and I.  Here is an example of an A major arpeggio that utilizes this “rolling.”

Notice the three 14th fret notes. You have to literally roll your second finger across the D, G, and B strings. This can lead to some really sloppy sounding sweeping if not executed correctly. Solution: Let us break down the mechanics behind a well executed roll.

In order to execute a clean roll, you need to first isolate the roll in the arpeggio. When you are rolling these notes bend you finger backwards so it almost looks like a banana. This will help you separate the notes when you sweep pick them. The result will be cleaner sounding rolls. Now it is time to practice this movement and isolate it. Run through these next examples. I will indicate the finger to practice your rolls with. Then we will apply this.

Roll with 1st finger:

Roll with 2nd finger:

Roll With 3rd Finger

Make sure each note sounds staccato (short) and doesn’t ring together with the other notes. Now that we’ve isolated the rolls in some of the most common arpeggio forms, let us combine them into bigger fragments of arpeggios.

Roll the first two notes with your 3rd finger.
Roll the last 3 with your 1st finger.

Roll the first two notes with your 3rd finger.
Hit the next note with your 2nd finger.
Roll the last notes with your first finger.

Now that we have taken the time to isolate the rolling movement, let us now play through some of the arpeggio shapes that require this technique.

E minor

E major

E minor

E major

Now that you’ve practiced the hard spots of these arpeggios separately, don’t you find it a lot easier to play them cleaner and faster? I know I do. I hope this lesson has improved your sweeping.

Questions? Comments?

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