Why You Have Trouble Cleaning Up Your Arpeggio Sweep Picking

Author: Tom Hess

Do you struggle with playing fast and clean arpeggios on guitar but have no idea how to improve your technique? Most guitarists do. Including me, years ago. In fact, this is a very common problem that I have helped a lot of my guitar students overcome.

Generally, there are 2 ways that you can approach playing arpeggios cleaner. Of these 2, one will frustrate you and reinforce sloppy guitar playing. The other will allow you to progress faster and easier and to enjoy the practicing process much more.

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Which Approach Do You Take?

Guitar Practice Approach 1:
If your arpeggio playing isn’t as clean or fast as you would like, it makes sense to assume that you’re just not practicing the right sweep picking licks, right? You need to simply practice more, right? Wrong. This approach’s biggest problem is that you are ignoring the problems that stem from your bad technique. By looking for more or different sweep picking licks to practice, you only distract yourself from fixing your REAL guitar playing problems. 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 clean up your arpeggio playing immensely then don’t taking your focus away from your problems with more licks. Instead, make whatever arpeggio you are currently practicing its OWN exercise. Doing this will show you exactly which notes are sloppy and you can see WHY these problems are happening. This will help you in 2 ways:

· By fixing your technique problems in one arpeggio, you will find that any and all arpeggios you practice in the future will be much cleaner and faster

· By modifying these standard arpeggio shapes your new exercises will often be VERY unique and cool. This will help you improve your solos by using some of your new sweep picking guitar licks.

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 this lesson on 5 string arpeggios.

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. Problems and mistakes in your guitar playing are not random – they are always rooted in a deeper problem. These causes must be identified, isolated and fixed. You should NEVER settle for playing guitar sloppily.

2. If you are just looking for more guitar exercises, then you aren’t fixing your problems. Understand exactly what notes are not clean when you play the exercise you are working on now. This will help you make EVERYTHING you play cleaner and better.

3. You can modify even the most boring exercises in a creative way. This will allow you to create awesome licks that will simultaneously make your guitar technique better.

The exercise I demonstrated in the video above is just ONE (of many) examples of how to make your guitar technique clean, fast and accurate. If you want even more strategies for improving your guitar technique while keeping your practice time low, check out this page on how to increase your guitar speed.

About The Author:

Tom Hess is a professional guitarist in the progressive rock style. He teaches and trains his guitar students how to become great musicians in his rock guitar lessons online. Visit tomhess.net to
receive additional free guitar learning resources.

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