Free Guitar Lessons – Sweep Picking Guitar Techniques

In this more advanced guitar lesson we will learn how to use a technique which combines sweep picking and right hand tapping. This technique can be used on 4, 5 or 6 string sweep arpeggios since it integrates well in those types of patterns on the guitar.

An easy way to practice the sweep picking combined with right hand tapping technique on the guitar is to work around the G Major triad in the 7th position of the guitar neck. The notes which make up the G Major triad are G, B and D.

Starting with an upstroke on the 4th string B at the 9th fret may be easier to get the coordination of the sweeping technique going comfortably in this pattern.

This is not set in stone and a down stroke is definitely an option ultimately it is more of a personal preference and different guitar players may favor one method over the other.

The next three notes D, G, B are all down strokes and then there is a hammer-on from the B on the 1st string to the 10th fret D also on the first string.

The right hand tap in this guitar lick comes next on the 15th fret G on the first string. The next move is a right hand pull-off back to the D and then a left hand pull-off back to the B.

The next 3 notes G, D, B are all upstrokes which completes the pattern. Once again the 4th string in this pattern at this point could be a down stroke. This could be based upon a personal preference or based on what the next series of notes or pattern comes next.

This kind of thinking will basically help to determine what the most economical way to pick the guitar string notes happens to be in a given scenario. This is an important consideration when you are playing fast. Basically wasted motion can ultimately slow you down when you want to play those fast guitar licks in a clean accurate fashion.

Once you start getting this sweep picking and right hand tapping pattern down smoothly you can move the triad around the guitar neck in different positions. As mentioned earlier this guitar technique can be used with sweep picking licks that use six strings or any number under that. This technique can be applied to any arpeggios which we will cover in several other free online guitar lessons. This technique is more advanced since it actually involves several guitar techniques combined into one approach. But once you get it down it can come in handy in a wide variety of musical styles from neoclassical shred to rock, fusion and several other styles.

5 thoughts on “Free Guitar Lessons – Sweep Picking Guitar Techniques

  1. Can this kind of style be played on a Stratocaster because when I am trying to play it the frets seem too far apart to catch each one of the notes. I thought that the neck size might be too large and that the single coil pickups might have to do with not getting the right sound. You know how they sound more thin than humbuckers? I would like to learn this lick but something just isn’t working out with the notes or the sound you know?

    1. Hi – this can absolutely be played on a Stratocaster with single coil pickups. It will be harder to make it sound good with a clean setting on your amp, but that is a great way to practice it! If you have some distortion to thicken up the sound though it will help to mask any imperfections. With this kind of setup you could just slowly learn one note at a time and work on getting each note down because there is a lot going on when using different kinds of techniques like that.

  2. Playing stuff like neo-classical guitar is a lot of fun because they sound like each of the chords compared to your typical blues chord progressions. Just more musical, and harder to do to!

  3. I like your neoclassical sound. Reminds me of some '80's shred guitar in songs and instrumentals. I think this style is good for today as well. Heavy guitar styles and music stand the test of time.

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