Sweep Picking & Arpeggio Composition | How To Get Creative! [Sweeping Guitar Lesson]
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Sweep Picking & Arpeggio Composition | How To Get Creative! [Sweeping Guitar Lesson]

October 22, 2019


What’s up YouTube community, Bernth here!
Welcome back to another video lesson, today we’ll finally discuss one of the
most requested topics ever: sweep picking! First of all I’m happy to make a big
announcement – the recordings for my next online course are finally done! This one
will follow in the footsteps of 10 steps to modern shredding hopefully
sometime later this year. Around 500 students are part of 10 steps already
and I really can’t wait to share more concerning the new course, for now I just
want to reveal the topic of the new program real quick before we get started.
As you might have guessed it’s sweep picking. I did feature this topic in
other courses and tutorials but so many of my students came to me saying that
it’s the most frustrating technique ever for them – that’s why I recorded around 80
instructional and practice play-along videos for this course since the
beginning of this year that will help you with finally building and mastering
this technique from the very beginning. But for today’s video lesson I wrote and
recorded a cool advanced composition to show you why this technique is so
important to master and how it sounds once you get comfortable with this
playing style. I really love composing and playing sections like that one so
let’s check it out together now to get started! This is a good example of how I approach
the composition of sweep picking sections in general, whenever there is a
nice chord progression played in the background I want to make sure to
emphasize it in my solo in some way. Let me show you real quick how I compose
this section before we discuss each lick in detail, for this one I chose the key
of F# minor. As we often discussed already we have to add the third, fifth
and also seventh if we want to, for every scale note only using the notes we find
within the F# minor scale. So the basic chords I have available in the key
of F# minor are: F# minor, G# diminished, A major, B minor, C#
minor, D major and E major. Some cadences or chord progressions sound better than
others as we discussed in other videos, if you have well trained ears already
you will have heard that I went with a classic for this one: I – VI – III – VII
meaning F# minor, D major, A major and E major in this key, then I added the
dominant chord after that and change the minor third in that one to a major third so
we have a C# dominant seventh chord that creates a lot of tension before we
resolve back into the tonic. The backing guitars are just playing power chords
for some of these chords but I have the full harmonic concept in mind when I’m
composing the sweeping section. I also recorded a slower version of each one
for you and will explain in detail how I came up with them and what you need to
watch out for. I hope that will inspire you to work on your own arpeggio
sections after watching this video. Remember that the tabs, guitar pro files
and practice backing tracks are all online on patreon.com/bernth for you
to download in case you want to dig deeper. Before we analyze the individual
licks let’s listen to the whole section again with absolute focus on the details,
I want you to listen to how the arpeggios really bring out the harmonic
sound and system of the cadence as opposed to just playing the F# minor scale over the entire part. So let’s take a close look at the first
lick I play over the F# minor chord. I always want to make sure to add some notes that are a bit more interesting
and I try to find new shapes with every sweeping section I work on. For the first
lick we start with the root, minor third and fifth but as soon as we reach the
octave we slide up to the 9th G# which gives us a nice and interesting
sound over the F# minor chord. We then continue with the same notes and
add a tapped note to get a nice four note per string phrase in the end. Here’s all
of that played a bit slower. Up next we stick to the very popular five string
shape for D major. Since the chord in the background is trading the major third
for a major second to get the sound of sus2 we also want to make sure to
include this twist in the arpeggio. So for this lick the note E is the one that
should grab your attention, always make sure to include such details in your arpeggios even if they are very small and you’re sweeping really fast it does make
a big difference. In the end I also included a short speed picking phrase to
mix it up a bit, here it’s really important to end the sweeping phrase with
an upstroke so I’m in a good position for the alternate picking phrase
starting with a down stroke. I’m also using my 3 string sweeping hack here,
make sure to check out the video on that if you want to learn it. I’m hammering
the uncomfortable note on the B string to avoid an upstroke there that is
followed by a down stroke on the G string. This little sweeping trick makes my life much easier with these tricky phrases
without missing any important notes. Here’s all that played a bit slower. Up next it gets a bit tricky – this is
another concept I wanted to show you with this arpeggio section. Sometimes when you
add more tap notes it can get pretty difficult to switch back and forth from
sweeping to tapping. By developing a strong left hand technique you can make
use of that here and just hammer the descending arpeggio so you can focus on
the tapping parts. This takes some time to learn and requires some patience. We
discuss that in depth in the next course, for now let’s check out the
execution of that approach with the next lick. As for more interesting notes and
intervals I made sure to tap C# here, that is the major sixth in this
context. For the last phrase I was working with
another popular cliche, the 3 string diminished shapes. These are easy to
memorize and also recognize because of their distinct sound. One of the coolest
things here is that you can move them around in minor thirds. This is a
symmetrical arpeggio so we stick with just one shape and move it up three
frets, the notes stay the same and are always repeated in a different order. The
harmonic trick here is that I’m playing diminished shapes over a dominant
seventh chord instead of just working with the root, major third, perfect fifth
and minor seventh to build my arpeggio. That is an amazing trick for a really
nice and dramatic sound, especially before resolving into the tonic chord
like we did in this practical example. We also go deeper into theory like that in
the course, for now please check out how I am connecting these shapes to climb up
the fret board in the slower example. And that’s pretty much it for this
lick, I know that it might be a bit hard and moving fast, for this video I
just wanted to show you my process concerning sweep picking and arpeggio
composition. As we discussed I always apply this kind of thinking when I want
to bring out the sound of the chords in the song with my solo. I hope that you
can start working with this knowledge yourself now whenever you come across a
section like that, if you want to dive deeper into the mechanical aspect of
sweep picking and learning it make sure to check out the new course as soon as
it’s out, I’ll let you know. Until then make sure to subscribe for more free
guitar lessons, leave a like if you enjoyed this one and a comment in case
you have any questions I could answer for you. All the tabs, practice backing
tracks and guitar pro files for these lessons are online on patreon.com/bernth and the link to my course 10 steps to modern shredding is in the
description. Thanks a lot for tuning in today, I will see you in the next lesson,
have fun practicing and all the best!

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