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Sweep-Picking - Part 2 (The Patterns)

by Mike Lindyn
www.GuitarKnowledgenet.com ©2005

In the last lesson on sweeping we covered most of the basic concepts of sweep picking but didn’t really go over any useful patterns. So in this lesson we will be concentrating on the most common sweep picking arpeggio patterns, the three triads of the Major scale. These triads: Major, Minor and Diminished are used all the time and are very commonly used with sweep picking passages.

All the examples that follow will be in the key of G Major. In all these examples we will be looking at only three chords: G Major, A Minor and F# Diminished. For each of these chords we will look at 6 useable fingerings. So there are 6 fingerings for G Major, 6 for A Minor and 6 for F# Diminished.

Different Methods:
When you practice these arpeggios remember to practice them in different ways and don’t just do what I write out. For example, in all the examples I start the arpeggio on the lowest string and work my way up. If you wanted to change this you might start on the highest string and work your way down. There are a lot of ways you can change each of these patterns but still use the same notes. Mess around you may find some good ones.

Not Just For Sweeping:
This lesson is called Sweep Picking Part 2 so I assume you are interested in learning to sweep pick. That’s great, and these patterns will help your sweep picking but they are just as, or more, useful when used with alternate picking as well. Sweep picking is a great trick but as I said in the first lesson of this series you’re better off alternate picking in the long run.


Major Triads -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1) G Major Triad 2) G Major Triad
Example Example
3) G Major Triad 4) G Major Triad
Example Example
5) G Major Triad 6) G Major Triad
Example Example

Minor Triads -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
7) A Minor Triad 8) A Minor Triad
Example Example
9) A Minor Triad 10) A Minor Triad
Example Example
11) A Minor Triad 12) A Minor Triad
Example Example

Diminished Triads ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
13) F# Diminished Triad 14) F# Diminished Triad
Example Example
15) F# Diminished Triad 16) F# Diminished Triad
Example Example
17) F# Diminished Triad 18) F# Diminished Triad
Example Example

In Part 3 of this lesson we’ll take some of these patterns, mix them together and move them through the Major and Minor scales.


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