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Lesson Series

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Rick Graham - Sweep Picking Part 5

Lesson Notes

** As featured in issue 20 **

Hey there everyone and welcome back to our continuing guitar lesson series on sweep picking techniques! So far, we have concentrated on playing 6, 5 and 4 string arpeggios. In this lesson we will be focusing our attention on playing 2 string arpeggios using a pair of strings at a time. You might be thinking 'how can we possibly apply sweep picking to just two strings?', well, it is entirely possibly and is very effective indeed. I like to call this approach 'mini sweeps'.

To start with we will play a G major 7 arpeggio starting at fret 2 of the bottom E string. In actual fact, this arpeggio is in 3rd inversion, as we are starting the arpeggio on the 7th degree of the arpeggio. The right hand requires a relatively simple right hand picking pattern, which enables us to change strings using the same stroke.

The other element of this pattern worthy of note is that we will be playing 2 notes on every string. So, we will begin with an upstroke followed by a downstroke on the 6th string and proceed

to the 5th string using a downstroke followed by an upstroke. You can then repeat as many times as you like. Again, as with everything we have looked at so far, be sure to get the 'feel' of the

right hand movement. You will find that this can be a very effective pattern as it enables you to build a lot of speed without causing major physical exertion.

The next logical step to take with this pattern is to apply it to all of the diatonic 7th arpeggios which exist in a any major key. With this example, we will be using the key of G major. The 7th arpeggios will be as follows:

Gmaj7 - Amin7 - Bmin7 - Cmaj7 - D7 - Amin7 - Bbmin7b5

What I like to do is play all of these 7th arpeggios in one continuous movement and the very nature of the right hand picking pattern makes it remarkably comfortable to do so. Once you have got the shapes down, be sure to experiment with some different keys. Mix them up to create your own 2 note per string patterns. Be creative!

Another application of this right hand picking pattern is to use it with minor pentatonic scale shapes. It works very well with this as the minor pentatonic scale is a 2 note per string scale.

I have put together a line for you so that you can see the right hand picking pattern in action with a more traditional scale shape. It does indeed work remarkably well.

Be sure to consult the tabs I have prepared for you which accompanies this lesson.

OK, that's it for this issue. As always, practice hard and try and come up with as many of your own ideas using the information I have presented you with here as a foundation for this.

Have fun and catch up with you all next issue!

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