Is sweep picking a technique that you constantly struggle with?
It doesn’t matter how hard sweep picking may SEEM to you right now because I’m
going to show you how easy it can be when you do it right. Furthermore, I’m
going to show you how learning to effectively practice this technique can make
all of your guitar playing improve.

Check out this sweep picking pattern:

(Note: You may notice that I didn’t use a finger
rolling arpeggio
in this example…more on this below).

While this pattern may appear to be difficult to play at first,
it really isn’t. Here’s why:

Your picking hand’s motion is actually very slow compare to other guitar
techniques (like tremolo picking technique for example). In this
example you only have to make 2 different movements (more on this below)!

Your fretting hand also doesn’t have that much work to do in the example
above because:

•      Your
middle finger is only playing 1 note

•      Your
ring finger is only playing 1 note

•      Your
pinky plays 2 notes (and you have a LOT of time to move from the first to the
second note)

•      Your
index finger plays 3 notes (you don’t have to move fast here either because
there always another finger being used in between the index finger’s notes)

When you compare the physicality of this technique to a trill
(rapidly alternating between two adjacent notes) for example, you will notice
that the trill requires SO much more work than this arpeggio example. Watch
this sweep picking technique video
below to learn how easy it can be to improve your sweep picking technique.

“But Tom, if sweep picking is so easy, why can’t most
guitar players do it well?

I’m glad you asked - there are of course, lots of reasons why
guitar players aren’t proficient in this technique. The main reason is that
they just don’t get WHY sweep picking is hard. They think that they need to be moving
their hands faster
in order to sweep pick fast. This is just wrong and
makes it harder for them to improve their sweep picking. Here is the real
reason why most guitar players sweep
picking technique

Failure To Coordinate Each Hand Separately - Even though
you now understand that your hands don’t have a lot of work to do when sweep
picking, most people still don’t take the time to properly train their hands to
do their jobs. To improve your hand’s coordination, play the sweep picking
motions with each hand individually (without using the other hand). After you
are comfortable with each hand’s proficiency in the arpeggio you are learning,
play the arpeggio with both hands.

No 2-Hand Synchronization - Getting both of your hands
perfectly synchronized is challenging. If one of your hands is out of sync with
the other, your sweep picking will sound terrible (as is the case for most
guitar players). Fortunately, this problem can be easily solved. Simply take
the parts of the arpeggio that are the hardest for you and practice them
exclusively. I discuss this in more depth in my article about cleaning up your arpeggio sweep picking.

The Picking Hand’s Momentum Is Limited - Most
guitar players fail at sweep picking because they end up stopping the pick's
motion by trying to pick each string individually. This will slow you down
immensely and make it much harder to sweep pick fast. Instead, move you picking
hand in a smooth motion that never stops. This is the only way to achieve
economy of motion and is the main reason that I teach the most efficient picking technique to my guitar

Poor Finger Rolling Technique - A ton of guitar players
don't have proper finger rolling technique and their sweep picking technique
suffers because of it. While this motion is actually not that hard to
understand, it can be tricky to use properly. I explain how to do this motion
correctly in my finger rolling sweep picking technique video.

How can these ideas also improve the rest of your guitar

Once you understand the ideas presented in this article, you
should feel much more empowered. These understandings will enable you to
improve ALL of your guitar playing (not only your sweep picking technique)!
Here’s how:

Forget about “moving your hands faster”. That’s never the answer. You
should focus on achieving proper economy of motion in both hands instead. Here
is an example of using economy of motion when tremolo picking.

Separate your hands when you are just learning the hardest parts in your
favorite guitar licks, and then combine them once you have
each hand’s motions perfected.

Learn the real reasons why your guitar
are difficult. Learn what each hand and finger is supposed
to be doing and you will be able to overcome even the worst of problems.

Learn from a guitar teacher who knows how to show you where your
technique suffers and show you how to improve it so that you reach
all of your musical goals

If you want to become a
guitar-playing speed demon, make sure you check out my free guide that will
show you how to double your guitar speed.

Author's Bio: 

Tom Hess is a highly
successful professional musician. He teaches guitar players from all over the
world in his online guitar lessons.
Visit his website to get more free guitar
and to read more guitar