Sweep Picking on Guitar - Part 3

In this lesson, we do some more work on the fundamental technique that is involved with sweep picking.

Video Notes

How to sweep pick on guitar part 3 - this week we are still working on the fundamental training for the technique.

We are going to combine the two previous exercises.

Exercise 1

Take the diagonal arpeggio shape we used. Little finger starts on fret 15 on the 4th string. The pick sits against the string. We use a count of 3 for this:

  1. Pick goes through the string - we catch it on the next string.
  2. Lift the little finger off
  3. Place the third finger on the 3rd string.

Repeat through to the 1st string. On the 1st string we reverse direction.

Make sure only one finger is on the strings at any time.

The basic arpeggio shape that we are using. The numbers inside the dots instruct you on which finger should be used to hold down the note.

Exercise 2

This is very similar but slightly different to the previous exercise. To set up, place the little finger on fret 15 on the 4th string and rest the pick against the 4th string.

For this exercise, we want the pick to slowly travel across the strings in a slow and controlled way.

We will use a count of 4:

  1. Pick goes through the string
  2. The pick reaches the next string
  3. Lift off the little finger
  4. Place the third finger on the 3rd string fret 14

Repeat through the rest of the strings to the 1st string.

On the 1st string, we change direction:

  1. Pick goes through the string
  2. Bring the pick back to rest against het 1st string
  3. nothing
  4. nothing

Then we repeat, descending through the strings.


This is a really simple exercise, but work through it, counting out loud as you go. We are building really fundamental parts of your sweep picking technique, so it’s important to take the time to work through it.

Practice these exercises for 5-10 minutes a day, every day for a week, and you will be in a very strong position to start incorporating some arpeggios into your sweep picking.