We spend months of our lives talking about all these “guitar magazine” kind of discussions, who’s the best guitar player and his sweep picking. The notion of sweeping (or raking) the pick across the strings to produce Fusion maestro Frank Gambale is widely considered to be the most. If Frank Gambale were a DC Comics hero, he would surely have a big S on his chest. But that S would not stand for Superman. (That’s taken.

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Get the Tone In rock, this technique is best suited to Strat-style guitars, using the neck pickup setting for a warm, round tone. Use your first finger on the fifth fret and third finger on the seventh fret.

Focus on synchronizing your hands so that your pick and fretting fingers make contact with the string at exactly the same moment. The second part of the piece has a more neoclassical approach and begins with some Yngwie-style three-string triads incorporating pull-offs.

Jazz players from the Fifties, such as Les Paul, Barney Kessel and Tal Farlow, would use the approach in their improvisations, and country guitar genius Chet Atkins was known to eschew his signature fingerstyle hybrid-picking technique from time to time and rip out sweep-picked arpeggios, proving that the technique is not genre specific.

Gambale explains his approach wonderfully in his instructional video, Monster Licks and Speed Picking. Here we utilize two-string sweeps with pentatonic shapes. The first five exercises in this lesson are designed to give you a systematic approach to practicing the component movements of sweep picking: This essentially means that when you play a scale, there will be a two-string mini-sweep whenever you move to an adjacent string.

Something with a thickness between one and two millimeters and a rounded tip will provide the right amount of attack and still glide over the strings with ease. This major triad shape is an essential part of the Yngwie Malmsteen school of sweeping.

When ascending, use a single motion to pick all six strings, making sure only one note is fretted at a time. This example is reminiscent of players such as Jason Becker and Jeff Loomis. Once you are comfortable with this shape you can apply the same approach to minor, suspended and diminished-seven arpeggios. Once again, if you focus on nailing the highest and lowest notes along with the beat, oicking in-between notes should automatically fall into place. Ppicking your fingers flat against the two-string groups, and transfer pressure between strings using a rolling action to mute inactive strings and prevent notes from ringing together.

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Practicing gxmbale exercise with a metronome for just two minutes every day will improve your coordination and your confidence to use the technique in your own playing.

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Attempting to emulate on his Fender Stratocaster the fluid, breathtaking passages Paganini would compose and play on violin, Malmsteen concluded that sweep picking was the perfect way to travel quickly from string to string with a smooth, fluid sound much like what a violinist can create with his bow. When it comes to sweep picking, muting is the key to cleanliness.

It was Stockholm, Sweden, however that would produce the name most synonymous with sweeping in a rock context, one that gave rise to a guitar swrep known as neoclassical heavy metal. Only one string should be piciing at any time this is key! Economy picking requires that your pick take the shortest journey possible when crossing from string to string. Now we move on to some five-string shapes, the likes of which you can hear in the playing of Steve Vai and Mattias Eklundh.

Bar 12 is the trickiest part of the piece to play and utilizes some Jason Becker—inspired six-string shapes. The final bar is based on the A harmonic minor scale A B C E D F G and incorporates economy picking when traveling from the fifth string to the fourth. The descending section includes a pull-off on the high E string, which, although momentarily disruptive to your picking, is preferable to adding another downstroke.

It is also the aspect that will take the most practice to master. Move your pick at a constant speed to ensure the notes are evenly spaced. This means starting with eighth notes, and while this will feel very slow, picknig technique will become trickier with each successive note grouping: If you have problems with string muting or note separation, apply some light palm muting to the notes as they are picked.

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Big Strokes: A Beginner’s Guide to Sweep Picking | Guitarworld

Concentrate on the general down-up motion of your picking hand rather than each pick stroke. If you fail to do this and allow notes on gambal strings to ring together, it will negate the desired effect and pic,ing like you are simply strumming a chord. Be sure to follow the indicated picking directions.

The phrasing here is 16th-note quintuplets five notes per beat. Work from two strings up to six, keeping your metronome at the same tempo.

Every three notes your pick will change direction. The alternating eighth-note triplet and quarter-note phrasing allows you to focus on the picking pattern in small bursts and then pickign for a beat.

This teaches your picking hand to make smooth motions rather than two separate downward or upward strokes. The thickness and sharpness of your pick will hugely impact the tone of your sweep picking.

This is an effective way to improve note clarity. The Bm7b5 B D F A arpeggio in bar 4 has a series of three-string sweeps swee with some challenging string skips.

Sweep Picking lesson from Frank Gambale

This piece is in the key of A minor. This is quite challenging for the picklng hand, so start very slowly and remember to keep the hand moving smoothly. The second set of five exercises handles some common sweep-picking approaches.

Remember, sweep picking is most effective when each note is cleanly separated from the last, so aim to have only one finger in gambae with the fretboard at a time in order to keep the notes from ringing together.

Pay special attention to the picking directions in both the ascending and descending fragments.