People have asked me about my practice using a simple sweep picking arpeggio technique. I practiced this one, SIMPLE exercise over a period of a few months and had some HUGE playing breakthroughs. I mean, real big. Maybe it was just me being ready for it. I don't know. But it seemed like a really big light suddenly went on for me.

I really want to share this. So, I've made a first attempt at getting this down on video. I really tried to be clear and simple, and I have more to add, but I hope you guys can help me make this MUCH better. If you have the time, please watch and comment on anything related to content -- particularly if it was hard to understand.

It was more work than I thought. In addition to trying to do the actual playing, navigating and dealing with all the technical issues with recording, audio clarity, matching up audio with video tracks, dealing with Garargeband lagging was kind of a pain. It was just me, my guitar, my Macbook, and Guitarport. I know there's technical problems, but I'm just getting used to using this software. I'd like to add some diagrams to make it easier to understand.

Basically, I only cover Major arpeggios. You need to do the same with Minor arpeggios. It's exactly the same concept -- 3 positions, 3 diagonals, 3 inversions for 3 notes of the chord. Doing this with Diminished and Whole Tone is even easier as it's just 1 diagonal form for each that you just slide up 3 frets for diminished and 2 frets for whole tone. I am also missing a section on how to do the transitional patterns. It's pretty easy as you just have to use the top 3 strings of one diagonal with the bottom 3 of the adjacent diagonals. I'll get that added at some point.

The benefits of this 1 simple practice are:

- Helps "see" the whole fretboard
- Move around the whole neck when improvising
- Play right on the chord changes with a good note every time you need it
- Great for making up your own really cool riffs on the fly
- Great when you want a burst of speed because of the sweep
- Great warm up exercise
- Helps relax picking hand

I tried to be simple, step-by-step in the video. Its pretty simple. The video starts with the 3 basic diagonals; shows how to go about the basic, 6 string sweep pattern; demonstrates "walking" the sweeps up and down the neck in the basic practice; shows how to apply it fairly slowly to an A Blues progression. The last 3.5 minutes is me just playing using the concepts throughout. Believe me, I was only stepping on the gas about 20-30% just trying to do a single clean take with minimal screw ups. Kind of leisurely just trying to record while dealing with all the technical issues of getting a clean view and all.

One thing this video is NOT about is picking or fretting technique. It's more about the content of what to practice.

Now that I actually checked out what got uploaded, there seems to be some definite lagging issues on the audio. Crap. Anyways, hope the point makes it across to some extent...

Very Bummed about the technical issues. Trying to record video while at the same time recording audio and generating all the waveform amp generation playback is probably a bit too much for my poor Macbook's CPU to handle. Kinda makes it look like I don't have rhythm. LOL. Anyways, I do much better with audio only. I'm basically doing the same stuff in my "Blues in A" tracks on my soundcloud link below. Listen there. Visually I hope it gets across how playing all over the neck is kind of a breeze.


I thought UG email'd me a reply, but maybe it got deleted?

Anyways. The video gets my point across somewhat, but I'm very disappointed with the overall quality of it. It really gets lost in the "yeah its just another guitar video" mountain of other guitar videos unless it has some real special visual pizzazz. I doubt I'm the first to make this sort of connection, so if you really find some other videos that are better done that involve arpeggios and sweep picking practice... pay attention to them! It's really very helpful and important to your practice I'd say! I'll be happy to answer any questions, but in the future I'll stick to just recording audio.

(To the guy that mentioned the use of distortion in it. I quite agree. It was a bad choice. I thought it sounded ok with headphones, but not very good when I reviewed it after the upload. And no, playing on video is not as much fun for me as just recording the sound. I was just trying to demonstrate.)
Last edited by edg at Sep 2, 2015,
Honestly, I got lost. Did you write out a script or just wing it? I think you need to get down to the point as you tend to waffle on a bit while noodling with the guitar. A good addition would be some diagrams to show the positions and possibly some tabs that the listener can download and follow along with. I don't think it takes 19min of video to say what you need to say.

Other than that the guitar volume is far too loud compared to your voice. Ideally your voice needs to be louder, but if you can't use a headset then at least turn the guitar down (and in turn I can turn up my speakers).

Appreciate what you are trying to do here and I hope you try to improve it as it sounds like it might be very useful. But as it is I don't really understand exactly what it is I should be doing. I like videos that tell me, learn this, then this. I think I get what you are trying to show. It's about knowing the intervals, in this case the root, major 3rd, and 5th.
What you should be doing is:

1) Learn the 3 "diagonals". Which are really just the 3 major chord inversions across 6 strings.
2) Sweep each diagonal back & forth across 6 strings at each position.
3) Walk this up and down the neck. (use some transitional patterns to help you do this described above)
4) Do THAT (3) and ONLY THAT(3) for a while until you're really comfy with it.

Then try it with a LITTLE bit more improvisation to it to -- even just 1 chord backing. Then 3 chords backing (like blues).

Honestly, it *seems* so simple to me. *Only* this helped me *so* much.

I agree with everything you say. All of it for the most part. I left out the transitional forms which I described above. However, recording video for me and trying to make this clear was so much work and frustratingly a pain due to technical lagging using the equipment I had, I probably won't do any more video recording. Maybe eventually. I *did* have a scripted outline. I put a lot of work into this. I really wish I had somebody better to deal with the video scripting and recording and showing diagrams so I can *just* play and explain. But it's just me, and I'm not an expert with video and how to script for maximum effect.

Thank you thank you thank you for the feedback and watching. You are the only one to do so.
Last edited by edg at Sep 2, 2015,