3 Advanced Sweep Picking Licks and One Mega Lick

In this lesson, I'm going to present you with three advanced sweep picking licks, and one mega sweeping lick.

3 Advanced Sweep Picking Licks and One Mega Lick
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Hi guys, in this lesson, I'm going to teach 3 advanced sweeping licks, and end it with one giant lick. Before I even begin, if you are new to sweep picking, this lesson isn't intended to teach the very basics of the technique, however, that doesn't mean don't practice these licks. When I first started sweep picking, I actually found a lot of the more complicated licks to be simpler than a lot of the 3 string sweeps.

Now that that's out of the way, let's begin. The first lick I have for you guys is a chromatic based idea that sounds a bit outside of the box, and can be fun to mess around with when improvising.

v=upstroke
d=downstroke
e|-15p12----------12---------------------------------------------------------|
B|-------13----13----15p12----------12-17p14----------14-16p13----------13---|
G|----------12-------------13----13----------15----15----------14----14------|
D|----------------------------14----------------16----------------15---------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
Lick 2: This next lick is inspired by the third arpeggio shape in Jason Becker's "Perpetual Burn." This lick is a good example of combining alternate picking and sweep picking in one. Make sure, like the first lick, to practice this slowly. This will be a very challenging lick to get under your fingers, but when you do, you will definitely impress all your friends with your made sweep picking skills! This lick, as with all the others in this, is phrased in strict 16th note triplets.
e|-17p11----------------------11-13-14---------------------------------------|
B|-------15----------------15------------------------------------------------|
G|----------14p12----12h14---------------------------------------------------|
D|----------------13---------------------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
Lick 3: The final lick before the mega lick,this one is basically a really eclectic way I'll transfer from a major arpeggio (in this case C) to another Major arpeggio (E Major). Notice how this could be useful, especially in a power metal setting, where that chord change in particular is very common.
e|-15p12----------------------------------------------12-16------------------|
B|-------13-------------------13-------------------12------------------------|
G|----------12-------------14----14-------------13---------------------------|
D|-------------14-------15----------15-------14------------------------------|
A|----------------15-16-------------------14---------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------12------------------------------------|
Mega Lick: Ok guys, now, this one is going to be challenging in a bunch of different ways. First off, it uses a ton of different shapes, lots of barres, and has some odd string and picking movements. Secondly, as you will see in the video i have at the end of this, I wrote this lick to be played relatively slow by sweep picking standards (100 bpm, 16th note triplets), which, at least for me, makes it even more challenging. Well, without further ado, here's the lick!!!
e|-------------8-12p8-------11p7---------------------7-10p5-------5-10p5-----|
B|-----------8--------8---8------9-----------------9--------7---7--------7---|
G|---------9------------9----------8-------------8------------7------------7-|
D|------10---------------------------9---------9-----------------------------|
A|---10--------------------------------11p6h11-------------------------------|
E|-8-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
e|---------------5-9p5---------------------8-12p8--------------------------10|
B|-------------5-------5-----------------8--------8---------------------10---|
G|-----------6-----------6-------------9------------9----------------11------|
D|-7-------7---------------7--------10----------------10----------12---------|
A|---5---7-------------------7---10----------------------10----12------------|
E|-----5-----------------------8----------------------------10---------------|

e|-14p10-------------------------7-11p7-------7-10p5-------5-14p10-----------|
B|-------10--------------------9--------9---9--------7---7---------10----10--|
G|----------11---------------8------------8------------7--------------11-----|
D|-------------12----------9-------------------------------------------------|
A|----------------12----11---------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------11------------------------------------------------------|
e|-10-17p13----------13-17p13----------13-15p12----------12-15p12----------12|
B|----------13----13----------13----13----------13----13----------13----13---|
G|-------------14----------------14----------------12----------------12------|
D|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|

e|-18p15----------15-18p15----------15-13p10----------10-13p10----------10---|
B|-------16----16----------16----16----------11----11----------11----11------|
G|----------15----------------15----------------10----------------10---------|
D|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
e|-13p9--------9-13p9--------9-11p8-------8-11p8-------8-13p9--------9-13p9--|
B|------9----9--------9----9--------9---9--------9---9--------9----9---------|
G|--------10------------10------------8------------8------------10-----------|
D|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
e|--------9-13p10----------10-16p13----------13-16p13------------------------|
B|-9----9---------12----12----------15----15----------15-------15p12---------|
G|---10--------------13----------------16----------------16p13-------13------|
D|----------------------------------------------------------------------15p12|
A|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
e|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
G|-13p10---------------------------------------------------------------------|
D|-------12-------12---------------------------------------------------------|
A|----------13p10------------------------------------------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------------------------------------------|
So, there it was. All of that lick is phrased in 16th note triplets, except the ending diminished part, that's phrased in 32nd notes. The tempo again for this section is 100 bpm. To close off this article, I'm going to leave you with this following advice, and then a video of me playing the mega lick in a song i made as a tribute to Jason Becker. The advice, sweep picking is a very challenging technique, and especially to younger players, the will to overuse it will be high. In the right context, it can be amazing. But if overused, it can get very boring (after all, it really is just arpeggiated chords played fast). Trust me, as a guitarist, make sure your vibrato, your bending, and your overall picking chops are solid before putting tons of effort into learning this technique. ALSO, ALWAYS PRACTICE SLOWLY UNTIL YOU CAN PLAY THE LICK PERFECTLY! 

Well then, to close, here's a video of me playing this sweeping section. If you don't want to listen to the rest of the song, skip to 1:18. Make sure to watch how I fret the different shapes, and how I pick them as well!


Hope this lesson gave you a few new ideas, if you have any questions, feel free to comment on here, I will answer back when I can!

All the best,
Jake Popowski

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    huronpalace
    you are insane! but i really like your first 3 licks, Nice!
    awesomo41894
    Thanks man!!! I just totally noticed i forgot to include the picking directions for these licks. If anyone wants, ill put them in a further comment!
    BadBikaDamo
    It would be great if you could do a guitar pro version and post a link?