Advanced 5 String Sweep Exercise with Chris Zoupa

author: Chris Zoupa date: 12/24/2013 category: guitar techniques
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Advanced 5 String Sweep Exercise with Chris Zoupa
This exercise is pretty Jason Becker and Alex Skolnick (Testament) inspired. I find that the majority arpeggios I see are either 3 string noob ones or five string arpeggios being lead by the pinky. I put this exercise together to tackle the bigger and more challenging arpeggio sweeps. The chord progression for this sequence is: Am G F E7 into G#dim7
The "A" minor, "G" major and "F" major arpeggios can all be addressed similarly. The first thing to point out is the hammers on the 5th string from the root (1st note of the arpeggio) to the 3rd (major or minor). After that we ascend through the sweep and we'll have another hammer on that will occur on the first string. When incorporating hammer ons into sweeps, you must be wary of how much time it takes for the hammer on or pulloff to finish before your picking hand can restart the gliding/sweeping motion again. It might sound silly, but there's a moment of hesitation where you'll need to "waste a bit of time" so your hands can sync up again. A common problem is that the hammers will slow down the whole arpeggio or you'll see players carelessly and sloppily sweeping through which will generally sound awful. Players that do this need to take a shower and "wash off their shames." The next thing the mention is the flat finger rolls. In the minor arpeggios you'll need to roll through 2 notes with the ring finger and in the major arpeggios you'll roll through 3 notes with the middle finger. Get your head around the arpeggio shapes slowly before you start sweeping them. You can do this quite simply by just picking the individual notes. When you come across any of the flat finger moments in the arpeggio, you'll need to roll that finger to avoid any notes sustaining into each other. The most delicious of arpeggios sound like many awesome, fast notes 1 after the other. An awesome sweep can be totally mucked up when 2 to 3 notes start ringing together like a mini chord. Once again if you rush this and don't do it properly you'll need to "wash off your shames." Finally I wanted to talk about the E7 into G#diminished7 arpeggio at the end of the exercise. The sweeping on this on this last arpeggio uses the same hammer on principles from the first 3 arpeggios, but you also need to make allowances for the slides. When the hammers and slides have finished you can restart the gliding/sweep motion again on your picking hand. Be patient with this diminished sweep as it's a bit redonk. Have fun with this one guys. If we can all get good enough at sweeping, maybe we can all become janitors...

By Chris Zoupa
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