How To Sweep Pick Arpeggios to Enhance Your Guitar Solos

Yngwve Malmsteen sweep pick arpeggios

How To Sweep Pick Arpeggios to Enhance Your Guitar Solos

In today’s lesson, you are going to learn how to sweep pick arpeggios to enhance your guitar solos.  This is a more advanced technique and will take some practice to master.  But if you put in the time, it will be fun to execute.  It will also create a very nice visual appeal to your playing.

It will also improve your musical ability by giving you an insight into pentatonic scale box pattern 4.  I say this because, in this scale pattern, you can find this arpeggio quite easily.   Due to the way the notes line up.  There are many different types of arpeggios throughout the fretboard.  But this would be the easiest one to start with.

Pentatonic scale box patterns

When playing guitar solos, you want to start out by learning all 5 pentatonic scale box patterns.  Why?  Because they all offer something a little different in style and musical flavor.  This is due to the way the notes line u in the scale.

Box pattern 1 is the minor pentatonic scale and fits well over any chord progression that is played in a minor key.  Such as E minor, A minor or G minor.  Box pattern 2 is the major pentatonic scale. And fits well over any chord progression that is played in a major key.  C major, B major D major, etc.

Box patterns 3 and 5 have some really nice attributes to them as well for adding different types of flavor and emotion to your guitar playing.  That is because they connect directly to box patterns 1 and 2 and can be used as scale extensions.

That leaves us with box pattern 4.  Oh and if your not too sure why they are called box patterns, it is because the way the notes line up along the fretboard they create a box.  This is why they are so popular.  This lining up of the notes makes them easy to play and remember.

Pentatonic box pattern 4

This box pattern is geat for sweep picking arpeggios.  The way the notes line up to make it perfect to learn this technique.  Let’s look at the pattern and find out where this simple arpeggio is located so we can have fun playing arpeggios.

A minor Pentatonic Scale 4th position

Here is the A minor Pentatonic scale 4th position box pattern.  The arpeggio in this scale is on 4 strings.  The D, G, B & E.  The notes in this image, (the numbers represent your fingers) are going to be the 3, 3, 2, 1 & 4. Look at the image above and find these notes on your guitar.  Remember, your biggest string (your 6th string) is going to be on the bottom.

Here it is written out in tab for another point of view and possibly an easier way to read it.

Sweep Pick Arpeggios in tab

Here we have the pentatonic scale box pattern 4th position written in tablature.  This would be in the key of A minor.  Same as above, just written differently.  In the first measure is the scale, in the second measure is the notes that make up the arpeggio that comes out of the scale. These notes are what you want to focus on.

Watch the video lesson below

Sweep pick arpeggios

Sweep pick arpeggios are a great way to add flair to your playing.  Of course, they do take some practice.  You need to develop both hands very well as this technique requires both hands to be doing something very different.  The fretboard hand doing the arpeggio and the picking hand doing the sweeping across the strings.

Fretboard hand development

The fretboard hand is the one that actually creates the arpeggio.  So the development of this is very important.  These notes line u in a certain order that makes this sound cool.  You must master these notes in order for this to sound correct.

Make sure that you can visualize the note pattern.  Practicing visualization in all areas od the guitar (scales and chords alike) is going to help you tremendously along your journey of guitar mastery.  With the arpeggio you want the notes to ring out individually and not sound muffled.

Picking hand development

This hand is what does the sweeping.  Kind of like a kitchen broom sweeping across the floor.  This is the technique that you want to develop and master.  You want to gently and smoothly sweep the pick across all six strings in a singular motion.  Practice going down and then back up.

Be sure to take some time with this as it is not as easy as it looks.  You want to be able to sweep across all six strings at the same time the fretboard hand plays all the notes in the arpeggio.  Once you have that going down, then try sweeping back up while the fretboard hand reverses the arpeggio.

Guitar solo mastery

Playing guitar solos is not always easy.  It is one of the reasons why so many people struggle with it in the beginning.  But with the proper training, you can make leaps and bounds and see some real results.

Now if you’re already playing guitar solos and have a pretty good grasp on the fundamentals.  Your pentatonic scales, chord progressions to solo over and know how to do that in both major ad minor keys.  Then it’s possible you might be ready for a deeper dive into guitar solo mastery.

Lead Guitar Wizardry volume 2

Lead Guitar Wizardry volume 2 is a method book that I wrote and published that starts off where volume 1 ended.  It continues the study of guitar solo mastery with more advanced techniques, spells, and incantations. Starting off with licks that can be mastered with the 5 pentatonic scale patterns. Then moving on to a full understanding of the modes that come out of the major scale.

Lead Guitar Wizardry Volume 2

In addition to all that, you will also learn:

*Major scale mode formulas

*Minor scales

*Melodic sequencing

*Advanced finger exercises

*Parallel modes

*Mode-triad relationships

*Advanced music theory

*Rock licks, finger tapping & double stops

And of course the infamous, knowledge of sweep picking arpeggios.  A very cool technique to master.  Lead Guitar Wizardry volume 2 will teach you techniques that you didn’t even know existed when it comes to playing scales and using them for lead guitar playing.

No more frustration with solos

In fact, if you really dive into this study and follow the step-by-step lesson plans with dedication and commitment, you will see your guitar solos and musical knowledge be taken to the next level.  I guarantee it!  Of course, if you just buy the book, go through a few lessons and give up, you’re going to continue with frustration!

But, if you stay focused, work on understanding the material presented (and if you have any questions I’m right here to help you) and actually take action on it, you will see serious progress over a short period of time. Then, you will begin to build confidence in your playing and become a lead guitar wizard yourself.

Lesson conclusion

As I’ve said before, when it comes to playing guitar solos and learning to sweep pick arpeggios, you’ll need to practice!  And I do mean practice!  It’s just that simple.  You’ll need to be dedicated.  You’ll need to develop patience and be committed to the process.  For it will take some time to master.

That is why lead guitar players get the spotlight!  Because they put in extra hours and have acquired more practice time on the instrument.  So if you’d like to be the one in the spotlight either on stage or in front of friends and family at a social gathering, then this is what you’ll need to do.

If you’re just getting started playing guitar solos, be sure to grab my FREE action-guide “Guitar Solo Secrets” to help you get a head-start on moving in the right direction. And if you have any questions about what I teach, just contact me and I’ll be happy to help you out. Also, be sure to follow me on Social Media as I am on all of the popular ones.

Best of luck, and until the next lesson, take care.

Sincerely, Dwayne.

Enhance Your Guitar Solos with Pentatonic Scale Pattern 4