In this quick licks webisode we’re going to look at extending the basic 5 string sweep picked arpeggio shapes to make them sound much bigger and more interesting. This is a good exercise in beginning to advance your sweep picking ability. Lets look at some easy extensions you can add to the two most common sweep picked arpeggio shapes.
These will make your arpeggios sound much bigger and cover more of the neck. These extended sweep picking ideas are the next step in becoming an efficient sweep picker. The basic 5 string shapes now cover 6 strings, however we’ll do this in a way that still feels familiar. It’s important that you apply the correct fingering technique to ensure these sound as smooth as silk.
Extended Sweep Picking: Major Arpeggio
To execute these extended sweep picking shapes we’re going to use some nice fluid sounding slides and additional hammer-ons. The fretboard diagram below shows the additional notes that we’ll be using in relation to the major arpeggio shape.
Let’s start by looking the 5 string major arpeggio shape. These are known as triad arpeggios because they contain the root, third and fifth notes from the corresponding scale.
Notice how ordinarily you would have a perfect fourth interval between your pinky and index fingers at the lower end of this shape on the A string. We can close this gap by adding a note in the middle. From here we can slide down to the note we would have been on anyway. This sets us up perfectly to extend down to the 6th string with little additional effort.
From the A string hammer on to the 12th fret on the low E string. Then, pull off to fret 10 and slide down to fret 8 using your index finger. You can do this exact sequence in reverse order to play the arpeggio in an ascending manner.
Minor Arpeggio Variant
We’re going to use the exact same ideas here but in the minor arpeggio variant. Since we’re referencing the natural minor scale we’ll have different additional notes but the concept is exactly the same. The beauty of this idea is that it can now be applied to any 5 string sweep picking shape, regardless of tonality or extensions.
Here’s the regular version of the minor triad arpeggio.
Make sure you use the exact same finger combinations as before to descend down onto the low E string.
Idea Expander! – Add Some Tapping
If you’re feeling adventurous you can add an additional octave to these already monstrous arpeggios in the form of tapping. Here’s some examples of how to do that. For the T2 – T3 tapping I would suggest using your middle and ring fingers on your picking hand so you can still hold onto the pick!
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