In this lesson we’re going to look at a creative way to approach sweep picking using the dorian mode as our road map. We’ll also take these ideas to make a blazing sequence across all six strings.
Conventionally a lot of players will tell you that sweep picking is essentially taking chords and playing them in a single note, or arpeggiated fashion. While this is true we can break out of the norm by using our mode shapes to create new and exciting possibilities for advanced sweep picking ideas.
Advanced Sweep Picking: Dorian Mode
Technically we are still using notes from chords. However we’re referring to the mode shapes to create arpeggios that work out well for sweep picking. As opposed to looking at chords as the source, I personally like to use the mode shapes to explore creative ways to sweep pick.
Here’s the full Dorian mode as a 3nps shape:
The Power Within
I find it’s much easier to find lots of different shapes within all the modes rather than tying to map out a chord in a ‘sweepable’ pattern. There is no right or wrong way to approach sweep picking and arpeggios. This is simply another way to approach the subject.
This dorian sweep has a really unconventional sound as it quickly changes tonality as you sweep through it. This shape is a great way of obtaining the dorian sound for that reason. Lets look at the 3nps dorian shape and how we derive this sweep directly from it.
This diagram shows the notes we’ll be sweeping and the faded notes are the rest of the mode.
Audio Example: Fast & Slow
Check out our audio example below. This is in the key of E dorian. We have played it through slow and up to speed twice.
Advanced Sweep Picking: Unconventional Fingerings
Be careful with how you finger this shape, you’ll need to employ some unconventional fingering to ensure you can get to the notes efficiently.
Creating A Sequence
Here’s a neat little trick you can do; take this idea and make a sequence of it before blazing through the whole arpeggio. This will offer you more time to transition to your next phrase or lick.
Look at your 3nps Dorian mode shape. Now start to see how you can use groups of 3 strings to create sequences within the shape as a whole. I’ve demonstrated some examples here.
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