We spend months of our lives talking about all these “guitar magazine” kind of discussions, who’s the best guitar player and his sweep picking. The notion of sweeping (or raking) the pick across the strings to produce Fusion maestro Frank Gambale is widely considered to be the most. If Frank Gambale were a DC Comics hero, he would surely have a big S on his chest. But that S would not stand for Superman. (That’s taken.

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Focus on synchronizing your hands so that your pick and fretting fingers make contact with the string at exactly the same moment.

Jazz players from the Fifties, such as Les Paul, Barney Kessel and Tal Farlow, would use the approach in their improvisations, and country guitar genius Chet Atkins was known to eschew his signature fingerstyle hybrid-picking technique from time to time and rip out sweep-picked arpeggios, proving that the technique is not genre specific.

This means starting with eighth notes, and while this will feel very slow, the technique will become trickier with each successive note grouping: Attempting to emulate on his Fender Stratocaster the fluid, breathtaking passages Paganini would compose and play on violin, Malmsteen concluded that sweep picking was the perfect way to travel quickly from string to string with a smooth, fluid sound much like what a violinist can create with his bow.

Originally released in gambake, it remains a must-watch video eweep anyone interested in developing a smooth sweep-picking technique. Bar 12 is the trickiest part of the piece to play and utilizes some Jason Becker—inspired six-string shapes.

The thickness and sharpness of your pick will hugely impact the tone of your sweep picking. Only one string should be fretted at any time this is key! Pay special attention to the picking ganbale in both the ascending and descending fragments. Here we utilize two-string sweeps with pentatonic shapes.


The phrasing here is 16th-note quintuplets five notes per beat. This piece is in the key of A minor. Move your pick at a constant speed to ensure the notes are evenly spaced. If you have problems with string muting or note separation, apply some light palm muting to the notes as they are picked.

This example includes ascending and descending fragments again, this time played together. The second set of five exercises handles some common sweep-picking approaches. Next come some A minor triads A C Eplayed with a progressively increasing number of strings; this is a great way to build your confidence in sweep picking larger shapes.

Sweep Picking lesson from Frank Gambale

This is an effective way to improve note clarity. Get the Tone In rock, this technique is best suited to Strat-style guitars, using the neck pickup setting for a warm, round tone.

When ascending, gambake a single motion to pick all six strings, making sure only one note is fretted at a time. This essentially means that when you play a scale, there will be a two-string mini-sweep whenever you move to an adjacent string.

Concentrate on the general down-up motion of your picking hand rather than each pick stroke.

Big Strokes: A Beginner’s Guide to Sweep Picking | Guitarworld

It was Stockholm, Sweden, however that would produce the name most synonymous with sweeping in a rock context, one that gave rise to a guitar movement known as neoclassical heavy metal. If you fail to do this and allow notes on adjacent strings to ring swewp, it will negate the desired effect and sound like you are simply strumming a chord. The second part of the piece has a more neoclassical approach and begins with some Yngwie-style three-string triads incorporating pull-offs. The Bm7b5 B D F A arpeggio in bar 4 has a series of three-string sweeps combined with some challenging string skips.

The descending section includes a pull-off on the high E string, which, although momentarily disruptive to your picking, is pickibg to adding another downstroke.

Economy picking requires that your pick take the shortest journey possible when crossing from string to string. This is quite challenging for the picking hand, so start very gamable and remember to keep the hand moving smoothly.


Sweep Picking lesson from Frank Gambale – Veojam

Something with a thickness between one and two millimeters and a rounded tip will provide the right amount of attack and still glide over the strings with ease. Pickint teaches your picking hand to make smooth motions rather than two separate downward or upward strokes. The final bar is based on the A harmonic minor scale A B C E D F G and incorporates gamballe picking when traveling from the fifth string to the fourth.

Practicing each exercise with a metronome for just two minutes every day will improve your coordination and pickign confidence to use the technique in your own playing. Now we move on to some five-string shapes, the likes of which you can hear in the playing of Steve Vai and Mattias Eklundh.

When it comes to sweep picking, muting is the key to cleanliness. Gambale explains his approach wonderfully pifking his instructional video, Monster Licks and Speed Picking.

Use your first finger on the fifth fret and third finger on the seventh fret.

Work from two strings up to six, keeping your metronome at the same tempo. Every three notes your pick pickking change direction. These are shown in one position and based on one chord type each, thus focusing your attention on the exercise until you have become accustomed to the technique.

Remember, sweep picking is most effective when each note is cleanly separated from the last, so aim to have only one finger in contact with the fretboard at a time in order to keep the notes from ringing together.