Sweep-picking: The Breakthrough Lick

If you’ve been seduced by the complex and somewhat flogged to death sounds of sweep-picking and are in the process of nailing it, I’d like to share my ‘breakthrough lick’ so that you too can do the 100 day sweep-picking challenge in as few as 10 days. This is the lick that gave me my first taste of sweep-picking glory, flung the shred doors wide open, and rolled out the cream-colored carpet of incessant wankery.

I’d been looking for a lick to work on and finally settled on the three-string lick below which is a major arpeggio that travels across three strings. I’d tried two and four-string patterns, but these didn’t feel right, although depending on how close you are you might want to try a two-string pattern like the one below.

100 day sweep picking challenge

If that doesn’t quite do it for you, or you mastered it and it didn’t really feel like you were sweep-picking, try a three-string pattern.

So, this was the lick where it all came together in one glorious and effortless motion:

100 day sweep picking challenge

If it works for you, try the minor version by moving your first finger down a fret. If it doesn’t work, keep searching for your breakthrough lick and you’ll get there a lot faster.

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