SWEEP­ING AND TAP­PING

Australian Guitar - - Technique -

One of my per­sonal favourite lead gui­tar tech­niques is some­thing I like to call sweep-tapped arpeg­gios. By this, I mean you sweep pick an as­cend­ing arpeg­gio and then tap an ex­tra note higher in pitch with your right hand. It cre­ates a very smooth, fluid, and pi­ano-like ef­fect. I think they sound pretty cool!

EX­ER­CISE #1

In the key of B, I’ve no­tated the ma­jor and mi­nor ver­sions of a ba­sic arpeg­gio shape us­ing this sweep-tap tech­nique. Although you can use any arpeg­gio shape, I’ve found that this one is the eas­i­est, so it’s a good place to start. Start­ing on the fifth string, use the one con­tin­u­ous right hand down­ward pick stroke while fret­ting the left-hand notes – slightly re­leas­ing the pres­sure af­ter each note is played. When you get to the first string, ham­mer-on with your left hand and then slightly move your right hand to­wards the fret­board and tap the next note with your right hand mid­dle fin­ger (the 19th fret oc­tave, in this case). You then pull off your right hand mid­dle fin­ger (by slightly flick­ing it down­wards) into a left hand pull-off. Move your right hand back into po­si­tion and then per­form an up­wards sweep, fin­ish­ing where you started on the root note. Start slow and work on the co­or­di­na­tion of both hands be­fore try­ing to build up the speed.

EX­ER­CISE #2

Here, in the key of E mi­nor, I’ve taken the ba­sic ma­jor/mi­nor shapes from the pre­vi­ous ex­er­cise and ap­plied them to a Im-Vm-VII-IV-VIIII-VI-VII-Im chord pro­gres­sion. This in­volves quite a bit of jump­ing around the fret­board, so once again, start off slow and work on stay­ing in time. For some of the arpeg­gios fur­ther down the fret­board, you may find that you need to sweep pick in a di­ag­o­nal mo­tion (to­wards the neck as you as­cend and away from the neck as you de­scend). This is so that you have time to reach the tapped note. Keep in mind that this is just an ex­er­cise – in a more mu­si­cal con­text, you should be care­ful not to overdo it with this sweep-tap tech­nique!

Give these sweep-tapped arpeg­gios a go for your­self and try in­cor­po­rat­ing the tech­nique into your own so­los.

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