Hey guys, on the first hand I hope that you practiced the arpeggio shapes I showed you in sweep picking exercises part 1, and on second hand I hope that you are ready for Pachelbel’s canon sweep picking sequence.
In Sweep Picking Exercises – Part 1 I told you my honest opinion about sweep picking and talked to you about :
- The importance of FOCUS
- Concentrating on the left-hand technique FIRST
- Concentrating on the right-hand technique SECOND
- Using note values to your advantage
Now I am going to show you the sweep picking exercises sequence that uses variations of the 2 sweep picking shapes I showed you in part 1. The only difference will be on the fret you tap the notes.
Without further ado here is Pachelbel’s canon sweep sequence:
- Bars 1-3
- Bars 4-6
- Bars 7-10
You repeat the 1-8 bars one time and then you finish the sequence with bars 9 and 10.
Things to keep in mind when attempting to do the above sweep picking exercises.
I would first like to tell you that if you are new to sweep picking, being able to play the above sequence at 152 BPM takes time and in order to play it effortlessly you will need :
Table of Contents
Guitar playing, the same as other aspects of our life, is a process and forcing things to happen will cause you BIG problems on the long run.
Don’t worry I am going to give you a blueprint for how to practice in order to master it properly
RELAXED hands and body
If you are wondering what does the body has to do with guitar playing, I am going to tell you that although some of you may not be aware of it, you use every muscle from your waist up.
Just think of a moment in your guitar-playing career when you forced yourself to play something at a speed that wasn’t natural for you and how tension manifested as back pain, neck pain, hand pain and so on.
That’s the result of not knowing how to practice properly in order to achieve your desired speed goal.
When playing the guitar always remember the following sentence:
RELAXED MUSCLES ARE FAST MUSCLES
DISCIPLINE (Probably Some Of You Saw That Coming J)
You have to discipline yourself the follow the steps I am going to give you.
Most certainly you are going to reach a point in your sweep picking sequence practice where you will feel that you can play faster than the BPM you are practicing.
You will see that you can play faster and will try to overburn yourself. That is a big mistake because concerning memory muscle if you practice for 15 minutes for example correctly and teach your body to be relaxed and then practice for 5 minutes tensed just for the sake for playing faster, you are basically going to unlearn your muscle to be relaxed and you will end up being frustrated about not making any progress.
A metronome is crucial for measuring your progress and for playing in time.
IMPORTANT NOTE TO KEEP IN MIND: If you are new to sweep picking, when first learning how to use your left hand correctly you can get used to the shapes without the metronome, just make shorthand movements for 15 30 minutes a day and you will see your hands getting used the shapes very quickly.
DON’T FORCE THINGS TO HAPPEN
Practicing the above sequence should be an add-on to what you are already playing.
Don’t devote more than 30 – 60 minutes to it a day. The principle is simple, just think of bodybuilders. Although their goal is to get their muscles bigger by the day they don’t go to the gym 12 hours a day to practice. In fact, bodybuilders is recommended to makes 1-day breaks after training certain groups of muscles.
These are some of the most important things I have learned through trial and error during my playing career so please follow them as they are for your own good J.
How to practice the sweep picking exercises arpeggio shapes?
- 1. Select a BPM where you can play effortlessly. It’s doesn’t matter if it’s 60 or 120 BPM. This thing depends on your skill level. At low speed, you say that you aren’t sweeping and that is just playing those notes. That Is part of the process, in that stage, you are learning your fretting hand to properly play and get used to shapes and make them second nature for you.
- Try to be able to play triplets (3 notes per beat) at that bpm.
- As I told you in part 1 use note values to your advantage.
- Select bars 1-8 and apply the 4,3,2,1 X 4 method ( I wrote about it in “The Guitar Blueprint to Success”)
- This means A. Play bars 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – 4 times each, B. Play bars 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – 3 times each, C. Play bars 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 -2 times each, D. Play bars 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 -1 times each, E. Play bars 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 – play bars 1-8 5 times, same as it is written on the tab. ( Here you can also include bars 9 and 10). Basically only now you can play all the sequences.
- Raise the BPM with 10 and repeat the process.
- Raise the BPM again with 10 and repeat the process.
- STOP PLAYING THE ARPEGGIO SEQUENCE FOR THAT DAY.
- I would recommend that you use the same bpm for at least 2 or 3 days. THAT’S HOW THEY WILL BECOME SECOND NATURE.
That is the 4,3,2,1 X 4 method that I discovered applied to the sweep picking exercises sequence.
Sweep Picking Exercises Part 2 Final Words
First of all, if you are wondering why am I focusing on bars 1-8 in the 4,3,2,1 part of the system I would say that I do that for economical reasons.
Remember what I said about focus?
Why focusing on a bar and shape that you are already practicing in the system ? (bar 9 is the same as bar 1). After you practice the system you can play 4 times all the sequence.
You will see the results of the system from the second day when you start practicing. I guarantee you that.
If you don’t experience better results it’s probably that you aren’t disciplined enough. Trust me on that, every guitar player with a good technique can say the same thing.
In the end, all I have to say is:
Good luck with the sweep picking exercises.