Reverse Sweep Arpeggio Lead Guitar Exercise

Latest Album Heavy Metal Workout II

I’m talking about sweep arpeggios again in this lead guitar lesson. But this sweep picking lesson has a twist. Well, a few twists actually.

I’m reversing the pattern. We’re starting with the high notes going down to the lower notes. And I’m also only playing half of arpeggio pattern. Hopefully that makes sense! If not, the video should.

Reverse Sweep Arpeggio Pattern Guitar Tab

Starting from the high end of the sweep arpeggio pattern may throw you off at first. I did this intentionally. Remember, part of my guitar lessons is to help us all expand our talents and get away from what seems normal.

Arpeggio with Mixed Lead Guitar Techniques

We’re also starting out with the hammer-on and pull-off techniques combined. This is a riff that’s often used in sweep arpeggio patterns when starting from the normal position.

The standard pattern is: Low note > high note > hammer-on/pull-off > high note > low note

Our reverse pattern here is: Hammer-on/pull-off > high note > low note > some other riffage

That last lick you hear in the video is a slide technique. I’ve always thought that sliding from one note to another gives a unique and cool sound. Rather than merely playing a note, you’re making that note com alive.

So here’s a recap of the lead guitar techniques we’re doing:

  • Sweep arpeggio (reverse pattern)
  • Hammer-on
  • Pull-off
  • Slide

Speed vs Accuracy

I encourage you to start out slow, especially if you’re new to learning how to play sweep arpeggios. Get the hammer-on and pull-off down and then start adding notes from there. Don’t worry about speed. Be more concerned with accuracy. The speed will come with practice, and besides, faster isn’t always better!

Gear I Used for this Video

Lastly, I wanted to cover the music gear I used for this lead guitar lesson. Normally I use plugins (anything from Positive Grid’s BIAS to Amplitube), and I’ll record the track, dump it to an mp3 and sync it to the video. That’s a lot of work!

I did something different this time. I just plugged into my Fender Mustang IV amp and started recording with my iPhone (I’ve been using my iPhone 6 for all of my videos; in the early days, I used the Flip cam).

Using the Fender Mustang IV saved me a few steps in my post production of this reverse sweep arpeggio video. So I’ll probably be using this amp more for my videos. I’d like to know what you think and if you think I should go back to the old way of doing things.

Keep it Metal,


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