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How to Use Sweep Picking in Jazz

Sweep picking is a popular guitar technique in metal, allowing players to articulate licks with tremendous speed.

Sweep picking is a popular guitar technique in metal, allowing players to articulate licks with tremendous speed.

But the application also has its uses in jazz guitar, where it mainly serves as an embellishment to link notes with quickly played arpeggios.

As Tyler Larson explains in his video “Sweep Picking…in Jazz!,” sweep-picked jazz lines are not played as cleanly or with as much note separation as they are in metal.

“It’s actually kind of a cool effect if you don’t sweep pick ‘correctly,’” he says. “You don’t necessarily want every single note to ring out.”

Tyler demonstrates the technique with a five-string A major arpeggio, followed by a three-string D minor arpeggio.

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