Sweep-Picking Arpeggio Runs

Hi, this is Tom Geldschläger again. In this Column I want to show you how you can build cool sweep-picking arpeggio runs yourself.

This is a part from one of my yet untitled songs: D E F#m E D A E

Over D, E and A we play the major arpeggio and over F#m of course the minor arp.

The arpeggios would look like this:

That´s simple and effective, but we can make this even cooler. What we do now gives the whole thing a lot more interesting sound. The basic idea is to play the original arpeggio over the strings E, A and D and the opposite arpeggio about the strings G, B and E. When playing E major, for example, this would mean to play the major arp from E ( A string, 7th fret ) to B ( D string, 9th fret ), then play the minor arp from E ( G string, 9th fret, ) to E ( E string, 12th fret ). You don´t have to care about the name of arp that you are playing now. Let´s take a look at the tab:

Sounds quite different, doesn´t it? But there´s one thing left that we can do. We can add the major or minor third with tapping on the high E string. For D this would be F# ( 14th fret ), for E G# ( 16th fret ), for A C# ( 9th ) and for F#m A ( 17th fret ). So now let´s play the whole thing like I do it in my song. The change from D to A and back can be very difficult when played fast. Try to practise all changes with absolutely perfect syncronisation between left and right hand. Only then it works.

This is just a rough guide to this ideas and how you can include them in your own playing. Try to find your own variations and have fun! For any questions, comments or conversation contact me at

the following bio material provided by Tom Geldschläger

Tom Geldschläger was born in Greifswald, Germany in 1984 and began playing classical guitar at the age of ten. In `98 he started taking lessons for electric guitar in a local music school. Now practising seriously, he quickly developed his own playing style which includes elements of jazz, blues, exotical and neo-classic. His influences include unique players like Al Di Meola, Marty Friedman, Joe Satriani, James Murphy, Uli Jon Roth and Steve Vai as well as shred masters like Tony MacAlpine, George Bellas, John Petrucci, Paul Gilbert, Criss Oliva ( R.I.P. ) and the great Jason Becker. While he´s still at school, he carries on to improve his playing technique, theoretic knowledge and songwriting skills. From time to time he also gives guitar lessons himself. In January 2001 he started a yet untitled Rock/Electro project and is now working on new musical ideas.