Arpeggios, arpeggios. You guitar players just can’t get enough of sweeping arpeggios! Since posting my guitar arpeggio videos on LoserTube I’ve been getting lots of email questions about how to practice them. My first reaction is always, “Why are you asking me? Go ask someone who knows, like Rusty Cooley!”
But because 1) it’s rude not to answer (polite) questions, and 2) I want to share the answers with as many people as possible, I’ve recently decided to answer your guitar-related questions here on my blog rather than in email.
Right then, enough background. Let’s get to today’s question!
John Oentoro emailed to ask:
Hi Ms. Lori, I’m John and I’ve stumbled upon your lesson/article on playing fast. I love it. I understand playing in 16th notes which is 4 notes played every beat. How do you play sweeping arpeggios to a metronome, though? Is it the same 16th note technique? Please use an easy example, something like an Amaj arpeggio (not the rolling one) hehe.
John, you can play ANYTHING YOU WANT to a metronome. You just need to set the metronome to the time signature that fits what you want to practice. When you practice arpeggios, for example, you don’t have to stick to sixteenth notes. You can play triplets, or dotted thirty-second notes, or whatever the heck kind of notes you want. I’m not sure how much you know about music theory, but the basics about meter and time signatures are useful to know. (Readers, please post in comments if you know of good online tutorials about time signatures, meter and note values.)
Because you asked so nicely, John, I’ve braved tabbing hell to create a couple of examples for you. The two examples incorporate the same number of notes, but they are arranged in different rhythmic groupings. The first uses straight sixteenth notes in 3/4 time, the second uses eighth note triplets in 4/4 time. Same notes, different feel.
Aaug sweep with sixteenths 3/4 time (guitar pro 5 file)
Aaug sweep with triplets in 4/4 (guitar pro 5 file)
I hope this clears things up for you, John. If you have any more questions, please post in comments rather than email so that everyone can benefit from the discussion
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