Guitar Sweep Picking and Arpeggios

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  • Suggested Retail Price: $19.99
  • Format: Book with Online Audio
  • Pages: 112
  • Dimensions: 9x12
  • Audio Tracks: 87
  • ISBN: 9780876391815
  • SKU: 00151223
  • Publication Date: July 01, 2017

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Develop your speed and mastery of the fretboard by using these sweep-picking techniques. Sweep picking means playing multiple notes in the same stroke, one on each string. This can greatly increase your speed and open your playing up to new melodic possibilities.

Arpeggio play in a hard rock/metal context began decades ago when European guitar masters Ritchie Blackmore, Uli Jon Roth, Gary Moore, and Michael Schenker added two- and three-string arpeggio shapes to their solos. Several years later, two of shred guitar’s founding fathers—Yngwie Malmsteen and Michael Angelo Batio—significantly expanded the boundaries of arpeggio play, and the technique we’ve come to know as sweep picking was born.

Joe Stump takes you through all of it with studies, etudes, and track excerpts ranging from the basic aspects of arpeggio play to some of the most technically intense sweep-picking material you’ll ever encounter.

Sweep picking and arpeggio play are among the most useful hard rock/metal/shred techniques, though they are also applicable to any style. These demonstrations, exercises, etudes, and play-along tracks will help you master sweeping. Online audio tracks let you practice them with a full band, in real musical settings. Tablature is included.

You will learn:

  • Techniques for sweep-picking across two, three, four, five, and six strings
  • Shapes and patterns for sweep picking and arpeggio play
  • Broken-arpeggio patterns
  • Voicings for chords that are most useful for sweep picking, as well as their related scales
  • Studies for playing arpeggios while skipping strings
  • Etudes for applying these techniques to musical contexts
  • Excerpts from Stump’s Speed Metal Messiah, Revenge of the Shredlord, The Dark Lord Rises, and others, that illustrate these techniques


Joe Stump is a master of full-throttle, neo-classical shred/speed metal guitar, and is considered among the fastest guitarists of all time. He is an associate professor of guitar at Berklee College of Music, where he has taught since 1995.



“I have had the pleasure of knowing Joe Stump both professionally and personally. Joe is an amazingly gifted guitarist and composer. He has great “sweep” and “economy” picking techniques, as well as being a fantastic teacher. Joe is one of the best!”

—Michael Angelo Batio 

“During my time studying at Berklee College of Music, no guitar professor taught me more than Joe Stump. Very few in the music field possess the command that Joe has over his instrument. He continues to raise the bar and push what is possible. I first saw him do a guitar clinic at a Berklee Summer session in the late ’90s, and I was an immediate fan. I purchased Rapid Fire Rondo and was hooked on that record.

Joe’s searing leads, and masterful riffs really spoke to and inspired me. He is one of the reasons that I wanted to attend Berklee. If you want to be a master too, do yourself a favor and buy this book! I consider Joe to be one of, if not the leading authority on sweep-picking arpeggios!

I’ve known Joe for years now, and his work ethic and love of the guitar as an art form are truly inspiring. 

With many classic albums to his credit, simply put: Joe Stump is the real deal!”


—Dave Reffett (Guitar World, Revolver, Guitar Aficionado, Solo Artist, Berklee College of Music Alumnus 2006)



“Neoclassical guitar techniques should be learned from the masters—the ones who spent years honing their craft as a musical tool instead of a display of trickery. Joe Stump is a master. If you are going to successfully embark upon the task of sweep picking arpeggios, for instance, and the proper most effective placement thereof, look no further than Joe as a teacher. Joe Stump is awe-inspiring, and once again, he teaches progressive musicianship techniques and their proper application. Watching and listening to Joe play always inspires me, and I’m sure it will inspire you too!”  

—Toby Knapp


Joe Stump

Joe Stump is a shred guitar master whose blistering style and dazzling technique are renowned among guitar aficionados worldwide. A…