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Bluesy Variations With Sweep Picking

 

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Sweep Picking Series 4: More Basic Applications

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In this lesson we will change gears again a little bit. This time I want to use both of our C major shapes for up sweeps, but only as a quick way to begin a blues lick. The idea here is to quickly outline, present, or "establish" that you are playing in C major. But then, we follow it up quickly licks from the C minor pentatonic scale.

A strong characteristic of most blues music is the combination of major chord harmonic foundations with minor notes ("blue notes") on top as melody, lead or solo lines. For this reason combining major and minor in one overall lick works well in a blues situation.

Again, though, we have the same basic technique involved. After sweeping up each chord we will play a group of descending notes, but this time from C minor instead of C major scale. Again, this gives us a way to integrate the rhythm playing of our basic sweep picking applications to solo/lead playing. You can apply this to other genres than blues, too, of course! It is frequently found in country, pop and jazz.

We can also simply play C minor pentatonic box shapes as our basis for up sweeps. Again, we are using them as a quick way to begin a blues lick. The idea here is to quickly outline, present, or "establish" what scale you are using. Then, we follow it up quickly licks from the C minor pentatonic scale.

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