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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-19-2009, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Manitoba, Canada
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Need help with 6 string arps

OK, so first off, I'm going to shamefully admit that I have not been using been using a metronome for anything until very recently (About a week ago ). I've made feeble attempts in the past but it was unbelievably difficult for me to divide the beat at all, so I gave up. Recently I took the time to get used to it and I've already noticed big improvements in my playing.

Anyways, so yesterday I was like "I am going to work on my sweeping". I was planning on spending a solid hour (Yeah I have no life) on doing nothing practicing 5/6 string arpeggios. So anyways I started doing them very slowly in, for example, e minor. I would stay in one inversion for a few times and then go to the next (because I don't want to get good at only one shape at one place, and it sounds much nicer and is funner for the fingers) and I very quickly noticed I was always screwing up on the 6 string ones in relation to the metronome.

I then realized that while you could divide the five string ones up nicely (6 notes up, 6 down, so triplets) for one beat, the 6 string ones have 1 extra note. that means that you would have 7 notes per beat if you wanted it to repeat nicely. You can't divide 7 notes further, and I can't do 3.5 notes per beat. Also, if your doing the whole motion in one beat, it really doesn't help accuracy because you undoubtedly will speed up some in the middle, or slow down at some places, and it simply doesn't work. it is even worse with the minor shape, because you have to roll your finger for 3 notes in a row.

The only way I've come up with that will easily divide into beats is this:

(accidentily put it in e major, whatever. You can do the same thing with major/minor)

The problem with that is you only go up the shape, and if you try to reverse it you will quickly notice it is very awkward for your fingers.

So I quickly checked youtube to see if its musical teachers of guitar would say anything anything about using a metronome. Obviously, there was nothing and I can safely say I am better than most of those guys trying to show off

Another related problem is to due with the natural harmonics on the 12 fret. That e minor shape is horrible because half the time you will have notes ringing out whenever you pass them. It makes good playing sound sloppy, and really sloppy playing sound better than it actually is (because you can more or less aim for the general direction of the 12 fret and that exact note will still sound). Now obviously I could just practice in a different position, but E minor is probably the most common arp ever used.

So, any suggestions?
Magical Muffin is offline  
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-23-2009, 02:29 PM
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Re: Need help with 6 string arps

There are lots of ways you can play a 'six string' e minor arpeggio, and just because one particular method involves the use of the septuplet (7 note per beat) doen't mean you shouldn't practice it.
7's are hard at any tempo, and are hard slow because as you said you need to divide the subdivided beat into 3.5 - for me I find the only way is to practice a lot and you will get the feel of it.
Just practice saying "dirty hippopotomus" over the beat and this seven syllabal phrase will help you get the timing - aim to get each septuplet the same length - don't make it a 4 demisemi/3 semi triplet grouping as this is wrong.

I don't have a guitar with me so I may say some mistakes.

Something a great guitarist once told me was that he kind of 'forces, and squeezes' extra notes into a space otherwise too small for them, so rather than strictly thinking in 7 you can do a quasi accellerando (kind of speed up) the notes in the middle of the beat - a la rubato - steal, or rob some time from the next note in the lick to make the others fit the beat.

A way to make that second Em arp work in semiquavers or any regular multiple of 4 is to repeat the lowest and highest notes as you reach them.
So you play the 12th fret low e, ascend through to the high G on the 15th fret high E string, repeat this note, descend, reach the low E 12th fret, repeat this note and ascend.

Experiment with fingerings - get a tab book and sit and evrytime you 'invent' a good fingering for something jot it down in your book.
Rather than seeking the answers from other people, work it out by yourself and you will have a far deeper understanding of what you are doing and why you are doing it.

The problem with the harmonics is down to your technique - you need to mute any unwanted strings, and this goes for any thing you play!
One of the secrets to good sweeping is the muting of unwanted sounds - this stops the notes 'bleeding' into one another.

Yes this is a hard shape as you have a half barre at the 12th with you first finger, and a 'roll' in the 3rd(?) finger at the 14th - any time you need to barre or roll it makes sweeping a lot harder to keep clean - this is what separates the men from the boys - those that 'hear and fix' the problem, and those that either don't hear or are too lazy to fix it.
I hope this helps somewhat
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-24-2009, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Need help with 6 string arps

Thanks man, you gave me a great big bunch of ideas. I'll make that tab book (which is something I've been meaning to do for a while now) as soon as my printer gets fixed. Though I'm not great at talking fast, so I'm not sure how well the hippo idea will work :P

As for the 'speeding up notes in the middle' idea I've kind of thought of doing something along those lines, but again, its pretty hard to work it in properly at a slower tempo. However, I remember MAB saying that sometimes he would do something along these lines to make the shape fit into the beat better, so if he does it it must be a pretty smart idea.

And for some reason, about a day after I made that post the harmonics seemed to stop being problem. Maybe my hands subconsciously corrected themselves somehow.
Magical Muffin is offline  
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-25-2009, 08:32 AM
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Re: Need help with 6 string arps

No probs - the hippo thing is intended to give you the basic feel of the septuplet. By the time you are going faster than you can say it you should have the feel locked

happy sweeping
MattyG is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 06:21 AM
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Re: Need help with 6 string arps

Don't you have too many notes to cut the beat into 7?

You have 16 notes in total, so shouldn't it be in 8ths?
nickcoumbe is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-26-2009, 07:55 AM
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Re: Need help with 6 string arps

The shape you are looking at is what he came up with to play it in 16ths.
What he's saying is that his normal 6 string arpeggios come out as seven notes up and seven notes down.
MattyG is offline  

arpeggios , failure , metronome , sweep picking , sweeping

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