Sweep Picking: Paganini

Welcome back! In his lesson we will continue with the sweep picking technique, but I will be showing you some classical violin type arpeggios with an excerpt from Paganini's 24th Caprice. After you have mastered the 2, 3 and 4th string arpeggios, the next step is to move to the 5th and 6th string arpeggios. If you want to master the sweeping technique it is best to practice pieces like this one.

This whole caprice consists of major and minor arpeggios based in the key of Am, with an occasional added G# from the A harmonic minor scale (A, B, C, D, E, F, G#). The E major arpeggio in bar 2 and the G# dim 7th is derived from the A harmonic minor scale. In bar 5, Paganini switches to A major just for that bar.

This is a very beautiful progression. When practicing this piece, try not to angle the pick too much when you are sweeping the arpeggios and keep the notes even. Be sure to follow the symbols under the notation to get the right hand motion down; this same pattern continues throughout the caprice. As always start slowly, and gradually work this up to speed - if you'll notice, just about the whole thing is played using triplets. Be sure to listen to the audio example a lot to get the dynamics and accents in the right spot.

MP3 - Paganini Progression

After you master this, make up something on your own. Check out my tune "All Or Nothing" off my CD "The New", at about 3 minutes and 54 seconds in. i am playing very fast, sweeping 6 string arpeggios in a similar fashion.


If you have any questions, feel free to email me. Be sure to check out my CDs on this amazing site and check out my new CD release, "The New". Also visit mikecampese.com for more information.

Mike Campese is an all-around music performer, session artist and teacher competent in many musical styles, electric and acoustic. He has studied at G.I.T. (Honors Graduate), and with Paul Gilbert, Norman Brown, Stanley Jordan, Scott Henderson and Keith Wyatt.

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