Anyone still struggling with 6 string minor barshape arpeggios


Hello, just curious if people still struggle with rolling the left hand and muting the strings with right and left hands with the classic six string minor barshaped arpeggios, or if you have conquered it, if you can post video examples and detailed descriptions of how they broke it up and practiced it…rolling and twisting fingers for the barre sections on the 5th and 4th strings, and on the 3rd, 2nd, 1st strings. What about muting with the left and right hands to keep them clean. Do you practice with a clean tone or distortion. I have been trying to get it down for a long time without success.

Thank You


IMO the “rolling of the finger for note separation” is massively overrated - and the risk of choking notes when trying to do it is too high for my taste.

At high speed it’s no big deal if two notes ring together, there usually isn’t enough time for the notes to blend together in a chord-like fashion. Just as an example taken from my own playing, I’m pretty sure I’m letting a few notes ring together in the barre sweeps around 1:06 (use the 0.25 speed on youtube to see it better)

Or referencing a much bigger authority, take this good old Yngwie tape and look at the second Am shape around the 6min mark - I see no effort to roll the index in the 3-string barre at the 5th fret (again it’s clearer to see at 0.25 speed):


I think it depends on the lick - if you go straight up/down an arpeggio, then I agree,. However, if there is a repeating element to the bar (i’m thinking Petrucci Glass Prison arps that are 15-12 pull off on e-string and then bar/roll at the 12 fret on e,b and g) which repeats, separation is an issue and is very audible.

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Uhm, in general you are probably right, but for this one the simple solution is to use the “Yngwie system” and choke the unwanted note with the rest stroke :slight_smile:

EDIT: just a thought, but this note separation discussion reminds me a bit of the discussions we had on swiping on this forum. The key issue for me is how resilient a technique is to small errors, how costly it is to maintain, and how much sonic penalty you pay on average. With the barre-sweeps, I’d rather hear two notes blending a little too much than a note + a choked string sound.


I agree with @tommo that trying to ‘roll’ the ring finger at high speeds isn’t the best way to tackle these.

Barring the ring finger can be done without any ‘rolling’ or twisting… just make sure its positioned right, and bend it backwards enough to not hit the ‘B’ string.

Also, you can actually ‘double-stop’ two strings without barring. This took me a while to do, and the positioning has to be just right, but it gives you more flexibility.

As far as muting it, I just do a standard right-hand mute, but I know many others use their left-hand as well.

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I think this Jason Richardson lesson could be useful here:

I haven’t tried this strategy myself but it’s good to know that it is possible to attain such speeds while avoiding rolling almost entirely* if so desired!

*Based on my memory of seeing it when it was first posted to YouTube, I recall that he does roll from the b to e strings on one of the major arpeggio shapes


Very interesting thread as I’m trying to get into sweep and economy picking at the minute.

Does anyone know if Gambale rolls his finger or just uses muting? What about Jason Becker? We he muting or rolling?

I have problems with getting things clean too when barring.


This is such a great point. I still hold on to a lot of my older DWPS lines just because I don’t ever have to think about them and they’re really hard to screw up, unlike what happens if you flub reverse Gilberts.

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@tommo in the Vinnie Moore tune Ridin High how does he get those sweeps at 1.14 so smooth and articulate? Every note seems to be separate.


@aliendough oh wow I hadn’t listened carefully to that song due to my prejudice against major-sounding melodies :sweat_smile::sweat_smile:

This is what I can see in the tab book:

EDIT: Actually, I noticed that this is a min arpeggio with a clever modification: the root on the 14th fret of the G string is replaced by the min7 (12th) fret, so that there is no barring involved and articulation becomes much easier. In fact I’ve seen this before in Vinnie’s playing (there’s pretty much the same shape at the end of Thinking Machine - see around 3:50 of my video above - or here for convenience: There’s also the added benefit that the arpeggio sounds a bit more interesting than the usual minor triad.

And this is a good live rendition (around 1:23)

@5_clicks_and_a_note That approach by Jason Richardson is interesting in the lower positions, but I had a quick go at it yesterday I don’t see how one could squeeze different fingers in the same fret past the 12th position or so


Damn I thought that was a barred arp! Cheers!

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Thanks to everyone for their thoughts and input. This has been a devil for me. Ive quit guitar many times because of my inability to play this consistently good.

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No please don’t let these things ruin guitar for you! If you were to ask every top guitar player, I bet they could tell you at least one thing that they can’t do well no matter how hard they try. In my opinion/experience it’s better to find ways around problems rather than trying to brute force them with a million micro-managed reps.

And barre sweeps in particular are pretty guitar-unfriendly, as in: they sorta go against the way the instrument is constructed, a bit like trying to run on land with your swimming fins on. (Stupid comparison but I tried my best :sweat_smile:)

EDIT: again to add a “reference to authority”, even an amazing player like Rick Graham prefers to avoid barring in sweeps, he talks about it explicitly here where he replaces a maj7 arpeggio with a maj9 in the higher octave:


I know where you are coming from. The arpeggios in Serrana have some barring in them and I have practised them in one for or another over the years. My progress has been minimal. Its incredibly frustrating.


Just to kinda clarify things, the reason why the maj7 arps are super tough to play quickly isn’t because its barred, it’s because of that pesky major 7th, correct?

Because the Dominant 7th, is much easier because the 7th is played as part of the bar, hence, there’s much less finger movement.