A good way to practice sweep picking is to work on rest strokes. Play throughthe string and let the pick rest on the next string. Without separating the pick from the string you'll then play the next string with a pick stroke in the same direction, again focusing on playing through the string and letting the pick rest on the next string. Of course, this only works while you keep playing in the same direction, but it will help you develop a fluid picking motion.
Since rhythm is such an important and often neglected aspect when talking about sweep picking, let's take a singular approach for Ex. 4. It's the same rhythmic figures as in Ex. 3, but you mute the strings with your left hand. Really try to feel the pulse. I like to alternate a few repetitions of Ex. 3 and Ex. 4. I find that whenever I have trouble with any sweeping section, practicing just the picking-hand rhythm for a few minutes immediately improves my playing.
Jason Becker is an absolute sweep-picking legend and Ex. 5 is heavily influenced by his work. It's mostly the same triplet pattern of Ex. 1, but we're moving through different diatonic arpeggios in the key of D. Jason's trademark sweeps move through different inversions of the same arpeggio to create a sequenced or cascading sound. He often outlines specific triads on the top strings to create different harmonies. Here, I added an A major triad over the D chord in measure 1 and a D major triad over G to create movement.
Ex. 7 moves into a more modern sounding approach. It's inspired by the amazing Frank Gambale, who is likely most identified with sweep picking. The line is based on the B minor pentatonic scale and can be used over a Bm7 chord. It's a very angular and fusion-y sounding line that starts out with a few descending sweeps. There is an added 9 in the pattern before we go into full shred mode and sweep through a few more pentatonic positions until we reach the high B. The last two descending sweeps are a bit tricky as you end the first group on an upstroke and start the next group on an upstroke as well. Don't worry if you don't play strict triplets there. It's part of what makes this lick sound cool. There's a lot of barring going on but don't worry too much if some notes ring together. That can create an interesting sound while you clean it up over time.
With diligent practice sweep picking can be integrated into nearly any style of playing. Just remember to really lean into those rest strokes and make the motions as smooth as possible. Keep shredding! 2b1af7f3a8