Matt uses arpeggios in two main ways: the first is to hold a chord and pick the strings individually, as heard on Muse tracks like Citizen Erased. This approach can be applied to any chord and is better suited to a clean sound.
The second approach is to use arpeggios in a more lead guitar fashion, as Matt demonstrates on the tracks Hysteria and Plug In Baby. Rather than allowing the strings to ring together, the idea is to fret one note at a time. This can pose problems, especially when moving from string to string while staying on the same fret.
And while we’re talking tone and technique, if you want to get that Muse sound it’s worth remembering that Matt uses extreme sounds in a controlled way. Eh? Quite simply, if you want his sound you’ll need to avoid processed metal distortions and whack up the filthy fuzz tones instead! Set your pitch shifter effect to one octave up like Matt does on Muscle Museum and Sunburn, and add some Sweep Echo to really nail that gnarly Muse vibe. He’s also a huge lover of delay, as you'll hear on tracks like Hysteria.