Putting Arpeggios Into Action: Part 1 | Hub Guitar

Putting Arpeggios Into Action: Part 1

In a previous lesson, we covered arpeggios from the perspective of playing all available chord tones within a particular position.

In this lesson, we'll practice playing the arpeggios again. This time, we'll play them along with a backing track to ensure we've gotten comfortable with the forms.

Finally, we'll practice along with backing tracks that switch from one chord to another. And therefore from one arpeggio to another.

The Process for Creating Arpeggios

  1. Choose a set of chords. (A-7, D-7, B-7♭5, E7)
  2. Choose a position on the guitar (for example, Position V)
  3. For each chord, spell out all of the notes in it.
  4. Now for each chord, play the arpeggio in position, from lowest available to highest available.

The Chords

Chord Notes
A-7 A, C, E, G
D-7 D, F, A, C
B-7♭5 B, D, F, A
E7 E, G♯, B, D

The Arpeggios (Vth Position)

A-7 Arpeggio

Vth position A minor 7 arpeggio.

Note the similarity of the A-7 arpeggio with a pentatonic minor scale.

Amin Backing Track

D-7 Arpeggio

Vth position D minor 7 arpeggio.

Dmin Backing Track

B-7♭5 Arpeggio

Vth position B minor 7 flat 5 arpeggio.

B-7♭5 Backing Track

E7 Arpeggio

Vth position E7 arpeggio.

Putting it All Together

Once you can play the arpeggios together smoothly, you can hopefully practice switching from one arpeggio to another. Once you get fluent and comfortable with this exercise, you’ll find that as you improvise along with the track, you’ll be able to easily target the notes of the chord in your own solo.

Key Tasks

  • Practice the arpeggios carefully, making sure the notes don’t blend together.
  • Name the notes as you practice— understanding the notes is key to arpeggio practice.
  • Apply this process to the chords of an entirely different chord progression—but stay in the Vth position, at least for now. You should spell the chords and create the arpeggios yourself. That is crucial to understanding them.
As the creator of Hub Guitar, Grey has compiled hundreds of guitar lessons, written several books, and filmed hundreds of video lessons. He teaches private lessons in his Boston studio, as well as via video chat through TakeLessons.

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