Arpeggios! They are an essential tool in your improv toolbox. Ten arpeggios in one position are covered in today’s lesson.
Each of these ten arpeggios is played in one position, in two octave form. This workout will help you build up your dexterity and understanding of these different types of 7th chords.
Getting comfortable with these arpeggio shapes will improve your ability to play over any of these 7th chord types. If they are new to you, then work through them slowly!
I would suggest that you start by slowly working through the first exercise of the pattern (major 7) in order to get the basic rhythm down. Once you feel comfortable playing the first arpeggio in time, then start moving on to the other shapes.
Take note of the notes that change in between different arpeggios. Try to think in intervals; meaning pay attention to which scale degree you are playing at each moment. You’ll notice that every one of these is made up of some form of the 1, 3, 5 & 7.
By altering one or two of these intervals at a time you will start to see how all the 7th chords are related to one another. So take your time! You should really try to understand the framework of each different arpeggio pattern. Think in intervals!
If you are thinking in intervals, then moving these patterns to new chords will be much easier. I think you’ll be surprised at how well this workout warms you up and gets your hand moving in new ways. You’ll feel the burn!
One of my favorite guitarists is Tim Miller, and he is a master of arpeggios. He seamlessly incorporates incredible arpeggio lines into his playing and has such a unique voice on guitar. Check out a song of his called “rollercoaster”, which has a very complex and interesting melody made up of big arpeggio runs.