Dom7 Arpeggios

Learn how to play all dom7 arpeggio shapes!

The most obvious place to play a dom7 arpeggio would be over the V chord as it is the only chord that naturally extends to dom7.

However, whenever a chord has moved from a minor (II, III and VI) into a major chord (IIx, IIIx and VIx) it is usually extended to a dom7, rather than maj7.

As the dom7 chord shapes look very similar to the arpeggio shapes, learning all five isn’t actually that difficult, let’s start with the E shape.

The E shape

The E shaped dom7 arpeggio looks like this as A7 and D7.

A7 arpeggio, E shape

D7 arpeggio, E shape

Practise these shapes as the videos demonstrate. When you can play in A and D, take the exercise through the cycle of 4th, like this: A7 – D7 – G7 – C7 – F7 – Bb7 – Eb7 – Ab7 – Db7 – Gb7 – B7 – E7.

The A shape

To learn this arpeggio shape, use the same system as always, the cycle of 4th.

Another great way to develop that exercise is to change the rhythm, we do this in the advanced course.

To get familiar with the shape, here it is as A7 and D7.

A7 arpeggio, A shape

D7 arpeggio, A shape


The D shape

The D shape is really easy to remember since it’s so small. Looks like this.

A7 arpeggio, D shape

D7 arpeggio, D shape

Below are the video lessons, remember to take the shape around the full cycle, preferably to a metronome. Try different rhythms as well.

When you can do it you’ve reached your goal and can stop practising the D shape individually.

The G shape

The G shaped dom7 arpeggio might not be the most comfortable to play in its full stretch. Looks like this as A7 and D7.

A7 arpeggio, G shape

D7 arpeggio, G shape

However, in a playing situation, you don’t want to play an arpeggio over two octaves in a row anyway. When you actually use it in an improvisation or write a melody with it, you’ll just play a few notes from it.

To be able to pick just a fraction of it, you have to first play the entire G shape, around the cycle of 4th to a click.

The C shape

The C shape is another easy shape to remember. As always, take the shape through the full cycle of 4th. Looks like this as A7 and D7.

A7 arpeggio, C shape

D7 arpeggio, C shape



Now that you can play all the dom7 arpeggio shapes, have a look at the similarities between them and these:

To learn how to use the dom7 arpeggio shapes you need real examples, you need real songs with chords and melodies that actually have dom7 arpeggios in them. You get plenty of examples for just this when you take the advanced course.