Maj7 Arpeggios

How to play Maj7 Arpeggios!

Instead of using modes as you play using the concept of new chord = new scale, you can play arpeggios.

You can use the maj7 arpeggio over the I and IV chord, or whenever a chord has been modified into a maj7.

The min7 arpeggio is easiest to build by removing a note from the minor pentatonic. This is not the case with the maj7 arpeggio, no such relationship exist with the major pentatonic.

Instead, look to the maj7 chord for closest possible reference.

in order to use the maj7 arpeggio as you solo or write it is essential that you learn it in all shapes, first up is the E shape.

The E shaped maj7 arpeggio

To learn this arpeggio you need to compare it to the E shaped maj7 chord.

To build the arpeggio, simply ensure all notes from the chord appear in consecutive order.

That means play: R 3 5 7 R 3 5 7 etc until you covered all intervals you can reach in this area.

Looks like this in Chordacus:

Amaj7 arpeggio E shape

Amaj7 arpeggio Em  shape

Dmaj7 arpeggio E shape

Dmaj7 arp E shape

Play through this in A and D as the images and video show but don’t just stop there.

For complete control you simply must run the exercise all the way around the cycle of 4th, like this: A – D – G – C – F – Bb – Eb – Ab – Db – Gb – B – E.

The A shaped maj7 arpeggio

This shape is slightly more awkward to phrase with compared with the E shape. Looks like this as chordacus images:

Amaj7 arpeggio A shape

Amaj7 arpeggio A  shape

Dmaj7 arpeggio A shape

Dmaj7 arpeggio A shape

First learn the shape in A and D, then it’s time to take it around the cycle of 4th.

The D shaped maj7 arpeggio

As the D shape is so small and look so similar to the D shaped maj7 chord, this arpeggio doesn’t take long to master. Looks like this in A and D:

Amaj7 arpeggio D shape

Amaj7 D shape

Dmaj7 arpeggio D shape

Dmaj7 arp d shape

As always, take it around the full cycle of 4th before you stop practicing the D shape.

To learn even more, compare this shape to the Major Pentatonic, Ionian and Lydian.

The G shaped maj7 arpeggio

Only two more shapes to learn before you covered the entire fret board.

The G shaped maj7 arpeggio look like this:

Amaj7 arpeggio G shape

Amaj7 arp G shape

Dmaj7 arpeggio G shape

Dmaj7 arpeggio G shape

Start slowly, take it around the full cycle before you move on to the last shape.

The C shaped maj7 arpeggio

The C shape is very useful, practice it extensively, many classic licks are composed using this shape.

Looks like this in Chordacus.

Amaj7 arpeggio C shape

Amaj7 C shape

Dmaj7 arpeggio C shape

Dmaj7 arpeggio C shape

Here are the final two video lessons, remember to go all the way around the cycle before you stop practicing the Cmaj7 shaped arpeggio.


That was all the shapes of a maj7 arpeggio. The only way to master these shapes is to be able to play them in any key, anywhere on the neck.

Simply practice each shape around the cycle of 4th before you start connecting them (this is done at Master Arpeggios).

Off course, in a musical situation you never play any of these shapes just up and down. To learn more about how to actually use the maj7 arpeggio, take the Advanced Guitar Course.