Min7b5 Arpeggios

How to play the Min7b5 Arpeggios!

The minor7b5 arpeggio is very important to know, it belongs to the VII chord and can consequentially be used whenever the VII chord is played.

The mode for the VII chord is Locrian, a very difficult mode to phrase well with.

Since the min7b5 chord is so complex sounding it is rarely used for more than a bar so the arpeggio is a better solution than the full scale anyway.

You can also substitute the VII arpeggio over the V chord, creating a dom9 sounding arpeggio.

The Em7b5 shaped arpeggio

The Em shape looks like this as a chordacus images.

Am7b5, Em shape

Am7b5 apreggio, Em  shape

Dm7b5, Em shape

Dmin7b5 arpeggio, Em shape

Notice how similar the shape is to the Em shaped Blues scale. Also, can you see how it looks like an Em shaped min7 arpeggio but with a b5?

Practice the Em shape in all 12 keys before you move one to the next shape.

The Am shaped min7b5 arpeggio

The Am shape looks like this as a chordacus images.

Am7b5 arpeggio, Am shape

Am7b5 Am shape

Dm7b5 arpeggio, Am shape

Dm7b5 arpeggio Am shape

The top half of this arpeggio is the hardest bit.

If you spent a lot of time with the Am shaped Blues scale, then this shape will be a lot easier to learn. If not, the b5 might feel out of place.

The best way to vary the exercise is to vary the rhythm you play.

A good idea would be to use the same rhythms as you currently practice when you warm up with your Chromatic Exercises.

The Dm shaped min7b5 arpeggio

This is the easiest shape to remember as it’s the smallest. Look like this in chordacus.

Am7b5 arpeggio, Dm shape

Amin7b5, Dm shape

Dm7b5 arpeggio, Dm shape

Dm7b5 arpeggio Dm shape

Practice this in all 12 keys and push the BPM!

The Gm shaped min7b5 arpeggio

This is not an easy shape to remember, practice extensively for complete fluency.

Am7b5 arpeggio, Gm shape

Am7b5 apreggio Gm  shape

Dm7b5 arpeggio, Gm shape

Dm7b5 arpeggio, Gm shape

Compare the Gm7b5 shaped arpeggio shape with:

  1. Gm chord shape
  2. Gm7 chord shape
  3. Gm7b5 chord shape
  4. Gm Blues shape
  5. Gm7 arpeggio

When you clearly can see all similarities and differences between these you have really gotten to know your Gm shape.

The Cm shaped min7b5 arpeggio

For some reason this is usually the arpeggio shape most students struggle to use intuitively.

Am7b5 arpeggio, Cm shape

Am7b5 arpeggio, Cm  shape

Dm7b5 arpeggio, Cm shape

Dm7b5, Cm shape

Compare the Cm7b5 arpeggio shape to all your other Cm shapes:

  1. Cm chord shape
  2. Cm Blues shape
  3. Cm7 chord shape
  4. Cm7b5 chord shape
  5. Cm7 arpeggio

Practice your Cm7b5 arpeggio shape as the video demonstrate. Follow this up by playing the exercise in all keys.

Min7b5 Arpeggio Conclusion

Compared with the other 7th note arpeggios this is the most difficult to learn.

Because of the b5 the notes won’t fall as easily as, for example many maj7 arpeggios do.

Also, the sound of min7b5 is pretty out there, not a sound you hang around on for too long.

But this is also what is so great about it. When you add it to a solo it tend to pop out and add some tension, even though the notes are all correct, in itself the arpeggio stand out.

My favourite way to use the min7b5 arpeggio is to substitute it over any dom7 chord. I’ll tell you more about this in the Advanced Guitar Course.