Master Arpeggios

You can master the arpeggios!

When you mastered these arpeggio exercises you can stop practising arpeggios, forever!

In the same way that you have practised your chords, pentatonic scales and modes, the arpeggio exercises also connect the shapes before we run them through the cycle of 4th and finally, play them around the Ionian scale shape.

The important point to be made here is that you need to see the connection between:

Chord number – Chord shape – Pentatonic – Mode – Arpeggio, for each of the five shapes.

It is not until you have the full understanding of all these elements that you can truly stop guessing and start playing.


Connect dom7 arpeggios

These arpeggio exercises are first to be played twice per shape, then once. The two video lessons demonstrate this in A, then in D.

Check the video lessons to get the right fingering.

When you can play in A and D, the master step by step course will demand you to carry on through all twelve keys. Only with perfect practise will you be able to apply these as you improvise.

Here are the video lessons for connecting the dom7 arpeggio shapes.


Connect maj7 arpeggios

Just like the dom7 shapes, the exercises are divided into two sections:

  1. Play through each shape twice before moving up to next shape
  2. Play through each shape once before moving up to the next shape

The video lesson shows you this in A and D. In the master course we continue through the cycle of 4th, going through all keys until you’re back in A again.


Connect min7 arpeggios

Practise these exercises and you will learn how all five min7 arpeggio shapes connect. Make sure you can do this in all twelve keys, not just in Am and Dm.

Also worth looking into is how the min7 arpeggio is almost identical to a Minor Pentatonic.

If you called out intervals as you practised the Minor Pentatonic then all you do is simply remove the 4th interval to get the arpeggio.

Many musicians actually avoid the 4th interval when they improvise since as soon as you play the 4th of any chord, you sound as if you moved on.

Here are the min7 arpeggio lessons in a playlist.


Connect min7b5 arpeggios

Last, but not least, is the extremely useful min7b5 arpeggio.

Just like the last three arpeggios, these exercises will teach you how all five min7b5 arpeggios connect. Ensure you can do this in all twelve keys.

The min7b5 arpeggio is incredibly important. If the other arpeggios (maj7, dom7 and min7) broadened your tonal pallet, the min7b5 arpeggio fills a major gap in musical harmony.

The VII chord from the chords within a key concept would have had the mode Locrian.

It is not possible to build Locrian from a Minor Pentatonic since it doesn’t have a natural 5th.

Also, Locrian is an awkward sounding mode, almost impossible to get sounding good. The min7b5 arpeggio, on the other hand, sounds great over the min7b5 chord.

Since the min7b5 chord hardly ever appears for more than half a bar, there is not much time to phrase with a full mode anyway.

Therefore, always use the min7b5 arpeggio over the VII chord.

Another really cool way to use this arpeggio is to play it over a V chord, using arpeggio substitution, more on this in the ‘Guitar Conspiracy’.


Arpeggios through the cycle of 4th

These exercises will run the arpeggios through the cycle of 4th.

The videos lessons demonstrate this from the E shape up to the D shape as usual. Once this is cool, use the D shape as your next starting point.

All four arpeggios (maj7, dom7, min7 and min7b5) are demonstrated in the video lessons.


Arpeggios around every Ionian scale shape

Just like you did with your advanced chord progression exercises, we can find each arpeggio inside every major scale shape.

This final video lesson demonstrates this. In the master course, we do this in all keys.


The ultimate arpeggio exercise

When you can play the final exercise, arpeggios around the major scale shapes, adapt the exercise to move down the scale as well as through the cycle of 4th and 3rd.

As with the chord progressions master exercise, try this for your ultimate arpeggio exercise:

Up: I II III IV V VI VII
Down: I VII VI V IV III II
4th: I IV VIII III VI II V
3rds: I III V VII II IV VI

To learn these arpeggio shapes to perfection, get musical examples and put your arpeggio shapes to the test with improvisations, take the master course.

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