Over the last couple of weeks, a common thread that’s surfaced in several lessons is the use and understanding of arpeggios. In the world of music, we approach arpeggios from two different angles: 1) through chords and harmony & 2) as the backbone of melodic and solo content. With this lesson, we’ll explore a couple examples for practicing arpeggios to further understand them in the terms of melodic content.
For this lesson, we’ll focus on the three arpeggio shapes based on the A minor scale (ABCDEFGA). The arpeggio for any chord is built off the root, third, & fifth of said chord as it appears in the chosen key. The A minor chord in the key of A minor is spelled – A, C, E, where A is the root, C the third, and E the fifth.
Let’s take a look at three shapes of this arpeggio:
- Play through each arpeggio shape a couple time to get familiar with it. Always start and stop on the root. In the charts above, the note highlighted in red is the root.
- Pull out your trusty metronome, and practice a comfortable tempo, playing each in quarter notes, eighth note, triplets, and sixteenth notes.
- Gradually build your speed by bumping up the tempo on your metronome 4 beats at a time. i.e. 60, 64, 68, etc.
Once you’ve gotten to know these arpeggio shapes, start exploring different patterns to play. The way, you’re creating deeper connections with you technique, and melodic creativity.
Here’s a pattern based on a sextuplet pattern I’ve come up with:
Experiment with using these shapes in different keys across the neck as you wish.