if you know
the basics (i.e. what arpeggios are) and just want to get stuck in,
head down to the
Welcome. This beginner arpeggios series will introduce
you to arpeggios on guitar and get you playing some key patterns over
can be seen as just another way to navigate the fretboard during your
solo. As you'll see/hear, they can really help you "connect the dots"
as your improvisation skills develop.
Arpeggios only use the
tones that emphasise a particular chord flavour, so there's less risk
of tredding "outside" into dissonance.
Before we delve right in, a short introduction to
arpeggios on guitar and their function.
We'll then move on to learning some essential arpeggio patterns and
finally how to incorporate them into solos.
arpeggios video introduction
are chords played one note at a time. In other words, each note of the
chord is cleanly separated, one after the other, rather than letting
them ring out together. It's therefore often referred to as a broken chord or arpeggiated chord.
The tab below shows a standard E minor chord
by its arpeggio equivalent in the same position...
This means if you already know some chord forms on the fretboard,
you'll automatically know their arpeggios. Where there's a chord, there's
However, there are more economical fingerings we can use especially for
arpeggios, as we can use more than one note on each string, unlike
standard chords. I'll show you some key patterns throughout the
beginner arpeggios series below.
Just as we have major and minor chords,
we also have major and minor arpeggios.
There are also 7th and extended arpeggios just as there are chords. So,
it makes sense that learning arpeggios goes hand in hand with learning
how chords are constructed (covered in the chord theory section).
function of arpeggios on guitar
used in solos, arpeggios create phrases just like standard scale runs.
The only difference is we're being more selective of the key tones that
make up a particular chord flavour (major, minor, major 7th, minor 7th
Whereas regular scale phrases tend to "noodle" and glance over
non-chord tones (often referred to as passing tones)
in a linear movement, arpeggios move in a more harmonically defined
as you're only touching on those key chord intervals within the scale.
Playing arpeggios is like "connecting the dots" to build up the
picture of a chord.
The arpeggio can lead in to, or lead out of a fuller
scale phrase and it can connect phrases within the solo. It can span
just one string or all 6 strings. You can sweep pick them or alternate
pick them in a more traditional fashion.
Arpeggios can also reinforce key changes or even just follow each chord
We'll look at the different ways you can weave arpeggios into your
guitar solos in the final part.
Beginner arpeggios series contents
through the lessons below in the order they're presented. Take your
time (there is no exam deadline!). There are backing tracks to help you
practise the patterns you learn and encourage you to try out
your own ideas.
It won't be long before you're including arpeggios in the solos you
write almost as second nature. It's simply another soloing tool at