we've been introduced to the basic theory behind building arpeggios on
guitar and how we can pull the intervals/tones right out of a scale
similar way to how we would if we were building a chord.
In a nutshell, that's how you
should to see it. The arpeggio represents a chord type
(e.g. you can have an Asus4 arpeggio, just like the Asus4 chord itself)
so it's just a case of selecting the tones that would make up this
chord from the appropriate scale/mode, and playing those notes
separately in a sequence.
This lesson, we'll look at how
to weave arpeggios into solos effectively. This is important for being
able to solo in a fluid
and musical way.
Using arpeggios as lead-ins to your guitar solos
A lead-in phrase is a
sequence of notes that flows into a larger soloing phrase. It introduces
the soloing phrase by... leading in to it! In this
case, we're going to try using simple arpeggios as lead-in phrases,
which can then be followed by a larger soloing phrase in that same
This is a very common, if subtle way of using arpeggios.
Let's look at a couple of examples.
were playing a solo from the major scale, we could lead in to a phrase
that solo by playing a major arpeggio from that same
major scale. For example...
using that major arpeggio from the mid-top part of the major scale
pattern (which you should know from part 1!), we are able to lead in
nicely to a fuller solo from that same scale.
The major arpeggio, consisting of those key major triad tones - root,
sets the scene for a larger major scale expression.
This is why it's useful to know
what tones make up chords, because...
there's a chord, there's an arpeggio!
There's also the matter of what rhythm and timing you use to apply that
but we'll look at those elements another time! Too much to cover in a
We could also lead-out
a soloing phrase using an
lead-in/out can be as long or short as you like. They can often involve
a quick sweep
pick (more on this technique another time!).
Remember, there are
arpeggio lead-ins. If you're leading into a minor scale solo (e.g.
Dorian, Aeolian, minor pentatonic etc.) then it's just a case of
finding an appropriate minor triad pattern (several of which we looked
at in one of the earlier lessons). For example:
Root - minor 3rd
Ok, let's now look at some other ways to incorporate arpeggios into
your guitar solos.
More advanced guitar arpeggio techniques
as with chord
inversions, where you mix up
the order of chord tones
from low to high (e.g. the bass note in the chord is no longer the
root note, but the 5th, 3rd or other), we can also apply this to
e.g. rather than playing the
regular major triad as: R35
Play it as:5R3
...from low to high. Again, as you learn your scales right
fretboard, you'll know how to
form sequences like this one, just as you would a chord.
changes with arpeggios
a chord progression, your solo often has to work through several chord
changes. We can use arpeggios to highlight particular chord changes
(especially unusual ones) and put them into context.
For example, take a listen to the chord progression below:
So Bm (B minor)
and F# (F sharp major or
F#aug in this case)
are the chords I'm going to highlight with B minor and F# major
respectively. Of course, it's down to your personal judgement which
chords you choose to highlight with arpeggios. This is just an example!
The arpeggios are highlighted in red
how, during the solo, I get into
ready for the arpeggios each
time. This is why knowing your scale tones across the fretboard is
important. The regular soloing flows out of and into the arpeggios
Notice also how the final arpeggio (over F#7aug) builds up to that
resolution of returning back to B minor in the progression.
There's a separate lesson on runs
as a soloing technique, but for now, you
can try and apply
"staggered" patterns to your arpeggio sequences. For example, instead
of just playing the arpeggio from low to high (e.g. R, 3, 5, R, 3, 5,
etc.), you can take 4 tones forward and 2 back, 4 more
forward, 2 back
with a simple step pattern using a C# major 7th arpeggio (similar to a
regular major arpeggio with an added 7th from the major scale: R,
Remember, the key in which we're playing these particular
the patterns and shapes we use are movable.
So if we wanted the above to be in the key of D, we'd simply align
those root note positions with... D!
Again, if you know your scales, you'll know where you can position your
Let's take a look at a wider run, using a B minor arpeggio...
the fingering for this kind of playing requires a lot of practice, so
don't expect to be able to play at a blistering speed right off the bat!
Break it down
into sections (use the vertical lines to help with this)
Use a metronome to start slow and speed
up gradually as you get more physically comfortable with the finger
Once you're up to speed, try ending that run above by sliiiiiding the
high E string up to fret 19 (which is the note B - the root
and key of the arpeggio!). See if you can end the quick slide
accurately at that 19th fret.
Thanks for your time and patience.
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