Mini Lesson-Arpeggios...

July 14, 2014

Arpeggios are so important to the musician.  However, many players consider them the "starting point" of playing.  I disagree.  The role and importance of arpeggios is seen throughout a players development and their use and relevance is quite far reaching.  I practice arpeggios EVERY day and use them in my lesson plans to players of ALL levels.


Let's start with a arpeggio is the notes of a chord played one at a time...EVERY chord, simple or complex, has an arpeggio.  It is a group of notes...NOT some finger pattern. It is valid, at least in theory, in ANY order and all over the board.  Thinking of them (or any music) in this way will free from licks, riffs and comfort zones....


The first thing to do is identify the arpeggios...start with triads...major, minor, augmented and diminished.  Better still, start with major and minor first as they are more common and go back to the other two once you are more comfortable.  Then you can progress to 7ths and more altered chords....


Play them SLOWLY...naming the notes as you go...all over the board.  Play them one octave, 2 octaves..more if you can (depending on how many strings you have).  Sing the notes if you can.  Try going up in pitch one way and down a different way.  The goal is to know them all over the board, in any orientation and to know them as THE NOTES...not a finger pattern.  This way you can make more original bass lines and melodies...


Arpeggios can be applied in another way....all scales can be broken down into arpeggios.  Take each scale degree and build arpeggios using scale triads and 7ths.  For example, the major scale would be:


Triads----- major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished


7ths---------major 7th, minor 7th, minor 7th, major 7th, 7th, minor 7th, half diminished 7th


You can do this with any scale.  It will allow you to see scales melodically and harmonically.  They will also allow your bass lines and improvisations to have both horizontal and vertical them a "Chutes and Ladders" effect.


Lots of luck with arpeggios...always feel free to contact me with questions!!!





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