Saturday, August 18, 2007

Practicing Arpeggios

I understand that for a Major Arpeggio - we take the Notes as follows -
2. Maj 3rd
3. Perfect 5th

In other words -i.e. 1 3 5 of the Major Scale.

Now what is the best way to practice and use these
practically ? Like should I first try to figure them out
using the "5 ROOT SHAPES" ? Do I have to memorise the
Individual Patterns for each root shape - for each
Arpeggio ?

Yes, this is a good long term goal. Learning the 5 patterns
of various arpeggio types to the point where you can use
them when improvising will take a lot of practice, but it's
the kind of practice I enjoyed. It will also make you sound
like an accomplished player in the long run.

How do I practice playing arpeggio shapes? Should I practice them in the same way as I did my Scale Shapes (From Lowest to Highest note)?

For a good place to start, yes, it's easiest to begin by practicing from the lowest root, then include all the notes you can reach without shifting. Practice them in eighth notes with a metronome set at a very slow tempo.

The next exercise is to arpeggiate the chords of a short progression; for example |G |Dm |C |F |. Play steady 8th notes and switch arpeggios right on the downbeat. You will play eight chord tones for each measure of music.

When the shapes are familiar enough, start switching by the closest available tone to the last one played.

This example starts on string 6, playing all the way up and then starting down the G major triad arp with the left hand at the 2nd fret. Then it switches to Dm for measure 2. The closest note to the final D (in measure 1) on the 2nd string in the next arpeggio (while moving in the same direction - down) is A on the 3rd string.

G B D G B D G D |

A F D A D F A D |

The next measure's chord is C, and we just finished the previous measure by playing a D on the 3rd fret of the 2nd string. The closest member of a C chord we can reach while continuing to ascend is an E on the 5th fret of string 2. We continue up to G on the 1st string and then change directions on beat 2 of the measure, descending all the way down the C major arpeggio to G on the lowest string at fret 3.

E G E C G E C G|

Now it is time for the F chord in measure 4. Staying in position, we can change directions and head back up, starting with the closest member of an F chord: A on the 5th fret of string 6. We'll end up changing back to a descending line on the final note of the measure.

A C F A C F A F|

We can start the chord progression over again, and this time encounter a new series of notes because the closest one in G is now the D on string 2, fret 3. Each time we repeat the progression, the series should start on a different one of the available tones of G at this position. If you find yourself repeating a series, just move to a starting note you haven't used yet.

This type of arpeggio exercise is explained more fully (and tabbed out) in my "Chord Tone Soloing" book.



Barrett Tagliarino

Barrett Tagliarino