Arpeggio Practice Regimen
There are 5 common 7th chord arpeggio sounds which you’ll need memorize by turning them into part of a practice routine continuing to develop your knowledge of arpeggiated chord sounds as well as interesting and unusual ways to use them . Mastering these essential and critical 5 chord sounds will give your playing a real shot in the arm. As is our practice, learn and memorize every new thing you encounter in a root 6 and root 5 version.
Root 6 Major, Minor & Dominant 7th Chords
The 2 track exercises on this page are designed for playing along, listening, then accurately recreating what you hear. For each type of arpeggio there are 2 audio tracks. Track 1 is a recording of the pure sound of the arpeggio (here they’re transposed to the key of G), listen to and work on hearing the melodic and chordal qualities inherent in each arpeggio as well as their physical shapes. Track 2 is a sample solo and musical background which is a perfect setting for the arpeggio. The ‘solo’ on each of these tracks is merely the arpeggio, played from lowest to highest, with each solo beginning and ending on the root note.
By learning, playing and listening to these simple solos you’ll develop an awareness of the sound and feeling of playing and most importantly, hearing arpeggios. As you use these audio tracks over and over try some creative thinking to arrive at different approaches in your improvised solos. Naturally, the best, strongest and most obvious way to use them is for soloing on the chords from which they’re derived.
G Major 7
G Minor 7
G Dominant 7
Root 6 Diminished And Augmented Forms
The diminished 7th chord often functions as a dominant chord in that it demands a suitable following chord, one causing a resolution. Diminished chords can bring a slightly outside, hip and weird sound effect, as if the rules of music were being momentarily suspended or twisted. The G diminished 7th can cause many interesting and alarming melodic effects when played against not only diminished chords but dominant chords as well.
The augmented 7th chord also functions as a dominant chord causing your ears to expect a cadence or resolution. The augmented sound is often described as a slight lifting sound, a sound of motion. Play the notes of augmented 7th Chord the G bass note and hear this augmented sound as a way of stretching the G7 hamony.
There is a considerable amount of practice involved with attaining any level of fluency with the fingering patterns we’ve outlined here. However, a command of arpeggios puts you in a whole new league as far as soloing is concerned because you’re not at the mercy of one scale pattern or one type of sound. If you learn to use arpeggios and chord sounds for your solos, you’re playing will sound direct, meaningful and professional.
G Diminished 7
G Augmented 7
Root 5 Major Minor & Dominant 7th Chords
Each of the 5 arpeggio sounds has a musical backing and sample solo created for the specific root 5 arpeggio. Each recorded sample solo has the arpeggio being played from lowest to highest with each solo beginning and ending on the root note. This type of study enables you to learn and know the sound and musical effect of each arpeggio. Knowing what the basic musical sound of any melodic device will be, before you play it, is one goal of these exercises.
C Major 7
C Minor 7
C Dominant 7
Root 5 Diminished & Augmented Forms
One of the ways great players manage to sound fresh and inventive, and avoid playing ruts is through the artful and musical mastery of chord sounds and at some point the practice of arpeggios. Learning to play and understand chord sounds expressed as a series of single notes is fairly difficult practicing. If music is essentially chord to chord movement, then a melodic or single note mastery of this chordal movement would certainly add a new dimension to any playing style.
Finally, be sure to practice these arpeggios in several different keys by sliding them up and down the neck, naturally, this transposition of the root 5 arpeggios is done and thought of in same way as the root 5 chords and root 5 scales.
C Diminished 7
C Augmented 7