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3 Octave Arpeggios for Jazz Guitar

When working out arpeggios on the guitar, it is important to learn how to play 1 octave shapes for fast moving changes, 2 octave shapes for tunes with more room to stretch out, and 3 octave shapes for those times you want to cover a large fretboard span with one arpeggio shape.

Though learning 3 octave arpeggios may seem tough at first, there is a series of shapes that you can learn that make this process quick and easy due to the symmetrical nature of their fingerings.

 

The material in this article will focus on exploring those 3 octave fingerings, how to practice them, and how to apply them to your jazz guitar soloing ideas on the fretboard.

 

 

3 Octave Arpeggio Fingerings

 

In this lesson you will learn how to play 3 octave arpeggios that use two fingers per string, with the Root and 3rd on the 6th, 4th and 2nd strings, as well as the 5th and 7th(6th) on the 5th, 3rd and 1st strings.

Here is how that lays out on the fretboard.

 

  • 6th String – Root and 3rd
  • 5th String – 5th and 7th
  • 4th String – Root and 3rd
  • 3rd String – 5th and 7th
  • 2nd String – Root and 3rd
  • 1st String – 5th and 7th

 

This will allow you to quickly play up the fretboard, and memorize each shape, as you only have to learn two strings and then just repeat those fingerings, intervals, and notes up the fretboard.

This means that if you play fingers 1-4 on the 6th string, you would use those same fingers on the 4th and 2nd strings up the neck. As well, if you use 2-4 fingers on the 5th string, you would repeat that fingering on the 3rd and 1st string as well.

 

 

Practicing 3 Octave Arpeggios

 

Once you have memorized any of the fingerings below, here are a number of ways that you can practice these shapes in order to fully integrate these arpeggios into your technical and improvisational practice routine.

 

  • Learn each shape in 12 keys with a metronome
  • Put on a one-chord vamp backing track, say Gm7, and solo over that vamp using the Gm7 3-octave arpeggio
  • Add enclosures to each note in the arpeggio in both your metronome and soloing practice
  • Put on a ii-V-I backing track and practice soloing over those chords with 3-octave arpeggio shapes
  • Solo over any tune you are working on using 3-octave arpeggios to outline the chords in that tune

 

 

To learn more about enclosures, check out my Enclosures for Jazz Guitar lesson.

 

Now that you know what 3-octave arpeggios are, and how to practice the shapes in this lesson, it’s time to learn how to play these shapes on the guitar.

 

 

3 Octave Arpeggios – Maj7 Shape

 

Here is a 3-octave maj7 arpeggio that uses two notes on each string.

The interval structure for maj7 arpeggios is 1-3-5-7, and the fingers you use on each string is 1-4, 1-4, alternating up the fretboard with those fingers on each string.

 

To learn more about these shapes, check out my Maj7 Arpeggios for Jazz Guitar lesson.

 

Click to hear 3 octave scales maj7

 

three octave arpeggios maj7

 

 

3 Octave Arpeggios – 6 Shape

 

Here is a 3-octave 6 arpeggio that uses two notes on each string.

The interval structure for 6 arpeggios is 1-3-5-6, and the fingers you use on each string is 1-4, 2-4, alternating up the fretboard with those fingers on each string.

 

Click to hear 3 octave scales 6

 

three octave arpeggios 6

 

 

3 Octave Arpeggios – 7th Shape

 

Here is a 3-octave 7th arpeggio that uses two notes on each string.

The interval structure for 7th arpeggios is 1-3-5-b7, and the fingers you use on each string is 1-4, 1-4, alternating up the fretboard with those fingers on each string.

 

To learn more about these shapes, check out my 7th Arpeggios for Jazz Guitar lesson.

 

Click to hear 3 octave scales 7

 

three octave arpeggios 7

 

 

3 Octave Arpeggios – mMaj7 Shape

 

Here is a 3-octave mMaj7 arpeggio that uses two notes on each string.

The interval structure for mMaj7 arpeggios is 1-b3-5-7, and the fingers you use on each string is 1-4, 1-4, alternating up the fretboard with those fingers on each string.

 

To learn more about these shapes, check out my mMaj7 Arpeggios for Jazz Guitar lesson.

 

Click to hear 3 octave scales mMaj7

 

three octave arpeggios mMaj7

 

3 Octave Arpeggios – m7 Shape

 

Here is a 3-octave m7 arpeggio that uses two notes on each string.

The interval structure for m7 arpeggios is 1-b3-5-b7, and the fingers you use on each string is 1-4, 1-4, alternating up the fretboard with those fingers on each string.

 

To learn more about these shapes, check out my m7 Arpeggios for Jazz Guitar lesson.

 

Click to hear 3 octave scales m7

 

three octave arpeggios m7

 

 

3 Octave Arpeggios – m6 Shape

 

Here is a 3-octave m6 arpeggio that uses two notes on each string.

The interval structure for m6 arpeggios is 1-b3-5-6, and the fingers you use on each string is 1-4, 2-4, alternating up the fretboard with those fingers on each string.

 

Click to hear 3 octave scales m6

 

three octave arpeggios m6

 

 

3 Octave Arpeggios – m7b5 Shape

 

Here is a 3-octave m7b5 arpeggio that uses two notes on each string.

The interval structure for m7b5 arpeggios is 1-b3-b5-b7, and the fingers you use on each string is 1-4, 1-4, alternating up the fretboard with those fingers on each string.

 

To learn more about these shapes, check out my m7b5 Arpeggios for Jazz Guitar lesson.

 

Click to hear 3 octave scales m7b5

 

three octave arpeggios m7b5

 

 

3 Octave Arpeggios – dim7 Shape

 

Here is a 3-octave dim7 arpeggio that uses two notes on each string.

The interval structure for dim7 arpeggios is 1-b3-b5-bb7, and the fingers you use on each string is 1-4, 1-4, alternating up the fretboard with those fingers on each string.

 

To learn more about these shapes, check out my dim7 Arpeggios for Jazz Guitar lesson.

 

Click to hear 3 octave scales dim7

 

three octave arpeggios dim7

 

3 Octave Arpeggios Lick

 

To give you an idea of how to apply these shapes to your soloing, here is a sample ii-V-I lick in G major that uses a 3-octave shape over each chord in the progression.

 

Click to hear 3 octave arpeggios lick

 

3 octave arpeggios lick

 

Do you have any questions about 3 octave arpeggios? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.



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