I think you’ll agree, that the most direct way to solo over chord progressions is to use guitar arpeggios.
By using arpeggios, you target chord tones for each change in the progression.
While you can use arpeggios to hit every chord in your solos, that’s easier said than done.
You often need to change arpeggios with each chord.
With a strong understanding of arpeggios, and effective exercises, you can nail chord tones in no time.
This lesson teaches you essential guitar arpeggios, multiple fingerings for each, must know arpeggio exercises, and licks to study in your guitar practice routine.
Each arpeggio comes with a jam track to practice arpeggios in your guitar solos right away.
So, grab your favorite guitar, crank the amp, and start your journey to guitar arpeggio mastery.
Note: I talk a lot about jazz in this lesson, being a jazz guitarist, but all of this material is easily applied to any genre of music.
Arpeggio Quick Facts
What does arpeggio mean in guitar? The term arpeggios on guitar means to play chord tone, notes of a chord, one note at a time. You use arpeggios to create riffs, licks, lines, and complete solos on guitar over chords and progressions.
Guitar Arpeggios (Click to Jump to Each Section)
- How to Use This Guide
- Practicing Chord Progressions With Arpeggios
- Applying Arpeggios to Songs
- Essential Arpeggio Patterns
- Blue Bossa Arpeggio Solo
- Maj7 Guitar Arpeggios
- Dominant 7 Guitar Arpeggios
- m7 Guitar Arpeggios
- m7b5 Guitar Arpeggios
- Dim7 Guitar Arpeggio
- mMaj7 Guitar Arpeggios
How to Use This Arpeggio Guide
Learning how to play guitar arpeggios can seem like an uphill climb.
With the right exercises, and practice time, you can solo with arpeggios much sooner than later.
When working through any arpeggio, use the following outline to get the most out of your practice time.
- Pick an arpeggio family to focus on, i.e. Maj7.
- Learn one shape on guitar.
- Put on the Cmaj7 jam track and solo with that shape.
- Move on to other keys and solo.
- Move on to the next Maj7 shape.
- When you have a few shapes down, move to the next family.
By working arpeggios with these steps, you memorize the shapes, and solo over chords with those same shapes.
Next, when you know arpeggios from two or more families, use this approach to practicing.
- Pick one shape for two families of arpeggios, i.e. Dm7 and G7.
- Practice those shapes with the 4 variations below.
- Put on a Dm7-G7 jam track and solo.
- Pick two more shapes, one for each chord, and repeat.
With this approach, you internalize arpeggio shapes, plus work on changing arpeggios over chord progressions.
When two chords is comfortable, move on to three, and then four chords.
Now that you know how to practice arpeggios, learn more about the 4 variations in this last set of exercises.
Practicing Chord Progressions With Arpeggios
The first exercise is to apply arpeggio shapes to chord progressions.
When you apply arpeggios to progressions, there are four variations that you should study to get the most out of this exercise in the woodshed.
These arpeggio patterns are:
- Ascending Arpeggios
- Descending Arpeggios
- Alternating One Up and One Down
- Alternating One Down and One Up
By working these variations, you avoid falling into the trap of always starting on the root in your solos.
Now that you know how to practice arpeggios over changes, look at five essential chord progressions that you can use to study arpeggios.
As well as working each exercise from a technical standpoint with all four variations, put on backing tracks and apply these patterns to your solos.
One of the biggest mistakes guitarists make is that they run exercises from a technical perspective, but never improvise.
Then they wonder why they sound like exercises when soloing n a jam or out on a gig.
Improvisation is a learned skill.
Make sure to practice it as much as technical exercises to ensure that you don’t get handcuffed the next time you’re invited to a jam session.
Chord Progression 1 – ii V I
The first progression is the most commonly used in jazz, the major ii-V-I progression.
When working this progression, use arpeggio variations you learned about above, then moving to other keys as you expand upon them in the woodshed.
Here’s an example of how to practice this progression using ascending arpeggios over each chord.
From here, apply the other three variations as you take this progression further.
Click to hear Jazz Guitar Arpeggios 1
Chord Progression 2 – I-#Idim7-ii-V
You now practice a variation of the previous progression, where you play the tonic chord first, moving through the #I-ii-V changes from that starting point.
You also start at the top of each arpeggio and descend down to the root from there.
Here’s an example of how to practice these chords using descending arpeggios.
Click to hear Jazz Guitar Arpeggios 2
Chord Progression 3 – Minor ii V I
The third progression is the minor ii-V-I, which consists of the chords iim7b5-V7b9-Im7.
When you practice the V7b9 arpeggio, use a common technique called 3 to 9 arpeggios.
In this case, you play a Dim7 arpeggio from the 3rd of any V7b9 chord.
This produces the intervals 3-5-b7-b9 over that chord.
This means that if you’re practicing arpeggios over a minor ii-V-I in Am, you play G#dim7 over E7b9 to produce the 3 to 9 sound.
Here’s an example of alternating arpeggios over a minor ii-V-I progression in the key of Am.
Notice the 3 to 9 arpeggio being used over the V7b9 chord in bar two of the progression.
Click to hear Jazz Guitar Arpeggios 3
Chord Progression 4 – iiim7-VI7-iim7-V7
The next progression is a turnaround that can be played with one or two chords per bar.
Here’s an example of alternating arpeggios over the iiim7-VI7-iim7-V7 progression in the key of G major.
Click to hear Jazz Guitar Arpeggios 4
Chord Progression 5 – IVmaj7-ivm7-iiim7-VI7
The final progression is a descending set of changes that begins on IVmaj7 and runs down to VI7 from there.
After this four bar phrase, you’ll usually run into a ii-V-I cadence.
Shifting from a maj7 to m7 arpeggio on the same root seems easy, but it can be tricky when improving using arpeggios.
Here’s a sample ascending arpeggio exercise to get you started with these changes in the woodshed.
Click to hear Jazz Guitar Arpeggios 5 Take your time working these progressions as there’s no hurry to get them under your fingers.
“It is better to learn one progression to 100% than learn all five progressions at 20%.”
I was once talking to the legendary guitarist Ben Monder.
When I asked him how long he worked on one concept in the practice room he replied:
“I practice it until I have it absolutely down. Then I practice it for 6 more months after that.”
Just goes to show, you can never put too much time into a new musical concept.
Applying Guitar Arpeggios to Songs
As well as practicing chord progressions, apply any arpeggio you learn to full songs.
This produces two key results:
- You increase your fluidity and dexterity with arpeggio shapes.
- You build your soloing confidence and ability.
While scales are great for linear soloing, arpeggios get to the heart of the progression.
They dig into the chord tones, allowing you to run the changes directly, which is a nice contrast to your scale work over those same progressions.
To help you with applying arpeggios to your song studies, here are four exercises that you can run in the practice room.
There’s one for each variation of the arpeggio exercises you learned earlier in this lesson.
After you’ve learned any study below, work out a few more using other arpeggio shapes you know.
Ascending Arpeggio Study – Summertime
The first study features ascending arpeggios over the tune Summertime.
Notice that you use two-octave shapes over each chord because the tempo is slow.
If you want to speed up the tempo, shrink those arpeggios to one-octave shapes.
This makes things easier and more practical during those measures.
Once you have this study under your fingers, solo over those changes using only the arpeggio shapes you just worked out in your routine.
Click to hear Jazz Guitar Arpeggios 6
Descending Arpeggio Study – Blue Bossa
You now practice descending arpeggios over the tune Blue Bossa.
Starting from the top of an arpeggio may seem as easy as playing an ascending arpeggio backwards.
But it’s not that easy.
Learning how to see the upper note of an arpeggio, and starting your lines away from the root, is an essential skill for any guitarist to possess.
Therefore, it’s worth the time spent in the practice room working on this concept.
Click to hear Jazz Guitar Arpeggios 7
Alternating Arpeggio Study 1 – Sunny
Moving on, you apply alternating, one up one down, arpeggios to the song Sunny.
Watch the bars that contain two chords. In these bars, use one-octave arpeggios to keep things compact when the chords move at a fast pace.
If you want a challenge, play two-octave shapes in those bars, using 16th notes to fit the in.
But, sticking to one-octave arpeggios in those bars is perfectly fine.
Click to hear Jazz Guitar Arpeggios 8
Alternating Arpeggio Study 2 – Bb Jazz Blues
The final example applies the one down-one up variation to a Bb jazz blues chord progression.
Again, once you learn this study from memory, practice two ways:
- One, with other arpeggio shapes.
- Two, soloing using only arpeggio shapes.
To help you practice this progression, here’s a Bb jazz blues backing track from Quist Jam Tracks.
Click to hear Jazz Guitar Arpeggios 9
Essential Arpeggio Patterns
As well as working arpeggios through the four variations, use arpeggio shapes to translate common jazz vocabulary.
When doing so, you use shapes you know to create the jazz sound, by applying chromatic patterns to diatonic arpeggios.
This accomplishes two important goals:
- One, bringing a sense of jazz to your lines.
- Two, using arpeggio shapes to translate the jazz language onto the guitar.
Let’s get started by looking at one of the most important jazz concepts, approach notes.
Arpeggio Patterns – Approach Notes
The first vocabulary exercise you explore adds approach notes below each note in the arpeggio.
When doing so, you play a note one fret below each arpeggio note.
This creates tension and release when applied to your solos.
Approach notes can be applied to any arpeggio you’re working on:
- In a single-arpeggio shape.
- Over a full progression.
- Over an entire song.
They can also be played from above each note, but that can sound a bit off sometimes.
Start from below before trying them from above.
Work the example below in 12 keys.
When that’s comfortable, apply approach notes to other arpeggios.
Make sure to practice with a metronome through the four variations at the beginning of this lesson.
And don’t forget to solo over songs with this concept.
Here’s an example of approach notes below each note in a G7 arpeggio, ascending only.
Click to hear Jazz Guitar Arpeggios 10 Here is a descending version with approach notes added below.
Click to hear Jazz Guitar Arpeggios 11 This example shows the full version of a G7 arpeggio with approach notes.
Click to hear Jazz Guitar Arpeggios 12 The final example shows approach notes below a G7 arpeggio descending then ascending.
Click to hear Jazz Guitar Arpeggios 13
Arpeggio Patterns – Enclosures
The second important pattern in this lesson is enclosures. For now, you learn one variation of the enclosure, a half-step above, half-step below, then the arpeggio note.
When doing so, you create tension with those chromatic notes.
Then, you resolve that tension by landing on each arpeggio note.
As is the case with any arpeggio exercise, add enclosures to the four variations at the start of this lesson.
Then, practice over single chords, chord progressions, and full songs.
To help you get started, here’s an ascending G7 arpeggio with enclosures.
Click to hear Jazz Guitar Arpeggios 14 Here’s the descending version of that same arpeggio with enclosures.
Click to hear Jazz Guitar Arpeggios 15 The next example features the full version of a G7 with enclosures.
Click to hear Jazz Guitar Arpeggios 16 The final example uses the down then up variation over a G7 arpeggio with enclosures.
Click to hear Jazz Guitar Arpeggios 17
Blue Bossa Arpeggios
To help you practice arpeggios in a musical situation, here’s a solo written over the chord changes to Blue Bossa.
Learn each phrase separately.
Then, put them together and play the solo as a whole.
Once you’ve learned this solo, write out one of your own over Blue Bossa using the concepts in this lesson.
This allows you to test these ideas at home before taking them to a jam or gig situation.
Click to hear Jazz Guitar Arpeggios 18
Maj7 arpeggios are used to solo over Maj7 chords, which are the I and IV chords in a major key.
Maj7 arpeggios have the following interval pattern.
Or, for a Cmaj7 arpeggio, those notes would be.
You can also think of Maj7 arpeggios as being the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th notes of the major scale.
Essentially, you start on the root of a major scale, then play every second note to form the Maj7 arpeggio.
Because they’re used over the tonic chord of a major key, you’ll use Maj7 arpeggios a fair bit over jazz, pop, and R&B songs.
Having a strong understanding of Maj7 arpeggios means you’re never caught off guard when soloing over the tonic in a major progression.
Maj7 Arpeggio One Octave Shapes
Now that you know how to build a Maj7 arpeggio, bring that knowledge to the fretboard.
To begin, here are 12 fingerings for Maj7 arpeggios, written in one-octave shapes.
Once octave shapes are perfect for soloing over fast-moving chords.
You can start by learning Maj7 arpeggios, one octave, from the index finger.
After you’ve learned any of these Maj7 arpeggios, put on the jam track and solo with that shap.
Cmaj7 Jam Track Cmaj7 Backing Track Here are those same arpeggios from the middle finger to learn in your studies.
Try out these arpeggios from your pinky, then your ring, and then settle on the fingering that feels best.
There are a variety of ways to finger any arpeggio depending on your hand size and flexibility.
Maj7 Arpeggio Two Octave Shapes
Though one-octave Maj7 arpeggios are great for soloing over fast chords, there are times when you have more room to spread out across the fretboard.
This is where two-octave Maj7 arpeggio shapes come in handy.
Here are four two-octave maj7 arpeggios to practice in all keys.
As always, learn one of these shapes and then jam over the Cmaj7 track as you take them to your guitar soloing and technical practice routine.
Cmaj7 Jam Track Cmaj7 Backing Track When you have any of these Maj7 fingerings memorized, solo over the backing track as you combine one and two-octave Maj7 arpeggios.
Though they use the same notes, one and two-octave arpeggios might inspire you to play different phrases in your solos.
When combined, this adds new found creativity to your guitar soloing lines over chord progressions and songs.
Maj7 Arpeggios – 3 Licks
To finish up your introduction to Maj7 arpeggios, here are three licks to learn and apply to your solos.
The first lick features a two-bar Maj7 arpeggio phrase.
Click to hear maj7 arpeggios 1 Here’s a Maj7 arpeggio applied to the Imaj7 chord in a ii-V-I progression. Click to hear maj7 arpeggios 2 Lastly, here’s a maj7 arpeggio applied to the first four bars of the jazz standard “On Green Dolphin Street.”
Click to hear maj7 arpeggios 3 When you can play these three Maj7 lick, come up with 3 to 5 licks of your own to take these shapes further in your studies.
Dominant 7 Arpeggios
Another common arpeggio in modern music, 7th arpeggios are used to solo over dominant 7th chords.
Because dominant 7th chords are used in rock, blues, funk, jazz, and other genres, learning 7th arpeggios prepares you to solo with confidence in a variety of situations.
7th arpeggios have the following interval pattern.
For a C7 arpeggio, the notes would be.
As well as thinking about these arpeggios related to 7th chords, you can think of them as coming from the Mixolydian scale.
7th arpeggios can be thought of as the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th notes of Mixolydian.
Here are the intervals for both of those structures to see how they compare.
Mixolydian – R 2 3 4 5 6 b7
7th Arpeggio – R 3 5 b7
As well, for C Mixolydian and a C7 arpeggio the notes would be.
C Mixolydian – C D E F G A Bb
C7 Arpeggio – C E G Bb
Whichever way you choose to think about 7th arpeggios is great.
As long as you can build these arpeggios, relate them to 7th chords, and use them in your solos, it’s all good.
Now, time to take this theory onto the fretboard.
7th Arpeggio One Octave Shapes
As was the case with Maj7 arpeggios, start your exploration of 7th arpeggios by learning one-octave shapes.
Once you can play any of these 7th arpeggios, put on the C7 jam track and solo over that chord in your studies.
C7 Jam Track C7 Backing Track Here are those same arpeggios from the middle finger. The only exception being the 3rd-string root shape, which like the Maj7 arpeggios, starts with your index finger. Lastly, here are the same arpeggios from the pinky, or ring if you prefer, finger. Again, feel free to experiment with guitar arpeggio fingerings.
Find the right fingering for you, and stick with that approach.
You might change that fingering system over time. But for now, feeling comfortable and being able to play each arpeggio smoothly is your biggest priority.
Start with G7-Cmaj7, then work other keys when you’re ready.
7th Arpeggio Two Octave Shapes
It’s time to move on to two-octave shapes in your practice routine.
When you have any of these 7th arpeggios under your fingers, jam them over the C7 track below.
From there, take them to other keys, both with a metronome and with backing tracks.
C7 Jam Track C7 Backing Track As you did with one-octave shapes, you’re ready to mix 7th and Maj7 arpeggios through the four variations in your studies. Give it a try.
If it’s too difficult to manage those two chords at once, no worries.
Focus on one arpeggio family at a time.
Then, when you’re ready, mix the two together again and see how it goes.
With time and practice, shifting between arpeggios in your solos becomes easier.
7th Arpeggios – 3 Licks
Here are three licks that use 7th arpeggios in their construction.
Work each lick in the given key, and then inject these lines into your guitar soloing vocabulary.
The first lick features a two-bar 7th arpeggio phrase.
As this is the most direct use of 7th arpeggios, this is a great place to start when learning 7 arpeggio licks.
Click to hear 7th arpeggios 1 Next, here’s a 7th arpeggio applied to the V7 chord in a ii-V-I chord progression.
Click to hear 7th arpeggios 2 Lastly, here’s a 7th arpeggio applied to the two chords in the first four bars of a blues in C.
Click to hear 7th arpeggios 3 Remember to apply these licks to songs, the blues or any jazz standard such as “Autumn Leaves” is a great place to start.
By doing so, you not only learn these licks, but you practice getting into and out of them in your solos.
This allows you to use these licks in a natural way in your solos.
This is the last of the most popular arpeggios in this lesson, as m7 chords are found in most genres of modern music.
m7 arpeggios contain the following interval pattern.
R b3 5 b7
Or for a Cm7 arpeggio the notes would be.
C Eb G Bb
You can also think of this arpeggio as being the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th notes of the natural minor scale.
Here’s how those two melodic devices look when compared to each other from an interval standpoint.
Minor Scale – R 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
m7 Arpeggio – R b3 5 b7
And for a C minor scale and Cm7 arpeggio the notes would be.
C Minor Scale – C D Eb F G Ab Bb
Cm7 Arpeggio – C Eb G Bb
Check out both of these approaches to building m7 arpeggios, then go with the one that makes it easier for you to understand this important soloing device.
Now that you can build m7 arpeggios, it’s time to take that information onto the fretboard.
m7 Arpeggio One Octave Shapes
Here are 12 fingerings for m7 arpeggios, written in one-octave shapes.
Begin by learning any of these shapes over Cm7, then bring them to other keys around the fretboard.
As always, after you learn a shape, solo over the Cm7 jam track below.
Cm7 Jam Track Cm7 Backing Track Here are those same arpeggios from the middle finger. Lastly, here are the same arpeggios from the pinky.
To continue our running theme, try your ring finger and then decide which one is the right fingering for you. Once you have any of these arpeggios down, put on a m7 backing track and solo with these shapes to take them to the improvisational side of your playing.
m7 Arpeggio Two Octave Shapes
You’ll now learn how to play two-octave m7 arpeggios.
Start with one shape with a metronome, increasing the tempo as you go. From there, use these shapes to solo over the Cm7 backing track.
Cm7 Jam Track Cm7 Backing Track As well, put on a m7 backing track and move between one and two-octave arpeggios as you combine them in your solos.
m7 Arpeggios – 3 Licks
Now you can study three m7 arpeggio licks. The first lick features a two-bar phrase that you can transpose to other keys across the fretboard.
Click to hear m7 arpeggios 1 Next, here’s a m7 arpeggio applied to the im7 chord in a minor ii-V-I progression.
Click to hear m7 arpeggios 2 To finish up, here’s a m7 arpeggio applied to the first four bars of Blue Bossa.
Click to hear m7 arpeggios 3
You’re now moving into less familiar territory as you learn m7b5 arpeggios.
Often called “half diminished” arpeggios, these shapes are used to solo over m7b5 chords.
Because of this, they’re mostly used in jazz guitar solos, though will pop up now and again in a funk, blues, or pop song.
m7b5 arpeggios share the same chord tones as m7b5 chords, which from an interval standpoint are:
R b3 b5 b7
Or for Cm7b5 those notes would be.
C Eb Gb Bb
You can also think of m7b5 arpeggios as coming from the Locrian scale. m7b5 arpeggios contain the same notes as the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th notes of the Locrian scale.
Here’s how those two compare when you look at their intervals.
Locrian Scale – R b2 b3 4 b5 b6 b7
m7b5 Arpeggio – R b3 b5 b7
For C Locrian and Cm7b5 the notes would be.
C Locrian – C Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb
Cm7b5 Arpeggio – C Eb Gb Bb
Either way of building m7b5 arpeggios is cool, so go with the one that’s easiest for you.
Even if you’re not a jazz guitarist, having a few of these arpeggios under your fingers prepares you for the next time you run across a m7b5 chord.
m7b5 Arpeggio One Octave Shapes
By this point you know the drill, so dive right in with these m7b5 arpeggios, starting with one-octave fingerings.
Don’t forget to run these shapes over the Cm7b5 jam track to hear them against the harmony.
This will help when working on less common arpeggios such as the m7b5 shapes.
Cm7b5 Jam Track Cm7b5 Backing Track Here are those same arpeggios from the middle finger on the first note of every shape. Lastly, here are the same arpeggios from the pinky finger, or ring finger if you prefer. You can now mix the m7b5 arpeggios with the 7th arpeggios to work the 4 variations from the start of this lesson.
Work Dm7b5 to G7 first, then take those chords to other keys as you practice them around the fretboard.
m7b5 Arpeggios Two Octave
Here are four different two-octave m7b5 arpeggios to practice in all 12 keys.
Work these shapes first with your metronome at increased tempos.
Then, slap on the Cm7b5 jam track below and take them to your guitar soloing workout.
Cm7b5 Jam Track Cm7b5 Backing Track
m7b5 Arpeggios – 3 Licks
Though they might be rare, depending on the style of music you play, having m7b5 arpeggio licks under you fingers helps you apply these shapes to a musical situation.
The first lick features a two-bar m7b5 arpeggio phrase that you can use in your solos.
Click to hear m7b5 arpeggios 1 Here’s a m7b5 arpeggio played over the iim7b5 chord in a minor ii-V-I chord progression.
Click to hear m7b5 arpeggios 2 Lastly, here’s a m7b5 arpeggio applied to the V7 chord in a ii V I.
This is the most common way to use m7b5 arpeggios outside of jazz, from the 3rd of a 7th chord.
When doing so, you outline the 3-5-b7-9 intervals of that dominant 7th chord.
It’s a cool sound, but tough to pull off at first.
So, start with the lick below.
Then, put on a C7 backing track and solo with an Em7b5 arpeggio to hear how that concept sounds in your solos.
Click to hear m7b5 arpeggios 3 When you can play these three licks, write out 3 to 5 m7b5 arpeggio licks of your own in order to take these shapes further.
Unless you jazz, funk, or fusion guitar, you won’t come across dim7 chords very often.
When you do, knowing a few dim7 arpeggio fingerings will get you out of a tight jam in your solos.
Dim7 arpeggios are directly related to dim7 chords, as they share the same chord tones.
Dim7 – R b3 b5 bb7
And the notes of Cdim7 would be.
C Eb Gb A (Bbb)
You can also think of the dim7 arpeggio as being the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th notes of the diminished scale.
This is how those two musical devices compare from an interval perspective.
Diminished Scale – R 2 b3 4 b5 b6 6 7
Dim7 Arpeggio – R b3 b5 6 (bb7)
Either way you think about it, as long as you understand how this arpeggio is built, you’ll be set when applying this arpeggio to the fretboard.
Dim7 Arpeggios One Octave
Armed with the knowledge of how to build dim7 arpeggios, you’re ready to take them to the fretboard.
To begin, here are 12 one-octave dim7 arpeggios that you can add to your technical and soloing practice.
As usual, once you get a fingering down, put on the jam track and solo over the Cdim7 chord with the related arpeggio shape.
Cdim7 Jam Track cdim7 backing track Here are those same dim7 arpeggios from the middle finger.
While you can use your middle finger with these arpeggios, that might be a bit of a stretch for some guitarists.
Dim7 Arpeggio Two Octave
Just like you’ve done with each arpeggio in this guide, you’ll now learn two-octave dim7 arpeggios in your studies.
To get you started with longer dim7 arpeggios, here are four fingerings that you can learn and apply to the backing track in your woodshedding.
Cdim7 Jam Track cdim7 backing track
Dim7 Arpeggios – 3 Licks
To finish up your intro to dim7 arpeggios, here are three licks that use dim7 arpeggios over various chords.
The first lick features a two-bar dim7 arpeggio phrase that directly outlines that chord with the arpeggio.
Click to hear dim7 arpeggios 1 Here’s a dim7 arpeggio applied to the V7b9 chord in a minor ii-V-I chord progression.
As was the case with m7b5 arpeggios, you can play a dim7 arpeggio from the 3rd of any dominant 7th chord.
When you do, you highlighting the 3-5-b7-b9 of that 7th chord.
This creates tension in your lines, which needs to be resolved.
After you’ve learned this lick, put on a C7 jam track and solo with an Edim7 arpeggio to hear how this concept sounds in your playing.
Click to hear dim7 arpeggios 2 Lastly, here’s a dim7 arpeggio applied to the V7 chord in a ii V I, using the same 3-5-b7-b9 outline you saw in the previous lick.
Click to hear dim7 arpeggios 3 When you can play these three licks, work up 3 to 5 dim7 arpeggio licks of your own to take these shapes further in your studies.
A relative of the melodic minor scale, mMaj7 arpeggios are used to solo over m7 chords when you want to bring tension to your guitar solos.
As they also contain the same chord tones as a mMaj7 chord, the mMaj7 arpeggio interval pattern is:
R b3 5 7
Or for CmMaj7 the notes would be.
C Eb G B
Since it’s related to the melodic minor scale, you can think of these arpeggios as being the R, 3, 5, and 7 of that scale.
Here’s how those two items compare from an interval perspective.
Melodic Minor – R 2 b3 4 5 6 7
mMaj7 Arpeggio – R b3 5 7
And for CmMaj7 and C melodic minor the notes would be.
C MM – C D Eb F G A B
CmMaj7 – C Eb G B
Either way to think about mMaj7 arpeggios is totally fine, pick the one that works for you and stick with it.
As long as you know that you solo over the rare mMaj7 chord, or more commonly m7 chords, with this arpeggio, you’re all set.
mMaj7 Arpeggio Shapes One Octave
Now that you know how to build a mMaj7 arpeggio, here are 12 fingerings for this arpeggio, written in one-octave shapes.
Begin with mMaj7 arpeggios, one octave, from the index finger.
As always, put on the backing track and jam over the Cm7 chord with any mMaj7 arpeggio shape you learn.
Cm7 Jam Track Cm7 Backing Track Here are those same mMaj7 arpeggios from the middle finger. Lastly, here are the same mMaj7 arpeggios from the pinky finger.
mMaj7 Arpeggio Shapes Two Octave
Moving on, you’re ready to learn two-octave mMaj7 arpeggio shapes.
Here are four different two-octave mMaj7 arpeggios to practice in all 12 keys.
Once you have any shape down, jam over the Cm7 track to hear how to best deal with the tension that this arpeggio creates in your solos.
Cm7 Jam Track Cm7 Backing Track
mMaj7 Arpeggios – 3 Licks
Here are three licks that you can learn in order to hear and play the mMaj7 arpeggio in different musical situations.
The first lick features a two-bar mMaj7 arpeggio phrase applied directly to a CmMaj7 chord.
Click to hear mMaj7 arpeggios 1 Next, here’s a mMaj7 arpeggio applied to the Im7 chord in a minor ii-V-I chord progression.
Click to hear mMaj7 arpeggios 2 Lastly, here’s a mMaj7 arpeggio applied to the iim7 chord in a ii V I progression, giving that chord a mMaj7 feel.
Click to hear mMaj7 arpeggios 3 When you can play these three licks, write out 3 to 5 mMaj7 arpeggio licks of your own to take these shapes further.