Major and minor chord arpeggiosBack to top
Arpeggio is a technique of playing chords note by note in a sequence.
Let's take a look at well known C major and A minor chords.
C major chord consists of three notes - C (root), E (major third) and G (perfect fifth). Figure 1 illustrates guitar fingerboard populated by these notes.
Figure 1 C major chord notes on guitar fingerboard
A minor chord consists of three notes - A (root), C (minor third) and E (perfect fifth). Figure 1 illustrates guitar fingerboard populated by these notes.
Figure 2 A minor chord notes on guitar fretboard
What you see on figure 3 are one octave arpeggios of C and Am. To play an arpeggio all it takes is to play all chord notes one by one in any order.
Figure 3 Basic one octave C and Am arpeggiosBack to top
Sweep picking arpeggios
These examples require sweep picking, that is series of upstrokes and downstrokes. Smooth sound, difficult muting as no notes should ring together.
Fairly easy and classic arpeggios are shown on following figure. C arpeggio relies on basic, well known C chord.
Figure 4 Sweep picking arpeggios shape #1
Figure 5 illustrates a bit more difficult to play arpeggio. You have to use just one finger (middle or ring finger) on three adjacent strings. When going back you have to roll that finger to mute what you've already played.
Figure 5 Sweep picking arpeggios shape #2
Figure 6 Sweep picking arpeggios shape #3
Figure 7 Sweep picking arpeggios shape #4
Figure 8 Sweep picking arpeggios shape #5
Following figures illustrate barre chord sweep shapes. These are difficult to mute, but simple and easy to remember.
Figure 9 Sweep picking arpeggios shape #6
Figure 10 Sweep picking arpeggios shape #7
Connecting sweep shapes examples
Legato comes with help when you're trying to shift position and move between the shapes.
Figure 11 Connecting sweep shapes #1
Figure 12 Connecting sweep shapes #1b
Figure 13 Connecting sweep shapes #2
Figure 14 Connecting sweep shapes #3Back to top
Some legato and string skipping make it easier to mute the strings, however stretching your fingers is required. These shapes sound differently because there's no sweep picking involved.
Figure 15 Legato shape #1
Figure 16 Legato shape #1
Figure 17 Legato shape #1
Figure 18 Legato shape #1
Figure 19 Legato shape #1
Figure 20 Legato shape #1
Connecting legato arpeggio shapes examples
Figure 21 Connecting legato shapes #1
Figure 22 Connecting legato shapes #2Back to top
String skipping arpeggios
Following arpeggios are great for accompaniment, it's difficult to play them quickly. Alternate picking comes in handy.
Figure 23 Legato shape #1
Figure 24 Legato shape #1
Figure 25 Legato shape #1
String skipping arpeggios examples
Figure 26 String skipping shape #1
Figure 27 String skipping shape #1« Back to Lessons