If you want to play great altered dominant lines then you have to also look beyond the diatonic arpeggios. In this video I will go over three examples of non-diatonic arpeggios that are great for altered scale lines on dominant chords.
Not only diatonic chords
One of the first things you should check out when learning a new scale is to learn the diatonic chords and their arpeggios. We need this to be get an idea about where we can use the scale and also what arpeggios fit what chords.
But very often we stop with those arpeggios and don’t look any further which is actually a pity. There are a lot of great very powerful sounds that you can find by checking out some of the other chords you can build in a scale.
In this lesson I will take a G7alt dominant chord and the Ab melodic mior or G altered scale and show you how you can find 3 great arpeggios that are not strictly diatonic.
Ironically it makes most sense to start with checking out the diatonic arpeggios since those are the ones I am going to use as a foundation. Here’s the Ab melodic minor scale in the 9th position:
Since G altered is the same as Ab melodic minor I have listed the diatonic chords here below.
Notice that I chose to use the B instead of the Cb which of course is the actual 3rd in Ab melodic minor. This is because we are talking about a G7alt and the Cb would make little sense as a 3rd in that chord. There are probably more inconsistent use of flats and sharps, I hope you can read through it.
The Maj7(b5) arpeggio
In the scale we already have a Bmaj7(#5). In that chord we can substitute the #5(G) with the b5(F). This gives us a Bmaj7(b5) which is a great arpeggio over a G7alt. Infact the Bmaj7(b5) chord is also a very useful G7alt voicing. In example You can see the substitution and the two chords.
There are two ways we can play this arpeggio around the 9th position. One is the repeating fingering shown in the 2nd bar of example 4, and the other one is a more strict position fingering.
The line that I play in the beginning of the video is shown in example 1 below. The line uses the repeating fingering from above and makes a 6 note pattern of it that is repeated in the two upper octaves before it resolves to Cmaj7. The arpeggio resolves to the E and if then followed by a short Cmaj7 line using the E minor pentatonic scale and some downward sweeps.
The Dom7th(b5) arpeggio
On the 4th degree of melodic minor we have the Lydian dominant sound (or mode). The diatonic chord in Ab melodic minor is Db7, but we can easily change it to an Db7(b5) arpeggio as shown in example 6.
Again it is easy to play this arpegio in a way that repeats nicely across the strings as shown in the second bar of example 6. A position variation is shown in the next bar.
The line I made using this arpeggio is concentrated around the middle of the Db7(b5) arpeggio that is in position. The arpeggio is played in a skipping pattern. On beats 3 and 4 I use a trill and two scale runs to resolve to the 3rd(E) of Cmaj7. On the Cmaj7 chord the line continues with a Cmaj7 drop2 voicing and a small Em pentatonic run.
The Dom7th(#5) arpeggio
One of the strong harmonic and melodic structures in the melodic minor scale is the augmented triad. The last arpeggio has this triad as part of the chord. It is derived from the 5th degree: Eb7, which is turned into an Eb7(#5). The two fingerings are again one that is moving a pattern up the neck and another that is stricly in position around the 9th position.
In the line I made with the Eb7(#5) arpeggio I am for the first half just running up the arpeggio. From there it continues with a trill and a run down a 1st inversion Db7 arpeggio before it resolves to C. On the Cmaj it is shortly tagged with a Cmaj7 shell voicing.
What’s the last arpeggio?
I hope you can use the ideas and the arpeggios that I went over here to start working on some of the stuff that is not strictly diatonic arpeggios.
I have one more arpeggio like this that I don’t use very often. Can you figure out which one it is? If you do then leave a comment on the video!
If you want to check out more G7alt lines of mine then this lesson is a good place to start:
If you want to study the examples I went over in the lesson you can of course also download them as a pdf here:
If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please let me know. Leave a comment on the video or send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make them fit what you are searching for.