Tag Archives: altered scale arpeggios

5 Great Jazz Licks You Need to Know With The Dominant 7thb5 arpeggio

The dom7th(b5) chord is a great sound to use in your solo. Since it isn’t really diatonic to any scale then we often forget to use it as a dominant arpeggio. In this video I am going to demonstrate 5 great ways to use this arpeggio on different chord types.

Here you will learn how it works for several chords and several sounds like the altered scale, the diminished scale and a few more melodic minor sounds!

Lydian Dominant

The Lydian dominant is a dominant with a #11. One way of playing that chord is to play it as a dom7th(b5).

In the first example I am using the arpeggio on a bVII dominant which is one of the very common Lydian dominants. The progression I am using is in the key of C major and it is a IV IVm I type progression.

On the bVII I am using Lydian dominant scale which is F minor melodic over a Bb7 in the key of C.

The scale is shown in example 1: 

The Bb7(b5) arpeggio in this position could be played like this:

The progression in C is Fmaj7, Bb7 to Cmaj7. The line on the Fmaj7 is first a chromatic run from E to G and then a line based on the arpeggio from the 3rd of Fmaj7: Am7. The line continues to the Bb7 where it ascends from Bb to Bb in the arpeggio and via the Ab and F resolves to the 5th(G) of Cmaj7.

Dominant from the diminished scale

The diminished scale also contains the arpeggio. In this example I am using a II V I in C and since the dominant is a G7 we have a G7(b5) available.

Notice that the G7(b5): G B Db F is the same as a Db7(b5): Db F G B

The Diminished scale that fits on the G7 is shown here below:

The G7(b5) (or Db7(b5) arpeggio in this position could be played as shown in example 5:

The line on the Dm7 is in this example starting with a trill on the 3rd and then continues up an Fmaj7 arpeggio. From the E it descends down to the b5 of G7 and continues up the arpeggio to B. From the B it continues with an Ab and an E to spell out a first inversion E major triad. The line then resolves to the 9th(D) of Cmajor.

The dominant sound of a G7 from the diminished scale could be written as a G7(13b9b5). The line spells out this sound with the G7(b5) combined with the E major triad. E major over a G yields E(13), G#(=Ab, b9) and B(3).

Altered Dominant

If we look at G altered. G Ab Bb B Db Eb F G, you can see that it is possible to construct a G7(b5): G B Db F. This means that the G altered dominant is also a great place to put this arpeggio to use.

The G altered (or Ab melodic minor scale) is shown in example 7:

The Arpeggio in this position could be the same as in the previous line, shown in example 5.

The II V I line with the altered dominant is making use of an Fmaj7 shell voicing followed by a chromatic pasing note and an chromatic enclosure resolving on the 3rd(B) of G7.

On the G7 the line is the ascending G7(b5) arpeggio from B to B. This is followed up by a 2nd inversion Eb major triad.The combination of the G7(b5) and the Eb major triad spells out a G7(b5b13#9) in total which is a great combo for an altered dominant. 

Tonic minor

From the previous example we know that the Melodic minor scale contains a dom7th(b5). One place where we can use this is on a tonic minor chord. In this example I am using an F7(b5) arpeggio (as shown in example 9) over a Cm6 chord.

The line starts with a small melody using an augmented triad followed up with a scale fragment. In the second bar the line is a F7(b5) (or B7(b5)) played in a sequence. It resolves to the Maj7(B) of C.

The Lydian Augmented or Lydian #5 sound

Another sound that we can apply the arpeggio to is the Lydian Augmented sound found in melodic minor. In this case I am using it on a Cmaj7(#5).

The scale that fits on this is A melodic minor:

The D7(b5)/G#7(b5) arpeggio that is found in this scale could be played like this:

The way I am using the Lydian Augmented chord in the progression is a as a suspension of the tonic. This means that the progression is a II V I, but the I is suspended by first a Imaj7(#5) and later resolved to Imaj7.

The Dm7 line consistst of an Am7 and an F major triad. On the G7 I am using a strict C major or G mixolydian sound. This yields a melody that spells out a fairly basic G7 sound. This is first resolved to a Cmaj7#5 where the line consists purely of a D7(b5) arpeggio that then resolves to the 5th(G) of Cmaj7. 

 Other places where you can experiment with the dom7th(b5)

The arpeggios that are found in scales but not build by stacking 3rds can be a very useful way to introduce specific sounds. The Dom7th(b5) sound is also great if you have a dominant for an extended period of time. This happens in the beginning of a Blues or the Bridge of a Rhythm Changes.
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You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

5 Great Licks with dom7thb5 arpeggios

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.

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3 Altered Scale Arpeggios that you forgot to learn!

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. 

Diatonic chords

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:

Blue Bossa Solo 1


If you want to study the examples I went over in the lesson you can of course also download them as a pdf here:

3 Arpeggios in the Altered Scale that you forgot to learn!

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.

Please subscribe to my YouTube channel and feel free to connect with me via Instagram,Twitter Google+ or Facebook to keep up to date with new lessons, concerts and releases.