Tag Archives: arpeggio licks

Every Arpeggio in the Known Universe

This video is an overview of different types of arpeggios and how they sound. The Arpeggios are demonstrated in 7 different licks to give you an idea about how they could be used.

Are you an Arpeggio master? Do you know all the different types of arpeggios and how to use them in your playing? The Arpeggio is a very important tool when it comes to jazz and jazz guitar.

Demonstrating arpeggios in a musical context

This video is going over a lot of different types of arpeggios. Showing how you might using them in different licks. Applying the arpeggios in a musical context is a much stronger way to apply them in my opinion.

Table of Contents

0:00 Intro – Are you an arpeggio master?

0:22 Did I miss one? 0:43 Example 1 – Basic Arpeggios

1:14 Example 2 – Diatonic arpeggios and the “from the 3rd rule”

2:05 Example 3 – Harmonic minor?

3:24 Example 4 – Not always 4 notes and a little Melodic minor

4:16 The triads we forget to check out

4:34 Example 5 – Not always 3rd based

5:41 Example 6 – Larger intervals like the Police!

6:45 The Magic Arpeggio!

7:38 Example 7 – Three notes but not a triad

8:42 Another great sound from Melodic minor

9:22 What did I forget?

9:35 Like this video? Check out my Patreon Page.


Three Ways to Add Arpeggios to Your Jazz Guitar Licks

We spend a lot of time practicing and learning Arpeggios, so it makes a lot of sense to have several ways to use them in our playing. In this lesson I will show you 3 ways you can add arpeggios to your lines so that they help you create more interesting licks and you get more out of the time you have spend practicing.

The examples in this lesson are all on a II V I in Eb major, so Fm7, Bb7 to Ebmaj7.

Emphasizing a Target note

Really bringing out interesting extensions and alterations is a great way to use arpeggios.

In the example below the target note G, the 9th, is given an extra emphasis because it is the top note in an arpeggio. The note is given even more energy by the fact that the arpeggio is played as an 8th note triplet. This heightens the velocity towards it and makes it sound more like a resolution. The fact that the G is on a heavy beat also helps give it more emphasis.

Learn from Charlie Parker and Wes Montgomery

Playing arpeggios and using the top note as a target is something that has been common in Jazz since Charlie Parker. Wes Montgomery also uses 5 or 6 note arpeggios to bring out specific targets in his solo. A recent video I did on his playing talked about his use of this to emphasize the 11th over a minor chord.

Moving this to the Eb major II V I then that would be:

In the example above the Ab major triad is used to target the Bb on beat 3. The arpeggio is really useful and the technique of summing up your lines in the important target notes can be useful to realize this and also for a lot of other things in the line.

Changing direction and adding large intervals

Playing lines that consist of melodies that only move in one direction can become boring and predictable for the listener. Arpeggios and especially arpeggio inversions can help doing this really well. If you look at the general movement from Fm7 to Bb it is a scale run from C to F and then moving from Eb to D on the Bb7.

The arpeggio is here used to introduce a skip from F down to Ab. From there it moves back up to then return to the D.

Change direction on Chord tones

The strong place to do this is to use it when you are on a chord tone. In the example above it was on the root (F). Below I am using the same technique but now the arpeggio is inserted on the 3rd(Ab). The arpeggio I use is a 1st inversion Abmaj7 arpeggio.

Coltrane and his descending Arpeggio Cascades

The previous technique used the arpeggio to introduce a large interval skip which is then resolved by the rest of the arpeggio. In the example below I am using a quote from John Coltrane’s Cousin Mary Solo, a song off “Giant Steps”

One way to summarize the Fm7 bar is to see it as a three note descending scale run: Bb, Ab, G with two arpeggios inserted after the last two notes. The arbeggios are an Fm 2nd inversion triad and an Abmaj7.

This melody is more radical but therefore also more dramatic and surprising. This probably has to do with the fact that the large interval skip is at the end of the arpeggio and not at the beginning. At the same time the dramatic cascade effect is a great way to shake things up a little.

For me personally this is a great example of how powerful Coltrane’s melodic concept was!

Use what you Practice and explore what is possible!

Exploring how to use the things we practice is almost as important as practicing them in the first place. Of course there are many ways we can do this, both by composing and experimenting but certainly also by transcribing and analyzing. 

This lesson demonstrates both transcribing and composing as examples, and for me those are the two main sources of inspiration and knowledge when it comes to applying what I practice.

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You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

Three ways to Use Arpeggios in Scale Runs

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics 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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The Craziest Arpeggios & How You Make Beautiful Jazz Guitar Sounds With Them

In this lesson I am going to talk about some of the Craziest Arpeggios I know. If you are familiar with my lessons you probably know that I like to use jazz chords like, drop2, shell or quartal voicings as arpeggios. The arpeggios I am going to discuss in this lesson are extended range arpeggios that are constructed by stacking different types of structures on top of each other.

Extended range arpeggios

These extended arpeggios have an Allan Holdsworth or Mark Turner like sound to me.

Since the arpeggios are made by combining different types of structures I think the easiest way to demonstrate them is to go over some examples and talk about how they are constructed.  

A modal example

In example 1, here below I am using an extended range Am7 arpeggio in bar 2. As you can see the arpeggio is constructed of two parts, a lower and a higher part. The lower part is closely related to the chord, it’s an Am triad in open voicing, and the higher is adding the extensions and colors since it is a D quartal arpeggio that adds the b7, 11 and repeats the 3rd.

Extended range Altered Dominant!

This line is on a II V I in G major. The Am7 is fairly standard. I am using an extended range arpeggio for the altered dominant. In this example the lower part is a drop2 D7(b5) arpeggio and the higher part is an upper-structure triad: Fm. The Fm triad yields a b5, b7 and #9 over the D7 so that fits extremely well with the D7alt sound.  

Using the arpeggio on an IIm7 chord.

In the 3rd example the line on the II chord in the II V I is an extended range arpeggio. The arpeggio is here constructed of a lower Am7 drop2 voicing and then a Bsus4 triad, which gives us a total of an Am7(9,13) voicing. The Valt line is vaguely coming from an Ab and Bb major triad pair.

I chose to use a 12/8 feel to vary the examples a little.

Extended range arpeggios in Chord Melody arrangements

Another way of using the arpeggios is to spell out chord sounds in a chord melody arrangement. On guitar it can often be difficult to play chords with a lot of notes in them because we only have six strings (let’s face it… it is true)

Using the arpeggios to spell out the sound can be very effective as shown in the example below which is the first 4 bars of Stella by Starlight.

The first arpeggio is an Em7b5(11) voicing that consists of an Edim triad (with the Bb in the bass) and a Dsus4 triad voicing. On the Cm7 I am first playing an Cm11 chord and then using an arpeggiated version of what is sometimes referred to as the Herbie Hancock m11 voicing. It is in fact a Cm7(11) voicing with a Bb major triad upper-structure  

Poly Tonal arpeggio sound

A final example is using the arpeggios for more exotic sounds. The 5th example is on using an augmented scale over a Gmaj7#5 chord.

The G augmented scale consists of the notes of the G, B and Eb major triads. In the line I am using an arpeggio that is the combination of a lower Gmaj7 drop2 voicing and over that an EbmMaj7 arpeggio. Two structures that are not that closely related away from the augmented scale or Messiaen modes.

The inspiration

The Idea for these arpeggios came from checking out a Jacob Collier interview where he is singing some piano voicings and then I started messing around with piano voicings and making my own constructions. I hope my examples somewhat illustrated this.


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You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

The Craziest Arpeggio I know

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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Sweep Picking Cascading Arpeggios – Upper-structure Chords

Sweep picking cascading arpeggios – upper-structure chords

In this video I am going to go over a concept behind creating cascading arpeggio type lines like the lick play in the beginning of the video. They are a great way to use different arpeggios over a chord and add some interesting rhythms to your lines.

It’s also the way that I mostly use sweep picking because that’s a way that works better for jazz type lines.

Sweep picking and Jazz

Sweep and economy picking is very common in Jazz, but not in the ways that you mostly see it taught. On guitar sweep picking is mostly associated with multi octave triads from Heavy Metal, something that is never used in Jazz. In Jazz economy picking and small sweeps are very often used. Sweeping is often used on arpeggios, but on one octave structures and triads more than anything.

The lick I play in the beginning of the video is found in example 1

As you can see the line is written over a II V I in the key of F major as shown in example 2:

How to create casacading Arpeggio lines

The cascading arpeggios are being played over the II chord (Gm7) in example 1. The idea is quite simple. You are probably aware that over a chord you can mostly use the arpeggio found on the 3rd of that chord, so Bbmaj7 arpeggio over a Gm7 chord. It is in fact this principle that I am using to make the cascading arpeggios.

If you look at bar 1 of example 1 you can see that there are 3 arpeggios being played: Dm7, Bbmaj7 and Gm7. The arpeggios are played one after each other in the distance of a diatonic 3rd. The lay-out of the arpeggios allows us to sweep one arpeggio on a string set and the next on the lower string set. This is why it is fairly easy to play.

It is all a Gm11 arpeggio

If we summed up all the notes on the Gm7 we would end up with a Gm11 arpeggio as shown in example 3, so the cascade is in fact just playing a Gm11 descending in groups of 4 notes.

Bring in the mighty triad!

In this 2nd line in example 4 I reduced the notes per arpeggio to 3. This actually just gives us 3 triads: Dm, Bb and Gm. The arpeggios are again played with a sweep or economy technique. This both facilitates playing the line and  helps accenting the top note in each triad and conveying the 3 note groupings in the melody.

Even higher in the upper-structures

Since we can take the lowest 3 notes of each of the chords we can of course also use the three notes at the top. If we do this we have the three triads F, Dm and Bb. In example 5 I play these using another economy picking lay-out. I play the triads with a 2-1 fingering meaning 2 notes on one string and 1 on the next string. Again this lends itself really well to sweeping.

Finding arpeggio sets to use for other chords

In the first example I am using the arpeggios from the 5th, 3rd and root to make the cascade. This approach will often work though we have the 11th on top, and that may not work well for all types of chords. Another option could also be to have the root as the middle chord. Then we would have the arpeggios from the 3rd, the root and the 6th. This configuration works very well with major chords.

In example 6 I have written out a few examples of arpeggio sets for the Fmaj7 and C7 chords.

Cascading altered arpeggios

Of course we can also apply the idea to the altered dominant. To find arpeggios I use the fact that we can look at a C7 altered as a Gb7/C. If you want to learn a bit more about that you can check out this lesson: Three approaches to the altered scale

If we look from a Gb7 perspective we can use the triads Bb dim, Dbm and Eaug. In this line I am playing the cascade ascending though the arpeggios are still played descending.

Getting your Sweeps in shape(s)

In the examples above I used three different approaches to sweeping the arpeggios. To get familiar with them I have made three exercises. The exercises should help you developing not only your sweeping but also you knowledge of the diatonic chords of a scale.

The first exercise is a straight diatonic 7th chords on the middle strings. A very basic sweeping pattern where I am using two notes on the first string and then 1 on each of the following.

You should of course try to check these exercises out on the other string sets as well.

In the 2nd exercise I am playing diatonic triads and they are one note per string. Since I am playing the triads descending I can play the first note as a down stroke and then follow that with two up-strokes. This helps me accent the first note in each triad and you can play very fast with this technique with fairly little effort.

The sweeping approach that I use in the last two examples are using a 2-1 spread of the notes. Again a fairly small sweep of two strings, but quite effective. So it is a good and easy solution to lay out the triads across the string sets. It also works well both ascending and descending since we are only travelling two strings.

The Legato Alternative

The sweeps used in example 10 can also easily be executed with legato as shown in example 11. I thought I’d include this since it is a good alternative if you are not happy with sweep picking.

I hope you can use the examples and exercises I went over in this lesson to come up with your own cascading licks. For me it a great way to break things up in an 8th note based solo. It is also a technique that sits very well on the guitar as an instrument.

If you want to check out more of my soloing and how I mix legato, economy and sweeping then you can check out this lesson:

There will never be another you – Reharmonization Solo


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

Cascading Sweep 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.

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.