Tag Archives: arpeggio

My secret arpeggio and 3 places I use it!

Sometimes it is great to look beyond the diatonic arpeggios for some rich or more colorful sounding arpeggios.

This video is about one of these arpeggios that I really use a lot for melodic minor, altered or Lydian dominant sounds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXowsZvR3Mk

Finding the arpeggios

Usually we find arpeggios by stacking 3rds in a scale, but in some cases we can get some really great sounds by building chords in other ways.

The arpeggio I want to talk about in this lesson is the dom7th(#5) arpeggio. The A7(#5) is shown here below:

Where does the dom7th(#5) chord belong?

There are a few places where you can construct this arpeggio.

It is of course found in the whole tone scale, and a can be constructed in both harmonic major and minor.

In this lesson I will focus on it in the context of melodic minor. Purely because that is where I use it the most.

The dom7th(#5) can be found in two places in the melodic minor scale.

If we take the A7(#5) as an example then it can be found on the 5th degree of D melodic minor:

And also on the 7th degree of Bb melodic minor:

Using the arpeggio

If we look at the A7(#5): A C# F G  then it is worth noticing that it is in fact an A augmented triad and an A.

The fac that the augmented triad is a part of the arpeggio is probably one of the reasons why it is so useful for a lot of different chords in melodic minor. The augmented triad sound is a big part of the melodic minor sound. Just think of an DmMaj7 where the upper part of the chord is an augmented triad.

The Altered dominant

When using the arpeggio on an altered dominant we have two options.

The altered dominant in this case is a Db7alt. The two dom7(#5) arpeggios we have available are then A7(#5) and C#7(#5) (or Db)

In this example I am using the A7(#5). If we relate the A7 arpeggio to a Db root we get: A(b13) C#(root) F(3rd) G(b5). So there is a lot of color in the arpeggio.

The Abm7 line is a descending Bmaj7 sweep arpeggio followed by a small turn with a leading note on before the root.

On the Db7alt the line is really just the A7(#5) arpeggio adding a B to resolve to the 3rd of Gbmaj7 in bar 3.

Tonic minor

In the second example I am using the line on a tonic minor chord. The A7(#5) related to D would be: A(5), C#(Maj7), F(3rd), G(11).

The first bar is really just a simple Dm line with a leading note under the root. The 2nd bar is coming from the A7(#5) arpeggio that finally resolves to the 9th(E) of Dm6 (or DmMAj7)

Lydian Dominant

The Lydian dominant example is using a IV IVm progression in F major. In this case it is in fact II bVII I that is being used, but the main idea is of course subdominant, subdominant minor to tonic.

The line on the Gm7 is first encircling the root of the chord and then ascending a Gm7 arpeggio with an added A. 

The Eb7 bar is first the A7(#5) arpeggio followed by Bb and C to resolve to the 3rd(A) of Fmaj7. The ending is tagget with a small pentatonic turn.

Make you own lines with these arpeggios

The examples I went over here are of course only a glimpse at a quite vast amount of options available with this arpeggio.

The best way to get this arpeggio in to your playing is to use it in different situations in songs that you already know so that you can explore the sound of the arpeggio. 

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You can also download the PDF of my examples here:

My secret arpeggio and 3 places i use it!

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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How to Come up with New solo ideas – Rethink the stuff you already know

It can be difficult to come up with new ideas for your solos, but this video talks about how you can use all of the diatonic triads, arpeggios, pentatonic scales etc and find the right ones to the chord you are playing over. Not only playing just with the arpeggio, but also how to mix it with the other material.

The video has a lot of examples and explanations and also a lot of philosphy on playing over changes, superimposing arpeggios and other things like developing a personal sound and taste.

 

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0:49 The Maj7 and the F Major Scale

1:10 What I will check out

1:48 The Fmaj7 chord and diatonic arpeggios

2.55 Solo using Fmaj7 arpeggio

3:12 How you solo with an arpeggio when learning new ideas

3:53 Arpeggio from the 3rd

4:18 Solo using Am7 Arpeggio 

4:43 Why we don’t really want the Bb in there and C7 doesn’t work

5:46 A 3rd below: Dm7

5:56 Solo using Dm7 Arpeggio

6:31 Arpeggios against another root note and the having an overview of the scale

8:20 Solo using F major triad 9:29 Am triad solo

9:51 Thoughts on making melodies with Am triad vs Fmaj7

11:01 Solo using C major triad 11:23 C major triad and not having the 3rd in the arpeggio.

12:14 Solo using D minor triad

12:32 Finding associations with the different arpeggios and the sound they make

13:48 Quartal Harmony

15:19 Solo using Quartal Arp from G

15:34 DIfferent fingerings and mixing it with other things

16:27 Solo using Quartal Arp from A

16:53 Connecting to the chord, using chord tones

17:28 Solo using Quartal Arp from D

17:46 Emphasizing the intervals in the arpeggio

18:32 Solo using Quartal Arp from E

18:53 Different patterns of the Arpeggio

19:37Other options like spread voicing, drop2 and inversions..

20:14 Pentatonics

20:27 Solo using Dm Pentatonic

20:47 Choosing pentatonic scales for a chord

21:48 Solo using Am Pentatonic

22:13 The “other”Pentatonic scales lesson series

22:48 Shell Voicings – Finding Useable

24:10 Solo using Fmaj7 Shell Voicing

24:51 Solo using Am7 Shell Voicing

25:05 Ways to practice shell voicings in postition and along the neck

26:26 Solo using Dm7 Shell Voicing

27:38 Solo using Em7b5 Shell Voicing

27:55 Compensating for the lack of chord tones in the arpeggio

28:44 What am I trying to do when practicing with these arpeggios

29:26 Sus4 triads and Mark Turner

30:03 Finding useable Sus4 triads

30:38 Difference between Sus4 and Quartal Harmony?

32:02 Solo using Gsus4 triads

32:33 Solo using Asus4 triads 32.49 The sound of the sus4 triad

33:35 Solo using Csus4 triads

33:51 Using the resolution of the sus chord in the melody as well.

34:42 Solo using Dsus4 triads

35:05 Sus4 triads as voicings.

35:33 Using this approach to develop and understand your own taste

37:38 Outro

 

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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Are you using your Maj7 arpeggios on these chords?

It is very important to use the material that you practice in as many ways as possible! That way you spend more of your practice time making music than working on technical exercises with scales and arpeggios. 

In this lesson I am going to show you how you can use the same Maj7 arepggio over 5 different chords and give you some examples of how that might sound in a jazz line!

The Maj7 arpeggio

To keep it simple I am going to use this Cmaj7 arpeggio in all the examples. I wrote it out in one octave and in the context of a position.

#1 Arpeggio from the 3rd

One of the most common devices is to use the arpeggio from the 3rd of the chord. That is how I am using the Cmaj7 in the first example. Here it is used over an Am7 chord in the context of a II V I in G major.

#2 Lydian sound with a Maj7 arpeggio

The definition of a the Lydian sound is a Maj with a #11. Therefore the Maj7th arpeggio on the 5th degree works well for. In the 2nd example I am using the Cmaj7 over an Fmaj7. The line is over a II V I in F. I use the Cmaj7 together with some stronger F notes so that we get the sound of the Fmaj7. After that I add the Cmaj7 arpeggio that I use to really bring out the #11 (which is the 7th of Cmaj7)

#3 b5 of a m7b5

The arpeggio on the b5 of a m7b5 arpeggio is a great arpeggio to use for lines. The m7b5 is a chord that many have trouble finding good melodies on. Using this arpeggio is great! Especially because it is very easy to use and then move to the dom7th a half step below if the m7b5 is a II in a cadence.

#4 b7 on a Dom7th

Using the Maj7 on a dom7th chord is also a fairly common device. You will find a lot of examples of the bebop and hardbop players doing this. In the example I chose to put it to use in a cadence where the Dom7th is a tritone. So the cadence is a II Vsub I in Db.

#5 b2 on a Dom7th

If you are playing a dom7th chord using the Harmonic minor scale sound then you have a Maj7 chord on the b9 of the dominant. In this example I am using the Cmaj7 over a B7(b9) chord. Since the Cmaj7 contains the E it is useful to try to play the D# in the line as well to get the B7 sound across.

I hope you can use the concept for some new melodic ideas in your playing.

If you want to download a PDF of the examples you can do so here:

Are you using your Maj7 arpeggios on these chords

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.

4 Dominants on one Chord! – You’ll never need another arpeggio

There are really easy ways to create some strong interesting lines on Dominant chords. In fact using the diminished scale allows us to use 4 different Dominant arpeggios over one chord. In this video I will demonstrate how and give you some examples! 

Diminished scale on dominants

The diminished scale is very useful for improvising over a dom7th chords that resolve. In Example 1 you have the octatonic or diminished scale that is associated with G7.

The chord you’d typically hear that fits this sound would be a G7(13b9)

Constructing the 4 dom7th arpeggios

As you may or may not know the diminished scale is constructed by two diminished arpeggios a half step apart. In this case: Bb and B dim.

If we take the B dim and play that in inversions we get the first line of example 2. For each inversion we can take the first note and lower it a half step. This gives us for dominant chords: Bb7, Db7, E7 and G7.

Practicing the arpeggios.

Since we are going to be using these arpeggios to make lines it makes sense to practice them together. One way of doing this is to spend time playing the arpeggios and going from one to the next and using inversions. 

One way of working a bit free form on this is doing an exercise like I do in the video. Here I am just improvising in 8th note and connecting the arpeggios in inversion to help associate them with one another. This makes it a lot easier to come up with lines.

For me it is important to get used to thinking of these arpeggios as something I use over a chord, so I don’t think of them as substitutions, but just as arpeggios that fit over the chord.

II V I line examples in the key of C

I have chosen to use the simplest possible form in my examples so I won’t use any extensions or mix the arpeggio. I think it is a great way to demonstrate how it works.

The first example is using the Bb7 and the E7 arpeggio. First the Dm7 line is a basic line built around an Fmaj7 arpeggio. The G7 line is first just a straight Bb7 root position arpeggio followed by an E7 arpeggio that is mixed up a bit more.

In the 2nd II V I the Dm7 line is  build on an Fmaj7 drop2 voicing that I use as an arpeggio. On the G7 I am using a tritone pair of dominants, which is first a Db7 from the 5th down to the 7th. The same idea is then played on a G7 which fit’s nicely in the melody.

The final example starts with an Fmaj7(9) arpeggio and then has a G7 line that mixes the Db7 and Bb7 arpeggios.

Conclusion

The main idea with the exercises here is to get started using some of these arpeggios when playing over a dom7th chord using the diminished scale. You can always expand on the ideas by starting to add extensions or using some of the other arpeggios from the scale.

I hope you can use the concept for some new melodic ideas in your playing.

If you want to check out my playing where I use the diminished scale on dominants then you could check out this lesson:

There is no greater love – solo transcription

 

If you want to download a PDF of the examples you can do so here:

4 Dominants over One Chord

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.

 

Modern jazz arpeggio ideas – Melodic Interval Structures

It is very difficult to find a melodic way to use larger intervals. At the same time if you just stay with 2nds and 3rds the solo can become a little boring. In this lesson I will go over 3 ways that you can play an arpeggio that will help you get some large intervals into your lines and still sound like a logical melody. 

In modern Jazz it the range of arpeggios that we use is quite extended with not only the normal 7th chords and triads but also quartal harmony and open voicings. Using the 3 approaches that I cover here you can get a lot of new melodies out of material that you probably already know.

You can find the video via this link if the embed doesn’t work: Click here!

Diatonic arpeggios and II V I progressions

In the examples I am going to assume that you already are familiar with diatonic arpeggios and have some experience with improvising with them over progressions like a II V I cadence.

All the examples are on a II V I in the key of F major, and I am using an altered dominant to have another type of chord and scale to use the material I am covering. If you want to check out some more more about altered dominants and reference some of the things I mention here you can check out this lesson: Three Approaches to the Altered scale

The Drop2 voicing, a great 4 note arpeggio beyond the octave range

In the first example that I play in the beginning of the video I start with a Bbmaj7 drop2 voicing as an arpeggio. Using drop2 voicings is a great way to add a big range to your lines because a drop2 voicing has a range between a 9th and an 11th.

It should not be a huge mystery that Bbmaj7 works over a Gm7, since it is the arpeggio from the 3rd of Gm7. The arpeggio is followed by a quartal arpeggio from A. On the C7alt the line is constructed from two diatonic triads: Ebm and Ab. The line then resolves to the Maj7th(E) of F.

To get used to playing drop 2 voicings as arpeggios you can try the exercise shown in example 2. This is basically the F major scale in diatonic 7th chords on the middle string set. 

Another way to work on the voicings in a more focused way is to take 3 arpeggios associated with Gm7: Gm7, Bbmaj7 and Dm7. This is shown in example 3

Example 4 is another example of how you can use Drop2 voicings in your lines. Here I am using first a Dm7 drop2 voicing followed by a small Gm scale run. On the C7alt the line is just two Drop2 voicings: Gb7 and Bbm7(b5)(11).

Shell voicings

Another great structure that we can employ is the shell voicing. A shell voicing is a chord voicing consisting of root, 3rd and 7th. You could also construct a root, 7th, 3rd version, but that is a bit more tricky to get to sound good in a melody.

One of the great things about the Shell voicings is that they have a 5th interval on top which makes them have a nice open signal like sound as a melody.

In the first example I am using the shell voicings on the altered dominant. The Gm7 line is a Dm7 arpeggio followed by a scale run. The C7alt lin is constructed from 2 shell voicings: Bbm7(b5) and Ebm7. Both spell out a lot of good alterations over C7. The line is then resolved to the 3rd(A) of F. 

Similar to the Drop2 voicings it is very useful to run the shell voicings up the neck on a string set. This is shown in example 6 in F major. The middle string set is a very nice range for the shell voicings.

Another exercise could be example 7 where I a wrote out Gm7, Bbmaj7 and Dm7 + Gb7, Bbm7(b), DbmMaj shell voicings.

The last example with shell voicings is using the first part of the exercise above. We start out with the first part of example 7. Followed by a scale run leading down to an Emaj7 shell voicing on the C7alt. From there the line is resolved to the 5th(C) of F via a Dbm triad.

It’s also good for your Right Hand Technique

These exercises are mostly 1 note per string arpeggios so they are also great exercises to develop you alternate picking. You can of course also research some alternative fingerings or use other techniques to play them like hybrid or sweep picking.

Open Voiced Triads

The structures that we can use are not only based on 7th chords like the previous two. We can of course also use triads. Open voiced triads are triads where we take the 2nd highest note and drop it down an octave.

Playing a Bb major triad in open voiced inversions could be this:

In example 9 I am using open voiced triads to add some very big intervallic leaps on the altered dominant. The Gm7 line is a basic Bbmaj7, Dm pentatonic line. On the C7alt I use two minor triads that work well on C7alt: Db and Ebm before resolving to the 9th(G) of F.

In example 11 I am showing what is basically the same exercise as example 2, but instead of drop2 voicings it is now with open voiced triads.

In the final example I am almost only using open voiced triads. On Gm7 it is Bb, Dm and F triads. On C7alt Ebm and Eaugmented triads before resolving to the 3rd(A) of F.

Creating great lines with larger intervals

I tried to make examples that incorporate this type of arpeggios with the other material that you would normally use in a line. They work best if you don’t only use this one approach. It is more effective if you use it as a surprising thing in the middle of an otherwise strong line.

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

Modern jazz arpeggio ideas

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.

 

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.

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How You Really Use an Am7 arpeggio

Everybody practice scales and arpeggios and are doing exercises with them. But most of the time they can play the exercises but don’t get the material into their playing. In this lesson I am going to work on how to get an arpeggio into your playing. 

The Approach

It sort of goes without saying that to be able to improvise over chords you need to know your scales and arpeggios all over the neck. The problem is that you also need to learn how to use these things in your solos. 

In this lesson I am going to take a one octave Am7 arpeggio, go over some possible melodies you can make with that and then demonstrate how I use it in 5 II V I lines where I also talk a bit about the melodies I make with it.

My approach to adding a structure to my solo vocabulary is based on composition. The goal with composing lines with the new material is not so much making great lines as it is to practice connecting the new material with the old under controlled circumstances. This is a step closer to actually using it while playing.

Somehow this always gets lost on a lot of people let me just repeat it:

The Goal is not to just compose great lines the process of composing with the new material is what you are practising!

What melodies can you make with an Am7 Arpeggio

In example 1 I have written out some of the possible melodies you can make with just the four notes found in the arpeggio. The first bar is the basic version of the arpeggio.

practice-making-lines-am7-arpeggio-ex-1

In this quite systematical way we already have 8 melodies that we can put to use in lines. 

All the different melodies are simple ideas that you can apply to any scale or arpeggio that you want to work on. For me this is a great source of material for new lines where I use combinations to generate some melodies and take the ones I like.

Placing the Arpeggio in the context of a Key

The easiest way to use the Am7 arpeggio is probably to see it as a II chord in a II V I in G major. Since the arpeggio is in the 5th position we have this G major scale as a surrounding scale for it.

practice-making-lines-am7-arpeggio-ex-2

Composing with the Am7 arppegio

In the 5 examples I have made I will use some of the melodies I went over in example 1. You should of course see these as inspiration for the lines you should compose yourself. It is more important to observe how I describe the melody as trying to figure out how to play the lick.

In the II V I lines I am using an altered dominant for variation. It’s just a choice since the main focus here is how we apply the Am7 arpeggio.

In the first line I keep it really simple: I use the first ascending Am7 arpeggio and follow it with a descending scale run. In the video I show a few other basic options of how to use this Am7 run. This illustrates how I will work on composing lines with the arpeggio.  The idea is to just start with the arpeggio and then improvising a line to follow it.

The basic form

The rest of the example is an altered scale run followed by an EbmMaj7 based descending run that resolves to the 5th(D) of G.

practice-making-lines-am7-arpeggio-ex-3

Splitting the Am7 in triads

The 2nd example is using a version of the Am7  where it is split in two descending triads (Am & C major). After this (6 note) figure the melody is an ascending scale run up to the 3rd(F#) of D. From there it skips up to a C. Descending from the  C it encircles and resolves to the 9th(A) of G.

In this example it is maybe useful to notice that the first part is with larger intervals (the triad figure) which is creating some melodic tension. This tension is resolved by the scale run and a new tension is created and resolved when the line skips up to the C.

practice-making-lines-am7-arpeggio-ex-4

Two examples with skipping intervals

The 3rd example is using one of the skipping ideas on the Am7. In fact the whole bar only consists of Am7 notes.

As in the 2nd example the Am7 line is very active with a lot of larger intervals and therefore the D7alt line is much more scale like.

practice-making-lines-am7-arpeggio-ex-5

Another version of the skipping idea on the Am7 is used in example 4. Here I resolve it with a descending pentatonic line in the Am7 bar. This pentatonic fragement is then used as a simple motif that I can move around over the D7alt chord before resolving to the Gmaj7 chord.

practice-making-lines-am7-arpeggio-ex-6

Arpeggio chains

The last example contains a melodic idea that I make a lot of use of. You have probably seen in many examples in my lessons. The idea is to chain together two arpeggios. I start with a descending Am7 arpeggio and continue down with an Em7 arpeggio. This creates a coherent line that has a fairly big range (a tenth from G down to E).  Again the D7alt line is kept more calm and is mostly an ascending scale run.

practice-making-lines-am7-arpeggio-ex-7

I hope you can use the material and the ideas I went over here. It is important to have an efficient way to work on implementing new material in your vocabulary. I find that a lot of students waste their time with fairly meaningless exercises.

If you want some more examples of how I use arpeggios and other devices in the context of a standard you can check out this solo lesson:

Fly me to the moon – Solo Etude

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

practice-making-lines-am7-arpeggio

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.

 

Create your own arpeggio shapes

Arpeggios are often difficult to play because they are a mix of 1 and 2 notes per string and it can also be hard to use them to make nice lines with extensions. In this lesson I am going to show you how to change your chord voicings to two notes per string arpeggio shapes with extensions.

Whenever we can relate a scale or an arpeggio to a shape we already know like a chord shape we gain not only that it is easier to learn that arpeggio or scale, but we also get an idea about where and how we can use that scale or arp.

The approach I am going to cover here will use that approach to make some arpeggios with added extensions that are easy to play because they are 2 notes per string so we can incorporate hammer on/pull offs to execute them.

A scale and a chord voicing

Let’s first take an F major scale like this one in the 8th position:
Create your own Arpeggio shapes - ex 1

Now let’s try to make a set of arpeggios from a II Valt I in this position. First we take the Gm7(9) voicing shown in example 2.
Create your own Arpeggio shapes - ex 2

The arpeggio in the second bar is created by using the note that is in the chord voicing and then another note from the scale. You do need to know what each note in the scale is related to the chord so that you have control over what notes you play. SInce the basic arpeggio of the chord will already give you 4 of the 7 notes in the scale there is usually only one note you don’t want to include.

In the Gm7 example we end up with an arpeggio that is using notes before each note of the chord, but that is also just a choice to make it more playable in this specific example as you will see in the next example!

If we do the same for the Fmaj7 chord shown in example 3 we get an arpeggio that has notes above each note of the chord and we have a nice rich sounding Fmaj7 arpeggio with an added 9 and 13.

Create your own Arpeggio shapes - ex 3

The altered chord is always tricky

The altered chord is always causing us to take an extra detour. In this case the altered chord we would usually use would be a C7(b13) voicing, but to connect the voicings it is practical to have everything on the same string set. To do this I used tri-tone substitution, so instead of the C7(b13) I am playing a Gb7(9) voicing which is the exact same voicing with a Gb in the bass instead of a C. You can check out more about the relation ship between tritone subs and altered dominants in this lesson: The Altered Scale: Three Approaches

We end up with this chord and from that we can make the arpeggio in bar 2:

Create your own Arpeggio shapes - ex 4

Making lines with the arpeggios

Now that we have made 3 arpeggios for a II Valt I in F major we can connect the arpeggios and make a simple line. As you can tell I am actually just playing up one down the next, but because the construction of the arpeggios is less predictable than a normal stack of 3rds arpeggio it doesn’t sound so exercise like!
Create your own Arpeggio shapes - ex 5

If we try the same approach on a II V I in drop2 voicings we can make a completely different set of arpeggios like I have done in example 6 in the key of Bb major. You should notice that I sometimes change the hammer on/pull off to make more interesting melodies. That would be one of the first things you should experiment with when using this approach!

Create your own Arpeggio shapes - ex 6

The same approach applied to a II V I in the key of C major. Here I am using two drop3 voicings to demonstrate how you might deal with the gap between the two lowest notes in this voicing type. As you can see I turn around the direction of the hammer on/pull offs to make the transition between chords more smooth (especially between G7alt and Cmaj7).

Create your own Arpeggio shapes - ex 7

That was some ideas on how to create your own 2 note per string arpeggio shapes that include some extensions and are great frameworks for melodies.

I hope you can use it in your own playing to get some new ideas. I find it an easy way to create lines that have a larger range.

If you want to study the examples away from the video or article you can download a pdf here:

Create your own Arpeggio shapes

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please feel free to leave 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 want to hear.

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.

 

10 arpeggios over a Dom7th chord

When you improvise over a chord arpegggios are one of the  buiding blocks you use to make the lines. One good source of material is to start looking for different types of arpeggios that you can find in the scale that is used over the chord. The more arpeggios you know the more options you have to make melodies over that chord.

In this lesson I will take a plain old C7 as you find it in the F major scale and go over 10 different arpeggios and try to give you some ideas for making lines with them. I will also talk a bit about how you find arpeggios that fit a chord.

How to find good arpeggios for a chord

When you need to find arpeggios for in a situation like this the best place to start is probably to look at the different types of arpeggios you know from the notes of the basic chord. Since this lesson is about a C7 that means checking out the arpeggios found on the  C, E, G and Bb. The reason for this is that the arpeggio will then in some way be related to the chord and therefore make sense as a strong melody.

The examples

All the examples in the lesson are on a C7 dominant chord. For each example I present a simple version of the arpeggio and then a one bar phrase that shows how you might use it. You could use the examples over both the V I cadence that I use here or over a static C7 vamp.

1. C7 Arpeggio

Obviously the best place to start in terms of arpeggios is the arpeggio of the chord itself. The only thing you might want to take away from this (since I am sure you could have figured this out as well) is that you can also make melodies by playing a sequence, inversions or other patterns.

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 1

2. Em7b5 arpeggio

The next place you want to try is also fairly well know: Use the diatonic arpeggio found on the 3rd of the chord. Since this arpeggio will share most of the notes with the chord. In my opinion this is one of the arpeggios that you need to have in your vocabulary for any chord.

The line is using the arpeggio and following it up with a bebop cliché chromatic phrase on a C7.

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 2

3. C triad

Since a C7 also contains a C major triad, this is a good arpeggio as well. You can use it for lines that are more bluesy or basic in terms of harmonic content. A varied solo will not only be up in the extensions all the time, it is just as important to connect with the basic chord sound.

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 3

4. Edim triad

Of course the triad found on the 3rd of the chord is a good subset of the basic arpeggio, and since triads are anyway some of the strongest melodies you have at your disposal.

You can check out more ideas for using triads in this lesson: How to use triads in solos Where I also go over some more ideas on using inversions etc.

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 4

5. Bb Maj7b5 arpeggio

The BbMaj7b5 arpeggio is not really a diatonic chord in the F major scale since it isn’t a stack of thirds in the scale (Bbmaj7 is). There are a few good arpeggios that you can find looking in the non diatonic arpeggios like the sus4(7) chords and it can be a worthwhile place to look for new sounds.

I did a lesson on Maj7b5 which covers some of the many places you can use this:  Maj7b5 Chords and Arpeggios – a powerful tool for superimposition

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 5

6. Em7b5 Shell Voicing

Another great place to start looking for new melodies is to use different types of voicings (that you anyway use while comping) and turn them into arpeggios so that you have a new melody with the same notes and with some larger intervals (most voicings we play are not 3rds based but are drop voicings where the notes are spread out over a larger range). The Em7b5 voicing (which doesn’t contain a 5 since it is a shell voicing) is again using the thinking that we can use an arpeggio from the 3rd of the chord to stay close to the sound of the chord.

I did a lesson on using shell voicings here:  Shell Voicings as Arpeggios

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 6

7. Stack of 4ths from Bb

Quartal harmony is one of the first places you want to look if you want to use arpeggios that don’t sound thirds based since it is completely based on another interval: 4ths. In this example I took the top part of a C7(13) drop3 voicing which happens to be a stack of diatonic 4ths from Bb. Since it contains both 3rd and 7th it will work very well as an arpeggio and the combination with the 13 highlights that extension.

If you want to check out more stuff on using quartal harmony in lines: Quartal Harmony in Solo lines

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 7

8. Em7b5 Drop2 Voicing

Another place that you can start looking if you want to use arpeggios with a larger range is to start using drop2 voicings as arpeggios. The Drop2 voicing in example 8 is an Em7b5 which will work really well in terms of the notes and as you can tell in the line also works well as a melody. The difficult part of using Drop2 voicings is probably that the way we use them as chords make them 4 note arpeggios with one note per string, but with a bit of practice and some Steve Morse etudes it is do-able in my experience.

You can check out my lesson on using drop2 voicings as arpeggios here: Drop2 Voicings as Arpeggios

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 8

9. Stack of 4ths from E

To really spell out some extensions you can also choose a stack of 4ths like the one I am using in example 9. You could look at this arpeggio as a stack of 4ths from the 3rd(E) of C or as a 2nd inversion of an Asus4 triad. The arpeggio contains the 3rd,13th and 9th of the C7 chord so it will work well in spelling out the upper structure of the chord.

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 9

10. Stack of 5ths from G

Since we can make melodies with the stacked 4ths in the scale we can of course also start to stack 5ths since these are the same note groups as the stacked 4ths. You could view them as sus4 derived I guess.

The arpeggio I am using in example 10 is a stack of 5ths from the G which gives us the 5th(G), 9th(D) and 13th(A) over the C7.

10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord - ex 10

I hope you can use this list as a source of inspiration to find some new things to mess around with when working on lines. The way to go about this is probably to work on them one at a time and see what you can make out of it before trying to insert that into your playing.

As you can also tell from the description of each example there are a lot more possibilites than just the 10 I went over here and you can easily start looking at other variations of the arppegio choices and in that way find your own favourites and maybe your own sound?

If you want to download a PDF of the examples I went over here for later study you can do so here:  10 arpeggios over a dom7th chord

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions for topics or how I can make the lessons better then please feel free to leave on the video or  send me an e-mail. That is the best way for me to improve my lessons and make thme fit what you want to hear.

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