#1
Hi,

My question is quite simple. I'm playing guitar for a while now and I became familiar with soloing using scales, and I'm trying to learn something new now and came across arpeggio's. I understand that an arpeggio consists of the single notes of a chord, but why should I learn to play with arpeggio's? I don't understand why they are an addition to my soloing when I can solo over a song when I know the key it is in.
#2
Well, arpeggios sound nice over chords in solos, especially the fancy multi string tapping get or sweep picking arpeggios. Arpeggios tend to be a bit safer than scales, especially in music like jazz or country that use a lot of "outside" chords and chord tones, ie not everything fits nicely with one scale. Also having lots of different options gives you more versatility in your playing. More tools to get the job done.
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#3
When you are soloing, you are playing over a chord progression. How is it not relevant to know where those chord tones are?

Just playing C major chord and using a progression like C-Am-Dm7-G7 are both in the key of C major, but they sound different. That means you also play differently over them - different notes will sound good over different chords, even if we are talking about chords in the same key. For example emphasizing an F over C major chord will not sound very good, but it will sound just fine over Dm7 and G7. Then again, emphasizing a C will not work that well over G7, but it will work over all the other chords in our progression. If you know arpeggios, you know where the notes are that work well and where the notes are that don't work that well. If you just used C major scale over that progression without thinking about the chords, it may be that you wouldn't take the chords into account. But yeah, I guess you do that automatically by ear. But by knowing arpeggios it's way easier to target the chord tones. And it gets more important when we are dealing with non-diatonic chords.

Do what works for you, but you want to at least be aware of chord tones.

And also, the knowledge of chords/arpeggios is not all about soloing. You play chords all the time on guitar. Knowing chords well all over the fretboard just makes you a more versatile guitarist, and it improves your fretboard knowledge and knowledge of the instrument in general.
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#4
Marine is correct..(as usual!) arps can be thought of as broken chords..or another way - intervals of the scale..

say you have a C chord..now you can use the C maj scale over it-it will sound just fine..but if you want a different kind of flavor run a Dmi11 arp over it

D F A C E G ..now you have several different ways to play these notes..in triad arps F A C / A C F/ E G D/ A C E etc....and knowing where these mini-arps are in every position of the fretboard will help you connect to other chords as well...Ami to G7 to C = A C E + G D F +D C G E C again these notes can be all in the same octave or space out in wide intervals..when you begin to use extended (9 11 13's) and altered chords (b5 #5 b9 #9 etc)...the need to know arps is a must...as scales alone will not sound very "musical" at that point...

hope this helps
play well

wolf
#5
In a general way, I think you can say that chord-based techiques are the other half of soloing. Classical players learn both - scales and chords - country style players mostly use solo/lead techniques based around chords. IMO, a well-rounded player would learn both - listen to some "newgrass"as played by someone like Tony Rice, his recent versions of "Shenandoah", for example..
#6
Sometimes you need/want to state the chord more directly, and scales include notes that may clash. It's just another way to play melodically, and I'd say it's probably more common than strictly scalar playing.
#7
wolflen
Hey wolfen, here's something you might take a shine to. George Van Eps once said that arpeggios are melted chords, and chords are frozen arpeggios.
#8
mdc

Good t see you back here....yes..ted greene (who studied with van eps) told me the same when I studied with him...
play well

wolf