Beginning Arpeggios

author: chris flatley date: 08/09/2010 category: for beginners

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This is a useful exercise for familiarising yourself with the major and minor triad arpeggios. The following exercise utilises the I, IV, V, iv, ii, iii triads to give you a good grounding in basic arpeggios. It will get you used to playing simple arpeggios all over the fret board. These can then be strung together to create larger ones, or be used as base positions for creating phrases. I'm going to use the key of C as a template. You should then play the same exercise in all 12 keys. Use the circle of fifths to make sure that every key gets equal attention. It might be useful to create a simple I, IV, V, and iv, ii, iii sequence to play over. Play each triad over and over until your backing track moves on to the next chord. Use a combination of all down strokes and alternate picking. Sweep picking is something you should only do when you're playing arpeggios so fast that alternate picking is inefficient or practically impossible. The principle is that you play each triad, including it's inversions, spanning an entire octave along each group of three strings beginning with the first available inversion. I = Chord I (in the key of C this would be C) ii = Chord ii (in the key of C, Dm) iii = Chord iii (Em) IV = Chord IV (F) V = Chord V (G) iv = Chord iv (Am) b= 1st inversion c= 2nd inversion KEY OF C MAJORS Group 1.
 Ic         IVb        V          I          IVc        Vb              
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
|----2-----|----3-----|----0-----|----5-----|----7-----|----5-----|
|--3---3---|--3---3---|--2---2---|--7---7---|--8---8---|--5---5---|
|3-------3-|5-------5-|3-------3-|8-------8-|8-------8-|7-------7-|

 Ib              IV              Vc             Ic                    
|---------------|---------------|--------------|---------------|
|---------------|---------------|--------------|---------------|
|---------------|---------------|--------------|---------------|
|------10-------|------10-------|------9-------|------14-------|
|---10----10----|---12----12----|---10---10----|---15----15----|
|12----------12-|13----------13-|10---------10-|15----------15-|
Group 2.
 I          IVc        Vb         Ib         IV         Vc       
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
|----0-----|----2-----|----0-----|----5-----|----5-----|----4-----|
|--2---2---|--3---3---|--0---0---|--5---5---|--7---7---|--5---5---|
|3-------3-|3-------3-|2-------2-|7-------7-|8-------8-|5-------5-|
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|

 Ic             IVb             V            I                    
|--------------|---------------|------------|---------------|
|--------------|---------------|------------|---------------|
|------9-------|------10-------|-----7------|------12-------|
|---10---10----|---10----10----|---9---9----|---14----14----|
|10---------10-|12----------12-|10-------10-|15----------15-|
|--------------|---------------|------------|---------------|
Group 3.
 Ib         IV         Vc         Ic         Vb        V         
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
|----1-----|----1-----|----0-----|----5-----|----6-----|----3-----|
|--0---0---|--2---2---|--0---0---|--5---5---|--5---5---|--4---4---|
|2-------2-|3-------3-|0-------0-|5-------5-|7-------7-|5-------5-|
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|

 I            IVb             Vb         Ib                       
|------------|---------------|----------|---------------|
|-----8------|------10-------|----8-----|------13-------|
|---9---9----|---10----10----|--7---7---|---12----12----|
|10-------10-|10----------10-|9-------9-|14----------14-|
|------------|---------------|----------|---------------|
|------------|---------------|----------|---------------|
Group 4.
 Ic         IVb        Vb         I          IVc        Vc       
|----0-----|----1-----|----3-----|----3-----|----5-----|----7-----|
|--1---1---|--1---1---|--3---3---|--5---5---|--6---6---|--9---9---|
|0-------0-|2-------2-|4-------4-|5-------5-|5-------5-|7-------7-|
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|

 Ib         IV             V               Ic                      
|----8-----|------8-------|------10-------|------12-------|
|--8---8---|---10---10----|---12----12----|---13----13----|
|9-------9-|10---------10-|12----------12-|12----------12-|
|----------|--------------|---------------|---------------|
|----------|--------------|---------------|---------------|
|----------|--------------|---------------|---------------|
MINORS Group 1.
 iv         iib        iiib       ivb        iic        iiic           
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
|----2-----|----0-----|----2-----|----7-----|----3-----|----5-----|
|--3---3---|--0---0---|--2---2---|--7---7---|--5---5---|--7---7---|
|5-------5-|1-------1-|3-------3-|8-------8-|5-------5-|7-------7-|

 ivc             ii           iii            iv                 
|---------------|------------|--------------|----------------------|
|---------------|------------|--------------|---------------|
|---------------|------------|--------------|---------------|
|------10-------|-----7------|------9-------|------14-------|
|---12----12----|---8---8----|---10---10----|---15----15----|
|12----------12-|10-------10-|12---------12-|17----------17-|
Group 2.
 ivb        ii         iiic       ivc        iib        iii       
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
|----2-----|----2-----|----0-----|----5-----|----7-----|----4-----|
|--2---2---|--3---3---|--2---2---|--7---7---|--7---7---|--5---5---|
|3-------3-|5-------5-|2-------2-|7-------7-|8-------8-|7-------7-|
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|

 iv             iic             iiib         ivb                   
|--------------|---------------|------------|---------------|
|--------------|---------------|------------|---------------|
|------9-------|------10-------|-----9------|------14-------|
|---10---10----|---12----12----|---9---9----|---14----14----|
|12---------12-|12----------12-|10-------10-|15----------15-|
|--------------|---------------|------------|---------------|
Group 3.
 ivc        iib        iii        iv         iic        iiib    
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
|----1-----|----3-----|----0-----|----5-----|----6-----|----5-----|
|--2---2---|--2---2---|--0---0---|--5---5---|--7---7---|--4---4---|
|2-------2-|3-------3-|2-------2-|7-------7-|7-------7-|5-------5-|
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|

 ivb           ii              iiic       iv                    
|-------------|---------------|----------|---------------|
|-----10------|------10-------|----8-----|------13-------|
|---9----9----|---10----10----|--9---9---|---14----14----|
|10--------10-|12----------12-|9-------9-|14----------14-|
|-------------|---------------|----------|---------------|
|-------------|---------------|----------|---------------|
Group 4.
 iv         iic        iiib       ivb        ii         iiic 
|----0-----|----1-----|----0-----|----5-----|----5-----|----2-----|
|--1---1---|--3---3---|--0---0---|--5---5---|--6---6---|--5---5---|
|2-------2-|2-------2-|0-------0-|5-------5-|7-------7-|4-------4-|
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|
|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|----------|

 ivc          iib             iii        iv                     
|-----8------|------10-------|----7-----|------12-------|
|--10---10---|---10----10----|--8---8---|---13----13----|
|9---------9-|10----------10-|9-------9-|14----------14-|
|------------|---------------|----------|---------------|
|------------|---------------|----------|---------------|
|------------|---------------|----------|---------------|
Now apply the above template to the eleven remaining keys. Remember that the notes of the arpeggios should just overlap a little. They shouldn't be allowed to ring out the whole time, though you can at first if you're new to arpeggios.
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