Seven Strings II: Seven String Sweep Arpeggios

You've learned your 7 string scales patterns. Now it's time to learn those crazy 7 string sweeps that will wow your audiences!

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So you have your scale patterns down, and you're ready to move on. The next step is learning your arpeggios on 7 strings. If you already know the patterns on 2,3,4,5 and 6 strings, this should be a breeze because, like the scales, you only need to add a few more notes. I'm not going to go too far into music theory in these lessons because they are geared to people who already know the concepts and want to learn to use them on 7 strings. I will, however, explain inversions. When you invert a chord or arpeggio, you are starting on a note other than the tonic. You have 3 positions: - Root Position (Starting on the tonic) - First Inversion (Starting on the third) - Second Inversion (Starting on the fifth) For example: Let's take an A minor arpeggio. The notes are A,C,E. If you start on A, you are playing it in Root Position. If you start on C you are playing the First Inversion. If you start on E, you are playing the Second Inversion. The following examples will be shown in all 3 positions, and all examples will start on A. Major Arpeggios:
- A Major (Root Position)

e|--------------------9-12-9--------------------|
b|-----------------10--------10-----------------|
G|---------------9--------------9---------------|
D|------------11------------------11------------|
A|---------12------------------------12---------|
E|----9-12------------------------------12-9----|
B|-10----------------------------------------10-|

- A Major (First Inversion)

e|----------------------12-17-12----------------------|
b|-------------------14----------14-------------------|
G|----------------14----------------14----------------|
D|-------------14----------------------14-------------|
A|-------12-16----------------------------16-12-------|
E|----12----------------------------------------12----|
B|-14----------------------------------------------14-|

- A Major (Second Inversion)

e|----------------------17-21-17----------------------|
b|-------------------17----------17-------------------|
G|----------------18----------------18----------------|
D|-------------19----------------------19-------------|
A|----------19----------------------------19----------|
E|----17-21----------------------------------21-17----|
B|-17----------------------------------------------27-|
Minor Arpeggios:
- A minor (Root Position)

e|--------------------8-12-8--------------------|
b|-----------------10--------10-----------------|
G|---------------9--------------9---------------|
D|------------10------------------10------------|
A|---------12------------------------12---------|
E|----8-12------------------------------12-8----|
B|-10----------------------------------------10-|

- A minor (First Inversion)

e|----------------------12-17-12---------------------|
b|-------------------13----------13------------------|
G|----------------14----------------14---------------|
D|-------------14----------------------14------------|
A|-------12-15----------------------------15-12------|
E|----12----------------------------------------12---|
B|-13---------------------------------------------13-|

- A minor (Second Inversion)

e|----------------------17-20-17----------------------|
b|-------------------17----------17-------------------|
G|----------------17----------------17----------------|
D|-------------19----------------------19-------------|
A|----------19----------------------------19----------|
E|----17-20----------------------------------20-17----|
B|-17----------------------------------------------17-|
Diminished Arpeggios:
- A diminished (Root Position)

e|--------------------8-11-8--------------------|
b|-----------------10--------10-----------------|
G|---------------8--------------8---------------|
D|------------10------------------10------------|
A|---------12------------------------12---------|
E|----8-11------------------------------11-8----|
B|-10----------------------------------------10-|

- A diminished (First Inversion)

e|-------------------------17-------------------------|
b|-------------------13-16----16-13-------------------|
G|----------------14----------------14----------------|
D|-------------13----------------------13-------------|
A|----------15----------------------------15----------|
E|-------17----------------------------------17-------|
B|-13-16----------------------------------------16-13-|

- A diminished (Second Inversion)

e|----------------------17-20-17----------------------|
b|-------------------16----------16-------------------|
G|----------------17----------------17----------------|
D|-------------19----------------------19-------------|
A|-------15-18----------------------------18-15-------|
E|----17----------------------------------------17----|
B|-16----------------------------------------------16-|
Augmented Arpeggios: Now these ones are easy. You just have to learn one shape!
- A augmented

e|--------------------9-13-9--------------------------|
b|-----------------10--------10-----------------------|
G|--------------10--------------10--------------------|
D|-----------11--------------------11-----------------|
A|------8-12--------------------------12-8------------|
E|----9------------------------------------9----------|
B|-10----------------------------------------10-------|
To get the other two inversions, all you have to do is shift the pattern up 4 frets. So there you are. These will be challenging at first, but once you master them, jaws will drop! One thing I must stress is that you MUST practice these slowly and make sure they are clean. I can't tell you how many people try to sweep and end up playing mashed-up crap that makes you wanna throw up. It may seem like a pain, but you'll be much happier when you can play every note clean. It just sounds better. I'm currently in the process of choosing a new topic for the next lesson. If you'd like to suggest one, leave it as a comment here or on my profile.

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Sevenstring18
    IROn 5L1nKY wrote: I understand the need to figure out what to use the seventh string for, but is this really necessary? I mean, it's not too hard to figure out the notes that you're playing and just translate them to the seventh string, but ok. It IS a good article, so kudos to you for writing it.
    Yea. I figured them out myself. It just depends on the person's style of learning. I like to figure things out for myself, but some people prefer having the examples already lain out in front of them.
    rockzilla411
    Im kind of a noob at musical concepts so I'm not sure what the terms "diminished" and "augmented" mean as in like how its supposed to be different from a normal appregio i kinda figured out taht diminished is for the minor arpeggio w/out the 5th and add the fourth, but i find the distinguishing difference for agumented ones confusing. Like is it supposed to be major w/ a minor 6 or somehting? besides the slgiht confusion this lesson was really helpful. im gonna try get a 7 string guitar sometime soon
    Gauss
    great article, didnt even know that those inversions existed, thx
    COBHC_Erick429
    i play a 6 string bass, so this is really helpfull, i just gotta transpose the e string notes to my C and were good to go. Thanks!
    DrewsGotTheLife
    dude, u should write a lesson of some jazz scales or something, im a metal head, but i just want to learn a little bit of jazz
    JL_Shredder
    La Qotsa wrote: Slight mistake there bro, A Major (second inversion) you wrote 27th fret at the end. ooops. My mistake Those keys should really be farther apart haha Very nice, though.
    TRAIN666
    finally i must admit the only reason i got my 7 string was (as I bow my head in shame) cuz i waz the cheapest at the pawn shop. But now that ive been playn on it 4 mos or so I love it. nice to see techniques aimed at the 7 stringer. any chord progressions avail for the 7?
    velocial
    I enjoy playing heavy notes on my 7-string but alot of the time I find myself going back to my les paul tuned in D-standard. I look forward to practicing these sweeps.
    Sevenstring18
    La Qotsa wrote: Slight mistake there bro, A Major (second inversion) you wrote 27th fret at the end. Damn. I hate technology lol. Those numbers should really be farther apart haha. Very nice, though.
    hildesaw
    Great article. Maybe whip up something on tapping arpeggios, or something with wide intervals. I know it's not necessarily 7 string related
    PLOP
    I just mastered 4 string sweeps...this shit looks insane! A challenge to work towards though
    La Qotsa
    Slight mistake there bro, A Major (second inversion) you wrote 27th fret at the end. Very nice, though.
    SerjusAximus
    I second the request for a tap arpeggio, or cite a previous lesson please. This has been most beneficial.
    Sevenstring18
    hildesaw wrote: Great article. Maybe whip up something on tapping arpeggios, or something with wide intervals. I know it's not necessarily 7 string related
    Well hey, I can write them out on all 7 strings That sounds like a plan to me. I'll do my best to get it written out as soon as time permits. I'd look for it sometime next week
    IROn 5L1nKY
    I understand the need to figure out what to use the seventh string for, but is this really necessary? I mean, it's not too hard to figure out the notes that you're playing and just translate them to the seventh string, but ok. It IS a good article, so kudos to you for writing it.