Arpeggiation

How to link arpeggios across the fretboard effortlessly with easy to use shapes.

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This article is not going to be how to sweep, or just a bunch of shapes that you can play but rather a list of arpeggio shapes that can be linked together allowing you to play arpeggios all over the neck and link them effortlessly to make your playing really stand out. Lets start off in major (assuming you can comfortably perform sweep picking well) Here are the 4 main 5 string shapes of the major apreggio (don't forget you can play these on 3 strings too) C Major
Root A / B string:
 
|------------------12--15--
|--------------13----------
|----------12--------------
|------14------------------
|--15----------------------
|--------------------------
 
Root A / G / E string:
 
|---------------------15--20--------------------3--8---- 
|-----------------17-------------------------5----------
|-------------17--------------------------5-------------
|---------17---------------------------5----------------
|--15h19--------------------------3h7-------------------
|-------------------------------------------------------
 
Root D / E string:
 
|---------------------20--24----------------------8--12--
|-----------------20---------------------------8---------
|-------------21----------------------------9------------
|---------22----------------------------10---------------
|--19h22--------------------------7h10-------------------
|--------------------------------------------------------
 
Root E string E / A / B string:
 
|--------------------------------
|-------------------8--13--------
|----------------9---------------
|------------10------------------
|--------10----------------------
|--8h12--------------------------
Now we have a wide range of shapes that can be played anywhere on the fretboard ,now lets try a long C major sweep pattern: C major
|-----------------------------------------8--12p8--8---------------
|-------------------8--13p8------------8--------------8------------
|----------------9-----------9------9--------------------9---------
|------------10-----------------10--------------------------10-----
|--------10--------------------------------------------------------
|--8h12------------------------------------------------------------
 
|--------8--12s20p15----------------------------------------20-----
|-----8---------------17--------------------------------20---------
|--9----------------------17---------------------17s21-------------
|-----------------------------17-------------17--------------------
|---------------------------------19--15h17------------------------
|------------------------------------------------------------------
 
|--24p20--------------20s15p12------------------------------12--15-
|---------20------20------------13----------------------13---------
|-------------21--------------------12--------------12-------------
|---------------------------------------14------14-----------------
|-------------------------------------------15---------------------
|------------------------------------------------------------------
All I've done here is combine some of the shapes I've shown you and link them together, so you can make a simple part where you want to play a C major arpeggio and extend it across the fretboard, don't forget you can play this major shapes in any key by just moving the root note around. Here are the same 4 shapes but in the minor alternatives: C minor
Root A / B string:
 
|------------------11--15----
|--------------13------------
|----------12----------------
|------13--------------------
|--15------------------------
|----------------------------
 
Root A / G / E string:
 
|---------------------15--20--------------------3--8--
|-----------------16-------------------------4--------
|-------------17--------------------------5-----------
|---------17---------------------------5--------------
|--15h18--------------------------3h6-----------------
|-----------------------------------------------------
 
Root D / E string:
 
|---------------------20--24----------------------8--12--
|-----------------20---------------------------8---------
|-------------20----------------------------8------------
|---------22----------------------------10---------------
|--18h22--------------------------6h10-------------------
|--------------------------------------------------------
 
Root E / D / B string:
 
|---------------------------
|-----------------8--13-----
|--------------8------------
|-----------9---------------
|--------9------------------
|--8h10---------------------
For the minor version you simply lower the 3rd note of the arpeggio ,in this case E drops to a D#. Here is an extended C minor arpeggio run: C minor:
|--------3--8p3--------8--12p8----------11--15p11--------15--20p15---
|-----4-------------8---------------13----------------16-------------
|--5-------------8--------------12-----------------17----------------
|--------------------------------------------------------------------
|--------------------------------------------------------------------
|--------------------------------------------------------------------
 
|--20p15---------------------------------11--15p11--------------------
|---------16-------------------------13------------13-----------------
|-------------17-----------------12--------------------12-------------
|-----------------17---------13----------------------------13---------
|---------------------18s15------------------------------------15-----
|---------------------------------------------------------------------
So what over benefits of arpeggio linking can you make use of? Well because of the ability to play these arpeggios almost anywhere, you can play a simple seqeunce in the same area, for example for a C major, E minor G major arpeggio sequence:
C major========================   E minor==========================
|------------------12--15p12--------------12--15p12-------------------
|--------------13-------------13------12-------------12---------------
|----------12---------------------12---------------------12-----------
|------14----------------------------------------------------14-------
|--15------------------------------------------------------------14---
|---------------------------------------------------------------------
 
G major===============================
|---------------------10--15p10-------------
|-----------------12-------------12---------
|-------------12---------------------12-----
|---------12--------------------------------
|--10h14------------------------------------
|-------------------------------------------
Finally here is the small D major arpeggio section of Jason Beckers Serrana, which fully utilizies the arpeggio linking technique:
   |------6-------|  |------6------|  |------6-------|  |------6-------|
   S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S
|------------------------------------------------10-14s17p14-------------|
|----------------10-15p10---------------------10-------------15----------|
|-------------11----------11---------------11-------------------14-------|
|----------12----------------12---------12-------------------------16----|
|-------12----------------------12p9-12-------------------------------17-|
|-10h14------------------------------------------------------------------|
 
   |------6-------|  |------6-------|  |------6-------|  |------6-------|
   S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S
|----------------14-17p14----------14-22p17----------------------------17----|
|-------------15----------15----15----------19----------------------19-------|
|----------14----------------14----------------19----------------19----------|
|-------16----------------------------------------19p16----16h19-------------|
|-12h17-------------------------------------------------17-------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------------------------------|
 
  (G)
   |------6-------|  |------6-------|  |------6-------|  |------6-------|
   S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S
|-19p15----------------------------15-22p19----------------------------19-|
|-------15----------------------15----------20----------------------20----|
|----------16----------------16----------------19----------------19-------|
|-------------17----------17----------------------21----------21----------|
|----------------17-14h17----------------------------22-17h22-------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------------------|
 
   |------6-------|  |------6-------|  |------6-------|  |------6-------|
   S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S
|-22p19----------19-19p15----------15-15p10----------------------------10--|
|-------20----20----------15----15----------12----------------------12-----|
|----------19----------------16----------------12----------------12--------|
|-------------------------------------------------12----------12-----------|
|----------------------------------------------------14-10h14--------------|
|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
 
  (A)
   |-----6------|  |------6-------|  |------6-------|  |------6-------|
   S S  S S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S
|-12p9---------------------------12-17p12----------------------------12-|
|------10---------------------14----------14----------------------14----|
|---------9----------------14----------------14----------------14-------|
|-----------11----------14----------------------14----------14----------|
|--------------12-12h16----------------------------16-12h16-------------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------------------|
 
   |------6-------|  |-----6-----| |----6----| |----6----|
   S  S  S  S  S  S  S S  S S  S S S S S S S S S S S S S S
|-17p12----------12-12p9---------9-9p5-------------------5--|
|-------14----14---------10---10-------5---------------5----|
|----------14---------------9------------6-----------6------|
|------------------------------------------7-------7--------|
|--------------------------------------------7-4h7----------|
|-----------------------------------------------------------|
 
  (D)
   |------6-------| |------6-------|  |------6-------|  |------6-------|
   S  S  S  S  S  S S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S
|-14p10---------------------------10-17p14----------------------------14-|
|-------10---------------------10----------15----------------------15----|
|----------11---------------11----------------14----------------14-------|
|-------------12---------12----------------------16----------16----------|
|----------------12-9h12----------------------------17-12h17-------------|
|------------------------------------------------------------------------|
 
   |------6-------|  |------6-------|  |------6-------|
   S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  S  e E
|-17p14----------14-18p14----------14-16p14----------14-17----|
|-------15----15----------15----15----------15----15----------|
|----------14----------------14----------------14-------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------------------------|
Hope this helps :)

12 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    Mc.Mc
    why do you focus so much on the shapes the arpeggios have on the guitar instead of teaching something more musically relevant whoever wrote this article should jump off a very high bed
    v2a2n2g2
    Ahhh gawd like we need another sweep picking lssn. Almost all of ug already already know how to anyways lol. And there are more than enough excellent resources on the art of sweeping. good lesson though
    Joe310707
    Mc.Mc wrote: why do you focus so much on the shapes the arpeggios have on the guitar instead of teaching something more musically relevant whoever wrote this article should jump off a very high bed
    If you dont like this article ,dont read it and go play some minor pentatonic scales
    E.harley
    in the C minor extended run,, you should be pulling off the Eb instead of the E.
    chaos13
    Would have been nice if you explained how to link them together yourself instead of just giving tabs.
    baronvonbadguy3
    chaos13 wrote: Would have been nice if you explained how to link them together yourself instead of just giving tabs.
    thats what i was thinking
    Joe310707
    True but if you are attempted these kind of sweeps Id assume you'd know the notes in them