Tag Archives for " arpeggios "


Are Guitar Scale Patterns Like Arpeggios?

Electric-guitarI had a question the other day that went something like this: “Are guitar scale patterns anything like arpeggios?”

Well, to answer in a word, no.

An arpeggio is simply where the notes are played in sequence, rather than simultaneously. For instance, if you pick each string of a G chord separately, you’ve played an arpeggio. (Here’s a lesson on how to play arpeggios)

Scale patterns on the other hand, are quite different. A scale on the other hand gives us the notes we can use for a particular key. Chords come from scales, by the way.

If you take the guitar fretboard and make a mark on every note from a particular scale, you’ll find you can cover the whole fretboard with these notes. To make things simpler to learn, we can break apart all those notes into chunks… patterns…

This way you can play the whole scale keeping your hand anchored in the same place on the fretboard, covering only 4 or 5 frets. Practice that scale pattern over and over again, because that pattern is what you need to use to solo. That pattern can then be shifted into other keys simply by changing position on the neck.

That’s incredibly powerful, because it means you can learn a single pattern, say for instance a major scale, and immediately you’re able to play a major scale in every single key!

To learn more about how this works on your guitar, click here.


Slide Guitar: Open D Major Tricks

Slide guitar is a lot of fun to play, partly because it is so different from how you’d normally play a guitar, and partly because it can be so expressive. In this lesson Colin Daniel (from RiffNinja.com) teaches how to play a few slide riffs in between the rhythm. The rhythm we’ll use is a nice shuffle pattern I IV V that you’re probably familiar with from other lessons.

Slide guitar really lends itself to using open tunings, so in this lesson we’ll be using open D major tuning. Colin refers to a previous lesson where he explains this, but the biggest take away from that other lesson is that you need to be tuned like this: D A D F# A D.

The easiest riff you can do in an open tuning on slide guitar is to simply make an arpeggio out of the notes in the chord. It’s nice and simple, and sounds awesome. What’s not to like?

Three primary changes are I IV and V of course, and they’re found at the open position, the 5th fret, and the 7th fret. Don’t forget the octave at the 12th fret too!

Colin’s new course the Essentials of Slide Guitar digs into these topics in far more details; you can learn more about it here:

Slide Guitar Made Simple

Watch on Youtube


What Are Guitar Arpeggios?

On the guitar arpeggios are often seen as these really complicated theoretical things, and I’ve discovered there’s actually quite a bit of confusion as to what guitar arpeggios actually are.

In its simplest form, an arpeggio is simply notes from the scale or chord, played in sequence or some sort of pattern. Typically the notes are allowed to ring out over each other, but not always.

You’ll find that on the guitar arpeggios are used in many different types of music. From metal with the fast rake picking to country or blues with a slower, more melodic sound, and everywhere in between. If you’re into finger picking, then you’re probably using guitar arpeggios all the time, and possibly didn’t even know it!

Anyways, due to the confusion out there as to what an arpeggio actually is, and how it can be applied to the guitar, I’m posting this video from my friend Colin from RiffNinja.com. (I highly recommend checking out his site by the way!)

The video is short – only 4 minutes, but he covers a bunch of different ways you can use arpeggios on the guitar.

What Are Guitar Arpeggios?

Watch the Guitar Arpeggios Lesson on Youtube.


Cool Arpeggiated Riffs with Triads

Here’s another lesson for you riff-hungry rocksters out there!

One cool way that you can start looking for new chords to use is to examine the top few strings of the bar chords. Here’s a tip – if the notes are used in a chord, then they’re going to sound great together in a solo!

In fact, using different intervals that come from chords is a great way to break out of the rut of sticking too close to the scale when you’re improvising.

So without further ado, here’s today’s guitar tip.

Video Problems? Watch on YouTube

Click here for more fingerpicking lessons.