Arpeggios Part 1 Major Triads

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1 Arpeggios Part Major Triads Lead Guitar Tactics Elite Newsletter By Bob Murnahan

2 In this issue I would like to discuss one of the most important pieces of knowledge that an improvising musician should have...knowledge of chord tones. What are chord tones? Quite simply, the notes that are in a chord. For example, a C chord is made up of the notes C, E and G, so C, E and G are the chord tones. There are certain shapes that you can play on the guitar that are made up of chord tones. These shapes are called arpeggios. An arpeggio is simply the notes of a chord (the chord tones) played one at a time. Why Should You Care About Arpeggios? Knowing where the chord tones lie on the guitar is a great tool to add to your vocabulary of sounds for soloing. Most of the great melodies that you hear are comprised mostly of chord tones. This stands to reason since the notes in the chord and the chord tones used in the melody are one and the same. As your knowledge of where chord tones(arpeggios) are located on the guitar increases, your soloing ability, especially in songs that have more complicated chord progressions, will increase as well. Types Of Arpeggios We are going to start getting into some basic theory here and if you don t have a basic knowledge of music theory, I recommend that you either find a teacher, get a good book on the subject or search the internet for some basic theory lessons There are arpeggios to fit every chord that you can imagine, but to keep things simple here in the beginning of our study of chord tones we will focus on arpeggios and triads. A triad is the simplest of all chords and has three different notes. In traditional theory there are four types of triads.. Major. Minor. Diminished. Augmented

3 Let s look at the major arpeggios first. As we discussed earlier an arpeggios consists of the notes of a chord or chord tones. How do we know what these notes are? Well, each type of chord has a structure and when you know the structure you can figure out the chord tones. The structure or formula for a major triad is the st, rd and notes of a major scale. Here is an A major scale: A B C# D E F# G# A The st, rd and notes are A, C# and E. So the C chord contains the notes A, C# and E. The great thing about learning these arpeggios shapes on the guitar is that once you learn a few of them, you can make them into different chords by moving them to a different spot on the fretboard. There are also only a few shapes that you have to learn! Here is the first shape for a major triad arpeggio. Remember, this shape can be played anywhere on the fretboard and in this example, since I am starting on A it is an A major arpeggio. A arpeggio It kinda of looks like a triangle. Now the cool thing about this is that this same shape on other string sets as well. Here it is on the and 6th strings but you can use it on the th and, rd and th and st and nd strings as well.

4 D arpeggio G arpeggio E arpeggio With a slight alteration to adjust for the tuning of the guitar, here is the same shape on the nd and rd strings. C arpeggio The Second Set Of Shapes The next set of shapes cover three strings instead of two. This will require a couple of adjustments where the nd and rd strings are involved but this really should be no big deal. Here is the new shape. It s the same starting from the sixth and fifth strings. C arpeggio F arpeggio

5 Here is the same shape starting from the fourth and third strings with the adjustments made to compensate for the difference in tuning. G arpeggio D arpeggio Mapping Out The G Arpeggio Across The Guitar This next diagram maps out the location of the arpeggio shapes for a G major triad. Notice how the octave shapes and knowing the names of the notes from the first newsletter come into play. If you have not learned the names of the notes yet, don t you think it s about time? Here s an example using different shapes and a C arpeggio. On the video I demo this in the key G. I changed it here to make it fit inside of my fretboard diagram...not enough frets!

6 This example is back in the key of G and utilizes the remaining shapes. 0 IMPORTANT! This does not cover every possible way to combine these arpeggios. For instance, how about this one? See if you can find a few more. They are out there. Playing What You Hear On the video I talk about playing what you hear. This is a very, very, very important skill to develop! The best way I know of doing that is to sing what you play or want to play. Over time you will develop a connection between what you see on the fretboard (the shapes your fingers make) and what you hear in your head. To begin working on this play the root of the arpeggio and then sing the rd and the. If you have trouble at first keep at it. If you are too embarrassed to sing out, hide in the garage or the bathroom. But by all means, do it! Your Practice Routine I want you to practice these arpeggio shapes all over the fretboard and starting on different root notes. A good order to follow is the circle of fifths. If you don t know what that means don t worry about it. We will discuss it more in depth later. For now play the arpeggios in the following order: C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, B, E, A, D, G Work through or of these a day. By the time you cycle through you probably won t be able to forget them if you wanted to :) Best Wishes, Bob

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