Jul 3, 2008

Arpeggios Explained

Today is a very good and exciting day and the reason for this would be due to the fact that in this lesson we're going to really open up our minds and expand our guitar knowledge.

We're going to establish an amazing musical technique that would almost seem as though it were created specifically for the guitar. Some people would no doubt say that for some newer guitarists this technique would be too much to introduce for those guitarists, but I beg to differ.

Looking back on how I started learning, I mainly taught myself, and it was a real gift really, because I didn't have people telling me no. There were no restrictions and it is true that I made a lot of important mistakes that you really shouldn't make when developing your guitar skills, but the main point was that I recovered and my mind grew with the guitar at the pace that I was comfortable with.

Setting theory aside, I pushed my memorization capabilities, got a lot of headaches, and started introducing elaborate passages into my playing at an early age. The one and only mistake that I ever made was that I attempted to play them too fast, too early. That's where I can help you, having learned from my own mistakes. It is ok to collect and compartmentalize riffs in your head, even if you can only play them slowly. In fact, I would go so far as to say that, that is the goal.

We're going to take a look at arpeggios. I'll explain it quickly and effortlessly (because its simple) and then give you a really good lick to play around with.

In simple words an arpeggio is a chord. As you know, a chord is a series of notes that are generally played together, or all at once. An arpeggio is when you take that chord and pick out the notes individually.

It is generally the same as sweep picking and that is why we are covering this first before we move on to sweep picking at a later moment in time.

Sweep picking however is more of a technique, and I would say that an arpeggio is more of a concept.

Keep in mind that just because an arpeggio is constructed from a chord, does not mean that you can only play the notes of that chord. You can most certainly add little fillers (by way of notes outside of that chord structure) to that chord. This is why arpeggios are so enlightening and this is also why they are an important part of learning how to get around the neck. The ideas for arpeggios and how to connect one arpeggio to another, are endless.

So if we start with a B minor chord.

We can pick those notes out individually (use alternate picking).

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I'm going to start this out slowly so that's all I'm going to show you for now, but if you want to do a little homework *hint hint*, explore picking out some chords with an arpeggio mentality. In the meantime I will work on developing a series of arpeggios, string them together and make sure that they are pleasant to the ears, and then share that with you in the next post. Don't worry, I'll give you a real good one to work with.

I also wanted to say that if you are in the States and celebrate the 4th of July, then I wish you a very happy and safe 4th, and if you are reading this in another country, then I wish upon you the most awesome day tomorrow! best of lucky and best of wishes to all.

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