How to Practice Arpeggios - 6 Step Method

One of the most connected ways a musician can perform a melody directly over a chord in a progression is to use an arpeggio. 

Arpeggios allow a musician to directly connect into the chord tones for each chord change. When a musician develops their ability to use arpeggios, they can hit the best notes of every chord. And, the best part is that this works whether a musician is composing a melody or playing a lead...

Performing an entire solo with arpeggios can be a challenge since the player will need to change arpeggios with each chord. Not an easy task to execute. However, once a player develops a solid understanding of the arpeggios on the neck through effective exercises, they’ll be able to start nailing chord tones more easily over time.

This lesson presents guitar players with a study guide for the foundational triad arpeggios. The guide that I have for you will stress the ability to comprehend multiple fingerings for each shape, how to drill the shapes using arpeggio exercises, and a few guitar licks will be shown to help players add arpeggios into the daily guitar practice routine.

NOTE: These arpeggio shapes and many more are a part of the Creative Guitar Studio Advanced Guitar Program

Keep in mind that it's not enough to just drill on the shapes. Anyone can do that. The best practice approach applies arpeggios in guitar melodies.


Pick an arpeggio family to study, (for example; Major)
Learn the lowest shape on guitar, (pattern #4).
Play a static chord (ex. G Major) into your loop pedal, (or record it).
Move on to other chords of the same quality (Major).
Make an effort to invent /compose melodies.
When you have some shapes and phrases memorized, move on to the next quality, (for example; Minor).


Step 1). Learn the "Pattern #4" arpeggio shape shown below off of a "G" root from the 6th string. Memorize the shape, understand how it sits on the neck and be able to play it in time with a metronome set at 92 b.p.m. Build your time up to the duration of 16th-notes at 92.

Step 2). Using a loop pedal or any type of audio recorder, record a "G major" chord in a loop and start working at creating melody over the chord jam using the arpeggio shape above.

Step 3). Compose a melodic idea. Below is an example melody I composed that covers the sound of the "G major" vamp from step #2. Once you have a sense for creating melody, move onto recording and studying other chord types as well.

Step 4). Now, we will begin work on another arpeggio pattern. We'll select a 5th string root pattern next. The layout from the Creative Guitar Studio curriculum for this pattern is referred to as, "Pattern #1." Practice the pattern below with the same study guidelines that were discussed back in Step 1, with the "Pattern #4" shape.

Step 5). Using a loop pedal or any type of audio recorder, record a "G major" chord switching to "D Major" chord in a loop and start working at creating melody over the chord jam using the arpeggio shapes, (Pattern #4 for "G" and Pattern #1 for "D").

Step 6). Compose a melodic line using both of the arpeggios. Below is an example melody that covers the sound of the "G major" to "D Major" vamp from step #5.




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