INSTANT ARPEGGIOS (Not Cheating if You Do This)

Arpeggios are not only performed as blistering stacked runs of a flurry of tapped or sweep picked notes. There's another "easy" approach to the use of arpeggios and it's called "Arpeggiating" chords...

In this video, I’m going to teach you how to instantly perform arpeggios! This is incredibly easy to do and in seconds you’ll be playing arpeggios without cheating or compromising anything across your technique whatsoever.

What we’re going to do is not complicated. It’s very simple. But, it will require you to build up some strength in your fretting-hand so that you can support the grip of a few shapes that’ll be important when you’re learning this.


Let’s get started with learning a fingering shape that I’m going to have you work out off of the sixth guitar string. This is a shape that you can slide anyplace along the neck laterally.

Where you place it will generate different chords (of course), but if you’re just starting out, and you don’t understand a lot about neck theory, just move this shape around and have fun with it.

Again, there’s no rules to this other than just having fun with the sound by moving the shape around the neck.

SHAPE #1).

Here’s our first fingering shape. It is built from the sixth string and contains fretted intervals from; a root note, a perfect 5th and a Major third. Overall this shapes harmony is Major.

What’s going to make this a lot more fun is that we’re going to include an open 4th string “D” in this shape at all times.

At certain points along the reach of the neck, this shape's open 4th string is going to sound great. But, then at other positions, it won’t be very good because we’ll end up with clashing intervals.

When performing arpeggiated sounds from a fingering layout (as in the shape shown above), we can use a picking concept that either drop-picks across the chords shape, or we'll use a picking pattern.

These ideas when applied, will come across as sounding like finger-picked parts. And, it's important to state that playing the arpeggiated shape using finger-style is an option.

Learn the arpeggiated riff shown below.

Arpeggiated Riff #1).

The next thing I want to run through with you is a naturally occurring idea of how the guitar neck works, and how intervals end up sitting on the neck.

Now that you already know about this fingering shape off of the 6th string, we’re going to simply re-locate this pattern based off of the guitars’ 5th string. We’re also going to take things a step further by altering one of the tones to change the shapes quality.

Let's start by learning what both of these 5th string shapes look like on the neck…

SHAPE #2). 

Our second shape contains intervals of a “Root,” a Perfect 5th and a “Minor 3rd,” making it a, “Minor” quality.

Think of that open string as a bit of a wild-card note. It’ll either generate a really terrible interval, or possibly a really cool extension depending upon where the shape is located along the span of the neck.

Our next shape is the same interval structure, as the 1st, but its quality is that of a “Major” chord.

SHAPE #3). 

Learn the riff below. It is based upon using shapes number two and three off of the 5th-string. Notice the altered arpeggiated picking pattern from chord to chord.

Arpeggiated Riff #2).

As you can tell, it is just as easy to slide these 5th string shapes around the guitar fingerboard as it is to slide around those 6th string shapes. It's also easy to learn how to play really cool sounding arpeggiated lines with them.

I know this is so simple that it probably feels like we’re 'cheating' somehow, but all that’s going on here is the shapes are acting like templates that work out to not only give us arpeggio qualities (like major and minor), but they also give us really cool extensions - due to that open string ringing out in between the fretted tones.

It’s safe to say that Arpeggiating fretted patterns (like we’ve done in this lesson), is pretty much in almost all cases the very first introduction that nearly every guitar player will have to the world of arpeggios.

The patterns - that I’ve organized here - are not just really easy to perform, but they’re also going to be a real motivator for you to keep on experimenting with other shapes across your guitar neck that are quite similar to these ones we practiced here.

What’s really cool with this is that you can almost just dream up any fingering shape and test it out with this process that I’ve covered here.

Plus, if you’re okay with understanding intervals, you’ll also be able to plot out what the arpeggio qualities are, (whether they’re major or minor).

It’s really a lot of fun doing this, it’s creative, and the best part is that you can make up arpeggio riffs literally in seconds with this arpeggio method.

Hey, thanks for joining me, If you'd like to Find Out What You Should Learn Next on Guitar - take a look at the courses over on my website at

My step-by-step; Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced courses will cover what you need to know, along with how to be able to move forward and become the best player that you can be.

I've worked on these courses since 1992 and I feel that all together they're the best guitar program you'll ever find. The courses will help you learn to identify what's required to get you up to the next level of guitar playing, in a very organized way, that makes sense.

I look forward to helping you further at

As always, if you enjoyed this video, please give it a thumbs up and subscribe for more, until next time, keep jammin' and we'll catch up again on the next lesson. Bye for now!



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