Arpeggio Inversions

Hey Everyone! In the past few blogs I have been discussing various arpeggio exercises in order to gain more knowledge about how the notes on the fretboard are connected and also to master the fretboard. In this blog I would like to continue the arpeggio discourse but really challenge you guys by taking it up a notch. I present to you arpeggio inversions!

First things first however. We need to define what an inversion is for those who don’t already know. An inversion is a chord or arpeggio that does not begin on the root note. So for example in a C major 7th chord (C, E, G,B) if we play the chord or arpeggio starting on the root note, the C, that would be considered root position. But if we start the chord on the E which is the second note of the triad and the third note of the C Major scale, that would be considered first inversion. If we start the chord or arpeggio on the G which is the third note of the triad and the fifth note of the C major scale, that would be considered second inversion. And finally if we start the chord or arpeggio on the B which is the third note of the triad and the seventh note of the C major scale, that would be considered third inversion. The lowest note of the chord or arpeggio will always determine which inversion is defined. Or as my old theory professor Dr. Austin would say, “Richard, the bass is boss”.  This is true of all major, minor, dominant and diminished chords and inversions. You will notice that in all of my past blogs on this subject the arpeggios started on the root note of the chord we were arpeggiating. That will change as of now.

The following two exercises are a G major arpeggio (G, B, D, F#) and a G minor arpeggio (G, Bb, D, F) respectively. For both exercises the first measure is root position, the second measure is first inversion, the third measure is second inversion and the fourth measure is third inversion. As always, these forms are moveable so they will work in all keys with the root on the sixth string. So move them around and incorporate them into your lead work. This exercise will really increase your knowledge of how the notes fit together on the fretboard as well. This is a very challenging and demanding exec rise to play and master especially cleanly and quickly with a metronome but I know you guys are up for it!

Now lets get out there and pick up that guitar and play just like yesterday. As always any feedback and comments are always welcome. Thanks for reading.

Richard Rossicone

About Richard Rossicone

Richard W. Rossicone is a veteran of the New York City and Long Island original and cover band scene. He has been playing guitar since the tender age of 8 years old when he attended his first concert, KISS and saw Pete Townshend smash a guitar. He has studied with various instructors over the years which led him to a career in Music Therapy. He began his educational journey at Queensboro Community College where the faculty there opened up a new world to him by introducing him to classical music. He received his A.A. in Fine Arts in 1997 and from there went on to receive his B.A. in Music Therapy in 2001 and his M.A. in Music Therapy from New York University in 2004. He has been Board Certified as a Music Therapist since 2002. Hungry to learn more about different styles on the guitar, Richard decided to continue his studies at C.W. Post University pursuing a second Masters Degree in Classical Guitar Performance and Music History in early 2006, studying under Harris Becker. In addition to his “day job” as a music therapist, he has been teaching guitar, piano and theory part time since 2002 and in 2006 started his own company called Rossicone Music Studios. Richard has grown his business from 15 students a week to over 50 a week at this present time. Richard is also a contributing blogger to and Check out his blog page entitled The Complete Guitarist and visit him on Facebook at Richy Rossicone’s Complete Guitarist Page.
This entry was posted in Guitar Talk. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *