Fun with Arpeggios Part 2

Hello again everyone. In my last blog, I discussed and demonstrated a cool exercise to add some zest to your lead work and to help you to learn the fretboard by using arpeggios derived from the major scale. In this blog I would like to address the same topic but instead of using the major scale I would like use chords, specifically 4 types of chords that all guitarists and musicians should be familiar with.

There are 4 types of chords that are built from the major scale and those chords are major 7th’s, minor 7th’s, dominant 7th’s and diminished. Each of those chords has it’s own construction but the common thread through all of them is the fact that they will all be constructed from the first, third, fifth and seventh notes from their respective major scales. In short, the 1, 3, 5, 7.

For these examples we will be in the key of G major. The first arpeggio will be a major 7th arpeggio based off a G major 7th chord. The notes are G, B, D and F#. See example 1.

The next arpeggio will be a minor 7th  based on a minor 7th chord. To create a minor 7th chord we take a major 7th arpeggio and lower the 3rd and 7th pitches so the minor seventh arpeggio is now G, Bb, D and F. See example 2.

The next arpeggio will be a dominant 7 based on a dominant 7th chord. To construct a dominant 7th chord we take a major 7th chord and lower the 7th pitch so the dominant 7th arpeggio will be G, B , D and F. See example 3.

The final arpeggio I will discuss is diminished based on a diminished chord. To construct a diminished chord we take a major 7th chord and lower the 3rd, 5th and 7th pitches so the diminished arpeggio will be G, Bb, Db and F. See example 4.

The fingerings for these arpeggios may be a bit unorthodox but that is the point.  This exercise will definitely get your fingers moving in some new directions as well as help you grasp a greater understanding of the fretboard and add some color to your lead work! As I have stated before in pervious blogs, our ultimate goal is to find our own unique voice on the instrument. Playing these arpeggios will absolutely help you on the path. Figure out these arpeggios for all the chords with the root notes found on the 6th string and you will be well on your way.

But reading about it isn’t going to make you a better player so get off the computer and pick up that guitar and play. Just like yesterday. As always I thank you for checking out my blog.


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.
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