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Arpeggio Practice - Seventh Chords - 4 Essential Exercises

Guitar arpeggio practiceArpeggios are essential musical tools that allow you to build pure and beautiful lines while highlighting the harmony. When playing over chord changes, using arpeggios is the most efficient way to connect these chords together. This lesson provides four arpeggio exercises with tabs, standard notation and diagrams that will help improve your guitar skills and your theoretical knowledge.

Harmonisation of the Major Scale

How to Harmonise the Major Scale

First, let's learn how to harmonize the G major scale. This is the scale on which the four exercises below are based. The major scale interval pattern is 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7, giving the following notes G - A - B - C- D - E and F#. G is the root (1), A the second, B the third, C the fourth, D the fifth, E the sixth and F# the seventh.

 

G major scale G A B C D E F#
Formula 1 2 (9) 3 4 (11) 5 6 (13) 7
Intervals W W H W W W H

 

When stacking thirds on each note of the G major scale we get seven tetrad chords (seventh chords) that are :

  • Gmaj7 (1-3-5-7)
  • Am7 (1-b3-5-b7)
  • Bm7  (1-b3-5-b7)
  • Cmaj7  (1-3-5-7)
  • D7 (1-3-5-b7)
  • Em7 (1-b3-5-b7)
  • F#m7b5 (1-b3-b5-b7)
G major scale G A B C D E F#
Chords Gmaj7 Am7 Bm7 Cmaj7 D7 Em7 F#m7b5

 

G Major Scale Harmonized in Thirds - Tetrad Chords (seventh chords)

Harmonisation of the major scale in tetrads

Harmonized Major Scale - Guitar Chord Shapes

Before working on arpeggios, try to play in order these seven chords ascending and descending. Here are some common guitar positions.

 

Major scale tetrad chords

Arpeggio Shapes

Here are the arpeggios shapes used in this lesson related to the four types of tertian chords found the harmonized G major scale. These chord types are major seventh (maj7), minor seventh (m7), dominant seventh (7) and half-diminished (m7b5).

Major scale arpeggios

Arpeggio Practice - Four Exercises

How To Practice Arpeggios

Here are four ways to practice arpeggios from the seven degrees of the harmonized G major scale. These arpeggios are :

  • Gm7 (G-B-D-F#)
  • Am7 (A-C-E-G)
  • Bm7 (B-D-F#-A)
  • Cmaj7 (C-E-G-B)
  • D7 (D-F#-A-C)
  • Em7 (E-G-B-D) 
  • F#7b5 (F#-A-C-E)

The first exercise consist in playing the arpeggios in ascending movements (up-up). Gmaj7 and Am7 have their roots on the E string. Bm7, Cmaj7 and D7 have their roots on the A string. F#m7b5 and Gmaj7 have their roots on the fourth string. It ends with Am7, root on the 3rd string.

The second is to play the same tetrads in descending movements (down-down). It starts with Am7 (root on third string) and ends with Gmaj7 (root on sixth string).

Now that you master the two directions "up-up" and "down-down", it's time to mix them together, this way you will get two other exercises :

  1. Ascending and descending tetrads (up-down)
  2. Descending and ascending tetrads (down-up)

Arpeggio practice guitar sheetmusic

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major scale arpeggios improvisation harmonization