Major arpeggio over g7

How to play a major 7th arpeggio over a V7 chord

Major arpeggio over g7When a jazz beginner starts to improvise over a II-V-I progression, he generally plays arpeggios corresponding to the chords of the sequence. In other words, he learns to play minor arpeggios over the minor chord (II), dominant 7th arpeggio over the 7th chord (V) and major arpeggio over the major 7 chord (I). This way the harmony is highlighted without taking risks. Then comes the modes, the basic rules concerning modes is that to play dorian over the minor chord , mixolydian over the dominant and ionian over the major chord. In short, in the long-run there is nothing exciting. That's why there is a nice trick used by number of jazz players to add smoothness to a line over a dominant 7th chord. This is a little tip that makes all the difference, simply play the notes of a major 7th arpeggio over the V7 rooted on its b7 degree.

Major 7th arpeggios

Anybody must built any major seventh arpeggio. Remember that major 7th arpeggios are made up of a root (1), a major third (3), a perfect fifth (5) and a major seventh (7). For instance, a C major 7th arpeggio is made up C (the root), E (major third), G (the fifth) and B (major seventh). Here is a wake-up call about guitar fingerings to play major seventh arpeggios on the guitar.

Major 7th arepggio - Root on the sixth string

Major 7 arpeggio 2

Major 7th arepggio - Root on the fifth string

Major 7 arpeggio

Major 7th arepggio - Root on the fourth string

Major 7 arpeggio 3

Major 7th arpeggio over V7 chord

It is quite normal to apply the trick previously discussed over one of the most famous chord progression used in jazz standards, the II-V-I sequence. For simply learning we will play it in the key of C. So we will get three chords Dm7, G7 and and Cmaj7 respectively the II, the V and the I degrees. 

If the V7 chord is G7, you have to play a Fmaj7 arpeggio, because F is the b7 of G7. Knowing that Fmaj7 is made up of F, A, C and E,  you will highlight the 9th, the eleventh and the thirteenth of the V7 chord. Indeed, the notes are the upper structure of G7 the fifth degree of the II-V-I progression. In other words, superimposing a  F major arpeggio to a G7 chord gives a G13 chord.


Major 7th arpeggio over V7


  1 3 5 b7 9 11 13
G13 G B D F A C E
Fmaj7       F A C C


Here is an example to illustrate this technique. Try to put this in your guitar solos.

Major arpeggio over g7


This second II-V-I example is in the key of Bb. So we have three chords, Cm7 (II), F7 (V) and Bbmaj7 (I). As you can see in bar 2, you can play an Ebmaj7 arpeggio (Eb, G, Bb and G) from the minor seventh (b7) of the V7 chord which is F7. 

Major arpeggio over f7

  • 20 II-V-I jazz guitar licks

    This printable PDF eBook contains 20 II-V-I jazz guitar licks with tabs, analysis & audio files to master the II-V-I sequence both in major and minor keys.
  • 5 Jazz blues arpeggio studies

    Here is a printable PDF eBook with five guitar studies that will help you to master arpeggios over a jazz blues progression. Tabs and standard notation.
  • 50 II-V-I voicings NEW

    Printable PDF eBook method containing 50 exercises with tabs & standard notation to practice the essential jazz guitar chords over the II-V-I progression.
  • 11 blues jazz studies

    This PDF eBook contains 11 guitar lessons with chords, tabs, standard notation analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.
  • Mastering the altered scale

    This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to learn to master the altered scale.
  • 40 blues jazz guitar licks

    40 easy jazz, blues guitar licks with tabs & scale charts. Printable PDF & eBook method to learn to play in the style of Wes Montgomery & Charlie Christian.
  • 25 soul jazz guitar licks

    This PDF eBook is about 25 soul jazz guitar licks in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks. Lessons with tabs, diagrams, backing track & audio files.
  • 25 dominant diminished licks

    This eBook PDF contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and some diminished 7th arpeggios.
  • 25 minor jazz guitar licks

    This printable PDF eBook contains 25 minor jazz guitar licks with tabs, video links, analysis. How to play modes, scales & arpeggios over minor chords.
  • 5 Tritone substitution licks

    The tritone substitution is explained through 5 jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video links and backing track links. Printable PDF eBook

Stef Ramin on

II-V-I jazz guitar chords jazz guitar arpeggios major 7th arpeggios dominant 7th chords

Add a comment

Incorrect code - please try again.


Subscribe the newsletter 

To keep you informed of the latest lessons and articles. (no spam)