How to Play a Major 7th Arpeggio Over a Dominant 7 Chord
When 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 arpeggio shapes
What's a major seventh arpeggio?
Any jazz guitar player must be able to build 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 arpeggio - Root on the sixth string
Major 7th arpeggio - Root on the fifth string
Major 7th arpeggio - Root on the fourth string
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 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.
Here is an example to illustrate this technique. Try to put this in your guitar solos.
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 that is F7.
This printable PDF guitar lesson provides 101 dominant arpeggio exercises with tab, theory and standard notation for the jazz, blues and rock guitarist.
Printable PDF eBook containing 40 major jazz guitar licks with tab, standard notation and audio files for beginners and intermediates.
This printable eBook in PDF format provides 49 jazz solo transcriptions of the greatest jazz musicians of all times with TABS, standard notation, audio files and analysis both for guitar teachers and students.
This jazz guitar method is an eBook available as a PDF with standard notation, guitar tabs, diagrams, analysis, audio files and backing tracks. You will find in this booklet 25 easy jazz guitar lines with theory using common and rare pentatonic scales.
This method is a printable PDF eBook containing 20 II-V-I jazz guitar lines with tabs and audio files both in major and minor keys
Jazz guitar comping. How to play II-V-I chord progressions on guitar with drop 2, drop 3 chords, rootless and inverted voicings. This method is a printable PDF eBook containing 50 exercises with audio files, analysis, tab & standard notation.
This PDF method contains 11 guitar lessons with chord studies, tabs, standard notation, analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.
This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to master, apply and develop the altered scale.
This printable method is available as a PDF file containing 40 easy dominant jazz-blues guitar lines with tabs, standard notation, analysis, audio files and scale charts.
You will find here an eBook available in PDF containing 25 soul jazz and hard bop guitar licks in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks, George Benson. These jazz lines come with tabs, standard notation, guitar neck diagrams, backing track for practice and 25 audio files for each riff.
This eBook PDF with audio files contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and diminished 7th arpeggios.
The tritone substitution is explained through 6 jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video links. Printable PDF eBook.