Minor Major Seventh (minMaj7) Guitar Arpeggios
What's a minor / major 7 Arpeggio?
Minor Major seventh arpeggios (minMaj7) are built with root (1), minor third (b3), perfect fifth (5) and major seventh (7). They have a particular sound because of the b3 and the natural 7. Theoretically, they are played over MinMaj7 chords and most of the time related to the tonic minor chord of the melodic minor scale. However, there are different uses of this arpeggio as it is shown in the bottom of this lesson.
Min/maj7 arpeggios contain the same notes as minMaj7 chords. It means that they can be associated with the I chord of the melodic minor scale. They can also be associated with the I chord of the harmonic minor scale and with the IV chord of the harmonic major scale.
How To Play Minor/Major Arpeggios on Guitar?
The two diagrams below show how to play a minMaj7 arpeggio on guitar. The first on the left has roots on sixth, fourth and first string whereas the second on the right has root on the fifth, third and first string.
Differences Between Arpeggios
Obviously it is important not to confound the different types of arpeggios. Here is a comparative chart for a better understanding of the various arpeggio formulas.
|MinMajor 7 arpeggio||1||b3||5||7|
|Major 7 arpeggio||1||3||5||7|
|Minor 7 arpeggio||1||b3||5||b7|
|Dominant 7 arpeggio||1||b3||5||7|
|Diminished 7 arpeggio||1||b3||b5||bb7|
Minor/Major 7 Arpeggio Application
Basic Application Of A minMaj7 Arpeggio
The basic use of minor major 7 arpeggios is to play them on minMaj7 chords. Example with a minor II V I sequence in Cm. You see a CmMaj7 arpeggio applied to a CminMaj7 chord.
Locrian #2 mode
Let's take the same minor II-V-I sequence. Considering that Dm7b5 is the VI chord of F melodic minor so you can play the corresponding minMaj7 arpeggio that is FminMaj7 (F-Ab-C-E) over Dm7b5. This arpeggio is related to the Locrian # 2 mode, sixth mode of the melodic minor scale that contains a natural ninth (9). So, playing a FmMaj7 arpeggio on Dm7b5 highlights its 9.
How to Build An Altered Line With a minMaj7 Arpeggio?
Another example on how to use a minMaj7 arpeggio is to start on the b7 of a dominant chord in order to create a little bit of tension and add interest to your line. As you see in the lick below, FminMaj7 starts on F, which is the b7 of G7. This way b7, b9, 11 and 13 are highlighted.
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Last edited: 11/05/2019