Minor Seventh Arpeggios (min7) | Guitar Lesson with Licks and Charts

How Are Built Minor Seventh Arpeggios?

Minor 7 arpeggios aka min7 or m7 are built with four notes : Root (1), minor  third (b3), Fifth (5) and minor seventh (b7). Arpeggios are chords whose notes are played one by one. As you can see in the example below the D minor seventh arpeggio has the same notes as the D minor seventh chord. It is built with a root (1), a minor third (b3), a perfect fifth (5) and a minor seventh (b7).

D minor 7th arpeggio D F A C
D minor 7th chord D F A C
Formula 1 b3 5 b7


Minor Seventh Arpeggio - Guitar Neck Diagrams

How To Play Minor 7 Arpeggios on Guitar?

The basic way of learning min7 arpeggios is to visualize them in one octave. The four guitar charts show how they look.

The first chart has roots on the sixth and fourth string. The second diagram has root notes on the fifth and third string, etc.

Since the root (the orange note) gives its name to the arpeggio, to play a Gm7 arpeggio using the first diagram (the one with the lowest root on the sixth string) you will need to place your index finger at the third string.

You have to play them in all twelve keys.


Minor 7 one octave arpeggio shapes

Minor 7 Arpeggio - Two Octave Shapes

The two following diagrams show how to play minor 7 arpeggios within the space of two octaves in order to cover the sixth strings on the guitar without shifting.

Once again it is very important to play these arpeggio shapes in twelve keys all over the guitar neck. It is also recommended to experiment you own fingerings.

Minor 7 arpeggio two octave shapes

Minor 7 Arpeggios - CAGED Method

Another more complex way of learning minor seventh arpeggios on guitar is to use what we call the CAGED system. It is to visualize arpeggios on the basis of very popular open chords that are C, A, G, E and D. This method is used to have a comprehensive view of the whole guitar neck.

The first shape (the bigest) show how looks a Gm7 arpeggio all over the neck, from the third fret to the fifteenth fret. The five other diagrams contain a Gmin7 arpeggio position based on one of the five basic CAGED shapes.

  • The Brown dots in the first chart represent an Gmin chord (based on the E shape of the CAGED system). You can see how the Gm7 arpeggio tones are organized around it.
  • The purple dots are related to the D shape. In the exampel it's a Gmin chord.
  • The blues dots represent the C shape (Gm7 in reality).
  • The red dots are the A shape. (Gm7).
  • The green dots are the G (minor) form.

How to Extend min7 Arpeggios?

It's possible to add extensions as 9th, 11th and 13th to your minor 7 diatonic arpeggios. First, you have to keep in mind that the second (2) is the ninth (9), the fourth (4) is the eleventh (11) and the sixth (6) is the thirteenth (13). Let's take an example referring to the D Dorian scale (D-E-F-G-A-B-C). 

To add the ninth to your minor 7 arpeggio you have to play E, to add the eleventh just add G and to add the thirteenth you must play B, it is simple. You can apply this technique to any minor seventh arpeggio.

The guitar tab below show the upper-structure of a Dmin7 arpeggio. You can also notice that is made of four superimposed arppegios that are:

  • Dmin7 - D, F, A, C  (1, b3, 5, b7).
  • Fmaj7 - F, A, C, E (1, 3, 5, 7).
  • Amin7 - A, C, E, G (1, b3, 5, b7).
  • CMaj7 - C, E, G, B (1, 3, 5, 7).

40 Minor (Dorian) Jazz Guitar Licks - PDF Method Trailer - Tab & Audio Files

Related Minor 7 Chord Shapes

How to Connect Arpeggios and Chords?

One of the most important trick to master in jazz is to associate arpeggios and chords. For this you will find three basic minor 7 chord shapes (Drop 2 voicings) and four exercises. The idea is to play the arpeggio and its chord and vice versa.

Minor 7 guitar chords
Minor 7 arpeggio and chord 6
Minor 7 arpeggio and chord 5
Minor 7 arpeggio and chord 7
Minor 7 arpeggio and chord 1

Related Scales

As shown in the following guitar charts, min7 arpeggios are present in six modes taken from four families of musical scales :

  • Diatonic scale
    • Dorian, Phrygian and Aeolian modes
  • Harmonic minor
    • Dorian #4
  • Melodic minor
    • Dorian b9
  • Harmonic major
    • Phrygian b4

How to Apply min7 Arpeggios?

Basic Application of m7 Arpeggios.

The basic application of an arpeggio is to target the chord tones by playing the corresponding arpeggio. For example, in a C major II-V-I sequence ( Dm7 | G7 | CM7 ) you can play D minor 7th arpeggio over the Dm7 chord, G dominant 7th arpeggio over G7 and a C major seventh arpeggio over the CM7. As you will have understood, the basic application of a m7 arpeggios is to play them over minor 7 chords.

Minor 7 Arpeggio in a II V Progression?

Here is an easy jazz guitar line using a descending D minor seventh arpeggio. Chord progression is : Dm7 | G7, it's a II V progression used in many jazz standards. This lick starts on the fifth of Dm7 (A) with a chromaticism (C, B, Bb, F). The minor seventh arpeggio begins on the second note of the triplet (A) and goes on over the G dominant 7th chord.


Minor 7th arpeggio guitar lick

Backing Tracks

Bb minor Jazz Backing Track - Swinging Bebop Trio - 25 Minutes Long - 190 BPM

Dorian Jazz Swing Backing Track - D minor seventh - 120 Bpm

  • 126 Triad Chord Shapes

    This handbook for guitar players is intended both for guitar teachers and students. It includes 126 guitar shapes for mastering triads.
  • 30 Smooth Jazz Guitar Licks

    In this package you'll get a printable PDF Method with tabs, notation, analysis, scale shapes and audio files related to 30 smooth jazz guitar licks.
  • 40 II V I Jazz Guitar Licks

    This pdf method for guitar contains 40 II V I jazz guitar lines with tab, standard notation, analysis, scale charts and audio files.
  • 50 II-V-I voicings

    This guitar method is a printable PDF eBook containing 50 exercises with audio files, analysis, tab & standard notation.
  • 40 Minor 2 5 1 Chord Voicings

    This PDF method contains 40 exercices with tabs, scores and audio files for practicing jazz guitar chords over the minor 2 5 1 progression.
  • 40 Minor II V I Licks

    This guitar method is a printable PDF with tabs, diagrams, theory and audio files providing 40 minor II V I jazz licks.
  • II V I Bundle

    This package contains 3 PDF methods for jazz guitarists with tabs, audio files, analysis about the II V I progression.
  • 40 Mixolydian Jazz Guitar Lick

    PDF guitar method with tabs, audio files and theory providing 40 dominant jazz guitar lines for teachers and students.
  • 40 Minor Jazz Guitar Licks

    This printable guitar method in PDF format contains 40 easy minor jazz guitar lines based on the Dorian mode.
  • 40 Major Jazz Guitar Licks

    Printable PDF eBook method containing 40 major jazz guitar licks with tab, standard notation and audio files for beginners and intermediates.
  • Diatonic Licks Bundle

    This package contains 120 jazz guitar lines based on diatonic modes as Mixolydian, Dorian and Ionian. PDF format with tabs, audio files and analysis.
  • Guitar Walking Bass Lines

    This jazz guitar method about walking bass lines and chords is available as a PDF files containing 35 exercises with tabs, analysis and audio files
  • 101 Dominant Arpeggio Patterns

    This printable PDF method provides 101 dominant arpeggio exercises with tab, theory and standard notation for the jazz, blues and rock guitarist.
  • 49 Essential Jazz Lines

    This printable eBook method 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.
  • 11 Jazz Blues Studies

    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.
  • 25 Altered Jazz Guitar Lines

    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.
  • 40 Blues Dominant patterns

    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.
  • Mastering Pentatonic Scales

    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.
  • 25 Soul Jazz Guitar Licks

    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.
  • 25 Diminished Patterns

    This eBook PDF with audio files contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and diminished 7th arpeggios.
  • 6 Tritone substitution licks

    This Printable PDF eBook available for free download contains 6 easy jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video link and analysis about the tritone substitution.

Last edited: 02/01/2020