Beginner Arpeggio Fun! One Shape, 10 Riffs (Amaj7 & Dmaj7)
Lesson #390 • Sep 28, 2021
Instructional PDF 5 pages
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It includes all of my notes for this lesson, allowing you to follow along at your own pace. You're free to download, print, and share the PDF across your devices.
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Hey friends! Today I dive into the world of arpeggios, and want to show you a series of riffs & licks all created using a single major 7th (maj7) arpeggio shape. I’ll be bouncing between two chords (Amaj7 and Dmaj7) – backing track included – and I’ll show you how you any riff you create can be “moved” to work with either of the two chords. I’ll lead by example, showing 11 different riffs (with tabs for their corresponding Amaj7 and Dmaj7 versions) – and walk you through each one.
- 0:00 Overview & Lesson Summary
- 2:21 Recap of Major Scale & Intervals
- 4:45 Recap of the Major 7th Arpeggios
- 9:23 Backing Track Overview (Amaj7 & Dmaj7)
- 13:18 Arpeggio Riff #2
- 17:06 Arpeggio Riff #3
- 18:45 Arpeggio Riff #4
- 20:17 Arpeggio Riff #5
- 21:34 Arpeggio Riff #6
- 23:45 Arpeggio Riff #7
- 26:06 Arpeggio Riff #8-11
- 30:37 Backing Track Improv
Arpeggios are new to me, to be honest: only through a few YouTube videos did I recently realize the value of being familiar with them (the most helpful video being this lesson from Justin Sandercoe). While I’ll save my own “introduction to arpeggios” video for another day, I do include a recap at the start of this lesson where I catch you up on the major scale and what defines an arpeggio.
Backing Track to Accompany This Lesson
Here’s the backing track I made to help you practice the concepts I show. This simply goes back and forth between Amaj7 and Dmaj7, spending 4 measures on each. I’ve intentionally made t his track very casually paced – giving you plenty of time to riff and prepare for chord changes.
- When Amaj7 is being played, you’ll want to play Amaj7 riffs (5th fret root note on low-E string).
- When Dmaj7 is being played, you’ll want to play Dmaj7 riffs (10th fret root note on low-E string).
The backing track loop, written out with counting, is as follows. Note, there is one measure (4 counts) of drums to count you in before the full instrumentation begins.
Amaj7 Dmaj7 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4
Related Lessons I’ve Made
Need help reading fretboard diagrams, and wrapping your head around the concept of intervals (scale degrees)? Check out lesson #363:
Need help with the major scale positions and the CAGED chord shapes? Check out lesson #384:
And I also have lesson #385 where I introduce the CAGED chord shapes on their own, if that’s new to you.
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