Here we will look at the basics of what an arpeggio is, how to read arpeggio charts, and how to play them on the guitar.

Guitar Arpeggios are the notes of a chord played individually, one at a time.   Arpeggios on the guitar can be used for Improvisation, Lead Guitar or Songwriting to help create a melody with a strong chord sound.   These lessons will help you learn more about guitar arpeggios.

You should learn a few basic arpeggios even if you aren't playing Lead Guitar or Songwriting as they will provide you basic improvising skills for melodies.

Arpeggios are essentially the notes of a chord played as Single Notes instead of strumming all of the Chord Notes at the same time.   You can play them as a melody while a Rhythm guitar is playing the Chords.   You play arpeggio notes to match the Chord being played in a song.   So when a Chord changes you change the Arpeggio for that Chord.
Look at the notes in a C Major Chord:
C Major
= C E G

C Major

If you were to play the C major chord on the guitar and pick out each note one at a time, you have a C major arpeggio.   This is also called an playing an Arpeggiated chord.   In this particular case the notes of this C Major chord are in order, C-E-G-C-E, however in most chords the notes aren't in order.

When we look at the notes of a D Major Chord, the notes D-F#-A, aren't in order:

If you can't see the score, Get the FREE SCORCH Plug-In from our Server.
D Major
= D F# A

D Major

The order of notes in this D major chord are D-A-D-F#.   Often when playing an arpeggio on the guitar, you want to play all of the notes in order and not skip any.  This also means that sometimes you will have 2 notes on the same string, which isnít possible if you are playing all of the Chord notes at once.

To See the Hear the difference look at the D major Arpeggio below:
Notice that the D Major Arpeggio and the D Major Chord are using different notes on the Fretboard?   A guitar arpeggio is all of the note possibilities of a chord played individually in a particular area of the neck and can be played in different positions on the Fretboard.   The difference is that you are playing the notes of a chord in order.

If you can't see the score, Get the FREE SCORCH Plug-In from our Server.

© 2014