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Arpeggio Connections (7th Chords - Mixed)

These exercises are specifically designed to increase your fluency with arpeggios. In this lesson I am using mixed 7th
chord arpeggios to illustrate how you might develop these exercises beyond the basic triads. You should try all these
exercises with the various different 7th chord types. This should at least include: Major 7th, Minor 7th, Dominant 7th
and Minor 7b5.

The exercises are deliberately written in one octave to help facilitate quick key changes such as you might find in Jazz
standards or some Fusion style compositions. Each exercise should be played within a span of five frets where
possible (using open strings if required too) You can use the supplied tablature suggestions or your own, as there are
different ways these arpeggios could be played. There is actually merit in exploring all the possible fingerings here to
ensure coverage of all the various possibilities.

The first exercise takes us through all 12 keys, with the root of each arpeggio ascending in semitones (i.e.
chromatically) Each time you switch arpeggios you will also be reversing the direction of the next arpeggio, keeping a
pattern of ascending then descending arpeggios.

Exercise One: Chromatic Root Movement through all 12 keys - ascending & descending - Major 7th

° œ œ bœ #œ œ bœ
& œ œ œ œ bœ #œ nœ œ bœ

C Major 7 Db Major 7 D Major 7 Eb Major 7

1 2 3
4 1 2 3 0
2 5 3 4 1
¢⁄ 3 4 5

5
° œ nœ #œ
& nœ #œ nœ #œ œ œ #œ œ œ
œ #œ #œ œ
E Major 7 F Major 7 F# Major 7 G Major 7

0 1 2
4 1 2 3
1 4 2 3 4
2 3 4 5
¢⁄

9
° œ bœ œ #œ nœ #œ
& bœ nœ
œ œ œ #œ #œ #œ
bœ nœ
Ab Major 7 A Major 7 Bb Major 7 B Major 7

3 4
1 4 5 2
1 2 2 3
0 3 4 1
¢⁄ 1 2
2

Exercise Two: Minor 3rd Root Movement through all 12 keys - ascending & descending - Dominant 7th
13
° bœ bœ #œ nœ nœ œ #œ nœ
& œ œ œ bœ œ bœ #œ #œ
C7 Eb7 F#7 A7

3
2 2 5 5 2
3 3 0 3 2
2 5 1 4
¢⁄ 3

17
° nœ
& bœ œ bœ bœ œ #œ œ œ œ bœ œ œ bœ
nœ œ
Db7 E7 G7 Bb7

3
1 4 4 1 1
3 2 3 3 0
¢⁄ 4
3
2 5 1

21
°
& nœ #œ nœ nœ
bœ œ œ nœ bœ œ bœ bœ nœ #œ #œ

D7 F7 Ab7 B7

2
4 1 1 4
2 5 2 1 2
4 3 4 1
¢⁄ 5 2

In the above exercise I have switched the arpeggio type to Dominant 7th chords and you will notice within the exercise
that there are occasional octave 'jumps' to keep the entire exercise within an approximate span of five frets.

I highly recommend practicing in this fashion as it forces your hands to find the required notes within a limited region
of the fretboard and is more akin to the way you will likely being playing these arpeggios in a real-world situation.

You will also note that to complete all the 12 keys, I have had to 're-start' the exercise twice, otherwise due to the
interval of a minor third being repeated, I would have ended up playing the same four arpeggios again and again. This
explains the MAJOR third movement at the end of the first and second lines here.

Cycles of dominant 7th chords occur in a lot of jazz compositions and practicing them in all the root progressions I
have listed in this lesson is highly recommended if you really want to develop your fingerboard skills.

Remember too that you can always play the exercise twice and on the repeat reverse the direction of the arpeggios, so
that if you ascended the arpeggio the first time, then you can descend it on the repeat.
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Exercise Three: Cycle Root Movement through all 12 keys - ascending & descending - Min7b5
25
° bœ nœ bœ bœ nœ bœ
& b œ bœ bœ œ b œ nœ bœ bœ
œ bœ
Cm7b5 Fm7b5 Bbm7b5 Ebm7b5

4 2
3 4 1 1 2
1 4 3 2 4 1
¢⁄ 3 1 4

29
° bœ nœ
& nœ bœ œ bœ œ nœ nœ nœ
bœ b œ bœ œ nœ œ
Abm7b5 Dbm7b5 Gbm7b5 Bm7b5

4 2
4 5 2 2 3
¢⁄ 4
2 5 4
2 5
3 5 2

33
° œ œ bœ nœ œ bœ bœ
& œ nœ bœ œ œ
œ nœ bœ œ
Em7b5 Am7b5 Dm7b5 Gm7b5

3 1
3 4 1 1 2
3 2 1 3 0
2 5 0 3
¢⁄

As many jazz compositions utilise cycle movement (chords moving up or down in fourths/fifths) the above exercise is
particularly useful for improvisers. It is slightly more challenging to play than the chromatic root progression and
you may find that you have to slow things down a little at first to get your fingering organised.

It is well worth the effort in mastering the above exercise especially as you will find yourself developing increased
fluency with arpeggios.

Many guitar players may already be quite familiar with playing cycle exercises using major and minor triads, so I
decided to employ Minor7b5 (half-diminished) for the above example. Remember to take things slowly at first
especially if this kind of exercise is new to you. It will be worth the effort.
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Exercise Four:Whole Tone Root Movement through all 12 keys - ascending & descending - Minor 7th
37
° œ œ œ #œ nœ
& œ bœ œ nœ œ nœ œ #œ
œ bœ œ
Cmin7 Dmin7 Emin7 F#min7

1 3 5 2
0 3 2 4 2
1 3 0 2 5 4
¢⁄ 3

41
° bœ bœ bœ bœ
& bœ bœ œ bœ b œ œ bœ
bœ œ bœ bœ bœ
Abmin7 Bbmin7 Dbmin7 Ebmin7

2
1 1 4 3
1 4 3 2 4 1
¢⁄ 4
2 4 1 4

45
° œ bœ œ œ bœ
& œ bœ œ œ œ œ #œ nœ
œ nœ œ
Fmin7 Gmin7 Amin7 Bmin7

1
1 4 3
1 3 0 2
3 2 5 4
¢⁄ 0 3 5 2

This final arpeggio exercise again takes us through the full cycle of 12 keys but this time in intervals of a whole tone
and as with the minor 3rd root progression, we have to re-start the exercise at one point to ensure that all the keys are
covered. After playing the Bbmin7 arpeggio, you will beginning the exercise again from Dbminor7 to complete the final
6 keys.

After you have completed the above four exercises, try them within different fingerboard locations to ensure complete
coverage of the neck and remember that these are easily transformed into all the other 7th chord arppegio forms.

Speed is not important here either, as these exercises are all about gaining increased familiarity with the fingerboard and
being able to locate arpeggios instantly. Once you have become fully familiar with these arpeggios all around the neck,
improvisation will become a lot more comfortable and especially modulating to different keys.