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Thread: Arpeggios

  1. #1
    Registered User
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    Arpeggios

    I really want to learn Arpeggios as I know this will knowledge will serve me well in my soloing efforts.

    Where do I start? There is dominant, major, minor etc. So much to know and ingest! I need to start in a way that is NOT overwhelming.

    I do expect this to take a lot of time and I'm very prepared to spend a lot of time on this.

    I really don`t want to used the cage theory to do this. E shaped, A shaped stuff. I don`t like the caged theory and there`s got to be a better way.

    I know personally 2 professional guitarists and they have never even used the caged method for learning.

    There`s got to something more universal.

  2. #2
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diesel View Post
    I really want to learn Arpeggios as I know this will knowledge will serve me well in my soloing efforts.

    Where do I start? There is dominant, major, minor etc. So much to know and ingest! I need to start in a way that is NOT overwhelming.

    I do expect this to take a lot of time and I'm very prepared to spend a lot of time on this.

    I really don`t want to used the cage theory to do this. E shaped, A shaped stuff. I don`t like the caged theory and there`s got to be a better way.

    I know personally 2 professional guitarists and they have never even used the caged method for learning.

    There`s got to something more universal.
    CAGED is not a theory, it's just a way to label the way the guitar fretboard is.
    IMO it's a pretty intuitive and obvious way of learning the fretboard, by using the beginner C A G E and D chord shapes in movable barre versions. (I taught myself that way before I ever knew it was a "system".)

    I'm not saying it's the "best" way to learn the fretboard, but is certainly a good way to learn arpeggios, because arpeggios are all about chord shapes.

    Take the following arpeggio of a C major triad (from 0-15th fret):
    Code:
    0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10  11  12  13  14  15
    E||---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|---|
    -||-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|-C-|---|---|
    G||---|---|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|-G-|---|---|---|
    -||---|-E-|---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|
    -||---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|-C-|
    -||---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|---|---|---|-G-|
    There might be many ways you could commit that to memory, but to me it seems a no-brainer to notice the chord shapes:

    Code:
     __________  _______  _________  _______  __________
    / C shape  \/A shape\/ G shape \/E shape\/ D shape  \        
    0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10  11  12  13  14  15
    E||---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|-G-|
    -||-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|-C-|---|---|
    G||---|---|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|-G-|---|---|---|
    -||---|-E-|---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|
    -||---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|-C-|
    E||---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|-G-|
                                                   \___C shape___/
    You can of course do that with any of the 12 major chords; the shapes run in the same order, but naturally start and end in different places.

    It's true that it's less good for minor chords, because you only have 3 open position minor shapes, so when you compile a whole-fretboard pattern you're left with gaps where a "Gm" or "Cm" shape would be:
    Code:
     __________          ________  __________       __________
    / Am shape \        /Em shape\/ Dm shape \     / Am shape \
    0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10  11  12  13  14
    E||---|---|---|---|-A-|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|
    -||-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|---|---|-A-|---|---|-C-|---|
    -||---|-A-|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|---|---|-A-|
    -||---|-E-|---|---|---|---|-A-|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|
    A||---|---|---|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|---|---|-A-|---|---|
    E||---|---|---|---|-A-|---|---|-C-|---|---|---|-E-|---|---|
              \_Gm shape?/                 \Cm shape?/
    IOW, it doesn't really matter what you call the shapes you see there. It's true the CAGED system is flawed because the chord you call an "A" shape will only produce an "A" sound in two places (frets 0 and 12).
    But if you want to call the shapes anything, those names may be the best option.

    A system I actually prefer (for myself anyway) is based on which string the root of the shape is.
    Eg, the C and A shapes are 5th-string-root shapes; G and E are 6th-string root; and D has a 4th-string-root.
    Each shape has a distinctive distribution of 3rds and 5ths (and octave roots) - and of course it's the positions of the chord tones (relative to the root) that matter, arguably more than the note names do.

    So - while a part of my brain sees that C chord on 5th fret as a "G" shape (along with its associated scale pattern), I'm really focussed on where the roots, 3rds and 5ths are (the C, E, G note names coming second).
    Something like this:

    Code:
    C major arpeggio
    0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9  10  11  12  13  14  15
    3||---|---|-5-|---|---|---|---|-R-|---|---|---|-3-|---|---|-5-|
    -||-R-|---|---|---|-3-|---|---|-5-|---|---|---|---|-R-|---|---|
    5||---|---|---|---|-R-|---|---|---|-3-|---|---|-5-|---|---|---|
    -||---|-3-|---|---|-5-|---|---|---|---|-R-|---|---|---|-3-|---|
    -||---|---|-R-|---|---|---|-3-|---|---|-5-|---|---|---|---|-R-|
    3||---|---|-5-|---|---|---|---|-R-|---|---|---|-3-|---|---|-5-|
    So what I'm saying is, there could be various good reasons to dislike the CAGED system, but you can't escape the shapes you need to work with. So it's up to you what you call them, unless you can work purely with visual pattern memory and don't need the shape names (which is quite possible).
    Certainly you can discern interval patterns there, which are more meaningful than names for the shapes, and which remain the same wherever you move them on the neck (while the notes change).
    Last edited by JonR; 12-14-2012 at 09:55 PM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by diesel View Post
    I really want to learn Arpeggios as I know this will knowledge will serve me well in my soloing efforts.

    Where do I start? There is dominant, major, minor etc. So much to know and ingest! I need to start in a way that is NOT overwhelming.

    I do expect this to take a lot of time and I'm very prepared to spend a lot of time on this.

    I really don`t want to used the cage theory to do this. E shaped, A shaped stuff. I don`t like the caged theory and there`s got to be a better way.

    I know personally 2 professional guitarists and they have never even used the caged method for learning.

    There`s got to something more universal.


    There are a lot of ways to play arpeggios on guitar. For me the basic 3 are the vertical, the horizontal and the diagonal. The vertical refers to position playing. The horizontal is related to one-string playing. Any combination of the two can give you the diagonal shapes. I think that most of the guitar players out there, use more of a diagonal approach.


    You can check my lessons on 4-note arpeggios.
    http://www.lost-in-guitarland.com/guitar-arpeggios-1.html


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