I’m just getting back from a recent trip to Italy and have been trying to get back into the swing of things – boy, did I have a blast! As always, thanks to all the readers for their emails and comments. If anyone has a question about any topics, or would like me to cover something specific, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
. I can also be contacted on MySpace at myspace.com/toshiiseda
This month’s question comes from Mark Jobes of Forest City, Iowa. Mark asked, “Toshi, you have a great way of connecting sweep arpeggios – could you please give me some insight on how to do this? Thanks! By the way, your music rules!” No problem, Mark, and thanks for checking out my music!
In most cases, I’ll simply slide from one arpeggio to another. This is a concept I picked up from Richie Kotzen when I took a few lessons from him years ago. We have looked at these arpeggio fingerings in a previous column, so I’m sure you’ll recall some of them. Hopefully you’ve been practicing and have a firm grip on how to execute and use them in your playing. Now let’s work on connecting them.
When I slide from one arpeggio to the next I’ll use either my pinkie or middle finger. I purposely didn’t include any fingerings this month, so feel free to experiment with what feels most comfortable to you. Remember, there are no rules, except to play cleanly! Also, try playing along with a metronome to get your timing down. Sometimes I’ll ascend using one kind of arpeggio while descending with another. Other times I’ll ascend with an arpeggio and descend with the same arpeggio, but use a different fingering. For example, let’s take a look at this little exercise in arpeggios I’ve written out. We’ll start with a C major arpeggio (C, E, G), where I ascend the arpeggio with one fingering but then slide up to another position and descend that C major arpeggio from another position. From there, we ascend a D minor arpeggio (D, F, A) but then descend from a G major arpeggio (G, B, D).
From here we’ll slide up to the 17th fret and ascend an A minor arpeggio (A, C, E) before descending from an E minor arpeggio (E, G, B). Next, we ascend into an F major arpeggio (F, A, C) and again descend from a different arpeggio – in this case a C major arpeggio, using the same fingering as earlier. Then we’ll go back into the D minor arpeggio we used earlier and ascend, finally descending again with our G major arpeggio.
As you see, the exercise returned to the C major arpeggio. My suggestion is to experiment going in and out of different kinds of arpeggios, depending on the progression you’re playing over. You can also use it as an exercise and practice connecting different arpeggios together to make things more challenging and interesting. Have fun with the exercise and then challenge yourself by taking it a step further!
That wraps it up for this month. Thanks again for tuning in – it’s always an honor to write for you. Until next month, “Who dares wins!”
Toshi Iseda is an Alumnus of the prestigeous Berklee College of Music and the American Conservatory of Music. He has been featured in Guitar Player, Guitar World and Guitar/Guitar One Magazines, and is a former instructor at the National Guitar Workshop and former instructor at the American Institute of Guitar.