Welcome all my Lethal Guitar readers to another mind-bending installment of the Shredder’s Ph.D. I can’t say thank you enough to you guys and gals for making this lesson series a huge success! It’s exciting to know that I’m making an impact with my readers and that you’re getting something from my column that helps you as a guitarist.
Before we get into this month’s lesson, I want to mention the passing of a great friend and awesome guitarist, Mr. Spanky Alford. Spanky taught me so much about being a good musician and a good friend. I’m eternally grateful to him. He will always be a part of me. Spanky played with everybody from Joss Stone and John Mayer to The Bee Gees and Paul Simon. He will be greatly missed. God bless you Spanky, and I’ll see you again my friend.
Last month in the Shredder’s Ph.D. we discussed and illustrated how we can take a common arpeggio and make uncommon use of it – breaking out of the typical approach and exploring new, more in-depth ideas. This lesson will explore some similar possibilities with the common major arpeggio.
1. One of the most commonly used arpeggios is the basic major/Ionian. This arpeggio can be substituted in a number of different ways to create unusual melodic lines. First, I’ll illustrate the common arpeggio and the chord shape associated with it.
2. The notes used here to build the G major arpeggio are G, B, and D. We can also look at this arpeggio as an E minor seventh (em7) by simply adding the E note into the mix. Thus our arpeggio becomes E, G, B, and D. I’ll add some cool glissando ideas in to really ornament this melody.
Or like so…
3. We can also us this arpeggio as a major seventh (maj.7) or a major ninth (maj.9) by associating it with different chord shapes. If we play the arpeggio in the same position but add the note C as the new root, it becomes a major seventh or a major ninth. Our notes here are C, G, B, and D.
Or like so…
4. The final example uses the arpeggio as an 11th or 13th arpeggio by again associating it with new chord shapes. By playing the arpeggio over an A11 or A13, we have the notes A, F#, C#, G, and D.
Or like so…
There you go Lethal Guitarists, uncommon uses for a common arpeggio. You can take any form of the major arpeggio and apply the ideas shown here to spice up your melodic lines. Remember to always practice with a clean tone at first, use a metronome, logical fingerings, and alternate picking.
I want to send out a tremendous thank you to Michael Spriggs and Rob Sharp at Peavey for the new endorsement and two great Classic 30 amps. Peavey is also coming out with a new modeling amp, the Viper, this summer. I think I’ll be using that baby on my sophomore CD, which should be coming later this year. I’ll also be doing some instructional videos this May with TrueFire, so a special thanks to Brad Wendkos at Truefire. It is an incredible honor for me to be able to work with this great company.
I’ll be teaching my Full Shred Ahead seminar this summer for the National Guitar Workshop
at the D.C./Virginia and Nashville campuses. This is my sixth year with the Workshop and I’m so grateful to be a part of some of the best guitar instruction in the world!
Thanks for logging on and tuning in, see you next month.
©Jeff Beasley 2008
Jeff Beasley holds B.A. degrees in Music and Classical Guitar. He
offers his readers 30 years of experience in studio, teaching and
performance. He is on the National Guitar Workshop faculty in
Nashville, TN. Jeff's CD "Tiebreaker" is available through CD Baby,
Guitar 9, and Jeff's website; GuitarSource3.com. Jeff holds endorsement agreements with Dean, Peavey, DiMarzio, RKS, THD, Ensotec, Robert Keeley, Knucklehead and In Tune.