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Arpeggio Licks

Mike Campese shares arpeggio licks from his instructional video, Virtuoso Rock Fusion Concepts.

Hello Everyone! This lesson, I'm going to give you some fun arpeggio licks that I use in my playing. The lesson is adapted from my first instructional video Virtuoso Rock Fusion Concepts. I hope that you will learn from them and make up your own arpeggio licks. Be sure you follow the fingerings above the notation. Lets get started...

 Example 1
We have four arpeggios from the key of C major on the first three strings. The first arpeggio is a C major (C, E, G) the second one is B diminished (B, D, F) the third one is Am (A, C, E) and the last one is G Major (G, B, D). These are some of my favorite arpeggio shapes, you can really get these flying up and down the neck. I don't use sweep picking for these, I alternate pick the notes and use a pull off on the first string. Make sure you move these shapes around the neck to different keys.

 Example 2
Now we are going to do string skipping arpeggios. This is a really cool way to play arpeggios. They are played on the first four strings, but we don't even play the B string. The first arp is a Em arp (E, G, B), the second is G major (G, B, D) the third is a F#m (F#, A, C#) and the last one is D# dim (D#, F#, A). I use hammer-ons and pull-offs to make them more fluent sounding. The progression is based off an E dorian scale, except the D#dim which is from the E harmonic minor scale.

 Example 3
This is the main theme from my song "Touch the Sky" from my Full Circle cd. The arpeggios are based off the E major Scale (E, F#, G#, A, B, C#, D#) in 6/8 time. The first arp is a E maj9 (E, G#, B, D#, F#). The second is a C#m7#5 arpeggio, (C#, E, A, B) and the last one is a B add9 arpeggio (B, D#, F#, C#). I don't use any sweep picking for this one either, I use alternate picking.

 Example 4
Our last lick starts off with some extended arpeggios. In the first bar we have a F#-11 arpeggio (F#, A, C#, E, G#, B). I rearranged the notes so it drapes across the neck. The next arp is G add9 #11 ( G, A, B, C#, D), which is based off the G lydian scale. For this one, I also spread the notes across the neck—pretty cool huh? The second measure uses smaller triad arps: A Maj (A, C#, E) and G maj (G, B, D). The last two arps are Bm7 (B, D, F#, A) and F#m7 (F#, A, C#, E).The last measure of this lick sounds great over an A Dom11 chord because the notes in the triads A and G make up that chord. Again, no sweeping is used, but feel free to experiment.


That wraps up this month's lesson! Feel free to email me any questions you might have, and visit for more info.