After you learn your basic arpeggio shapes using one or two octaves and you are looking to get to the next level, you want to learn the full range of the neck

This lesson I will be showing you how to play three octave arpeggios across the neck. After you learn your basic arpeggio shapes using one or two octaves and you are looking to get to the next level, you want to learn the full range of the neck.

We will start off by using three note triad arpeggios, and then four note versions, like maj7, m7 and dom7. All you do is repeat the same notes up the neck in all three octaves. For example, if you are playing a B major arpeggio (B, D#, F#) in three octaves, you will be using only those three notes continuously.

The key is to map out the notes so you can move smoothly across the neck. There are several ways you can play the same notes - below I''ve given you some examples to demonstrate you the concept. Be sure to follow the fingerings and then experiment with your own. This works in all keys and with any arpeggio type.

Example 1)
Here is a G major arpeggio (G, B, D) in three octaves. This is one of my favorite ways to play this arpeggio, as you can really fly across the neck very quickly. There are many ways you can play the same notes on the fretboard; try shifting to different strings to work your way up the neck. Also, be sure to follow the fingerings provided - you can use the same fingerings descending.

Three Octave Arpeggios

Example 2)
This is a three octave G minor arpeggio (G, Bb, D), very similar to the G major, but with a flatted third. I like to alternate pick these arpeggios, but you can also experiment with sweep picking. For example, you can hammer the first two notes and then sweep pick the rest. See what you can come up with.

Three Octave Arpeggios

Example 3)
Now we will be adding the 7th. This is a Gmaj7 (G, B, D, F#). I really like the sound of these. To play these quickly, you have to slide the 7th to the octave.

Three Octave Arpeggios

Example 4)
Here is a cool way to play a Gm7 arpeggio (G, Bb, D, F). You will notice this arpeggio is very similar to a minor pentatonic scale; the difference between the minor 7th arpeggio and the minor pentatonic is the missing 4th.

Three Octave Arpeggios

Example 5)
Our last example is a Gdom7 arpeggio (G, B, D, F). To play this one quickly you have to experiment with the fingerings - you can follow the ones I''ve listed or experiment with your own.

Three Octave Arpeggios

This is just one way to play these, as there are several ways to play three octave arpeggios. By practicing this way you can really learn the notes on the neck and the notes in each arpeggio. It will also help you develop your ear, which every guitarist needs to do. We''ll see you next month!

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There’s way more than blues-rock fodder buried in the crevices of the most overused scale in music.



  • Explain how chords are generated from scales.
  • Create unusual harmonies, chord progressions, bass lines, and melodies using the blues scale.
  • Demonstrate how music theory and musical intuition can coalesce to create unique sounds from traditional materials.
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Last updated on May 21, 2022

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