Using triad arpeggios over a progression to make your playing more melodic.

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Hello Everyone! Happy New Year! In the last lesson, I showed you some ways to play triad arpeggios up the neck while staying inside the major scale. Also, we covered some three-octave arpeggios and triads moving in a up-down type fashion. This lesson will focus more on how you use these triads over a progression. The important thing is to know where to use these arpeggios as they can really help make your playing more melodic. You don't have to play the full arpeggio, but it does sound cool at blazing speeds. The goal here is to be able to hear the chords just by playing the arpeggios. Over time, memorize the notes in all the triads in all twelve keys all over the fingerboard.

Here, I put together a progression in the key of F# minor. The first few measures are similar to the three-octave arpeggios we have learned in the previous lesson. Over the next three measures, we move to two-string arpeggios. Notice how the progression moves down the neck beginning with A, then to the F#m and then G# dim. In the last measure, the D# and the F diminished are not in the scale, they are just passing chords. Also, remember to use alternate picking throughout this whole example. Download example audio...

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Learn how to practice triad arpeggios and apply them to your writing and playing.

Happy Holidays! In this lesson I will be showing you ways to practice your triad arpeggios and apply them to your writing and playing. It’s very important to know your basic triads, as they are the foundation for which all other chords are built from. A triad arpeggio is a three-note chord where the notes are played separately. There are four main triads you have to know: major (Root–3rd–5th), minor (Root–flat 3rd–5th), diminished (Root–flat 3rd–flat 5th), and augmented (Root–3rd–#5th).

Figure 1 is a harmonized major scale in the key of A major (A–B–C#–D–E–F#–G#), played with triad arpeggios. Each arpeggio is played on two strings. You should also memorize the pattern of the chord qualities (major, minor, minor, major, major, minor, diminished). This pattern is the same for all major keys. In the key of A, the chords will be, (A–Bm–C#m–D–E–F#m–G# diminished). All the examples I will be showing you are based from this. You can use the sweep picking or the alternate picking technique to play these arpeggios. Download example audio...

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The next section of Niccolo Paganini''s Caprice No. 1 will do wonders for your sweep picking technique and other areas of your playing.

Welcome back! In this lesson I will be showing you the next section of Niccolo Paganini's Caprice No. 1. If you haven't read Part 1 and Part 2, be sure to check those out. This piece will do wonders for your sweep picking technique and other areas of your playing. Also, be sure to analyze the progression while you are going through this.

The techniques are similar to the previous sections, but this next section is in a minor key. This piece originally was based on the E major scale (E–F#–G#–A–B–C#–D#) and then switches to E minor (E–F#–G–A–B–C–D), the parallel key. For the first four measures, Paganini uses the V chord (B major) derived from the E harmonic minor scale (E–F#–G–A–B–C–D#). The second beat of the fifth measure is a little tricky because of the stretch for the C on the 1st string. We can consider this a D7 arpeggio with an A in the bass and then to a regular D major arpeggio with the A in the bass. I love the last few bars of this section. In measure six, the second beat begins with a G major arpeggio (G–B–D) that continues to the end of this section, except the top note changes on each arpeggio. The first G major arpeggio has a D on top on the first string, the second one has a G on top, the third one has a B on top and the last one has a D on top.

Download Example Audio: Fast - Slow

Ok, that is it for this section! If you would like more of this piece be sure to let me know. Also make sure to check out my Christmas CD at