Major 7th Arpeggio on Two Strings

Seventh Arpeggios
4 weeks ago

From Guitar Lesson: Seventh Arpeggios - Cool Sounding Patterns on Two Strings

In this exercise we expand what we know about triad arpeggios and look at a major 7th arpeggio and how to play it on two strings for some cool sounds!

In my guitar lesson on Major Triad on Two Strings, I showed you how to play major triad inversions on two strings, which is a great way to develop good sounding phrasing. A logical step from there is exploring a major 7th triad, which as you will see adds a whole other dimension of sonic possibilities!

Major 7th Arpeggio on Two Strings fretboard diagram

Above shows the fretboard diagram where we see the various ways we can play a major 7th arpeggio (in this case Dmaj7) on the E and B string. I show the root position fingering just for the heck of it, but because of the stretching involved I don't think it is very practical - but go for it! The key is to not think of this as being about a Dmaj7 arpeggio. You should think of this as basic shapes for any major arpeggio and understand how to apply these shapes to any major 7th arpeggio (as well as understanding how to apply this to other consecutive strings).

A lot of guitar players look at lead guitar as this mystical idea. While there certainly is a lot of mysticism involved (with candlelit rituals of course), you can do a lot to improve your phrasing (which is what lead guitar is all about!) by learning certain key aspects of music. Arpeggios is one such aspect, and especially once you get into 7th arpeggios you will see a whole new world of musical possibilities open up.

A lot of you probably associate arpeggios with sweep picking. I will get to sweep picking, but what I want to get across is that the most powerful aspects of arpeggios are their melodic nature. If one sweep picks arpeggios all the time, then you really aren't capitalizing on the melodic possibilities.

Playing 7th arpeggios on two strings is a fantastic way to phrase these sorts of arpeggios. And for those looking to elevate their shred playing skills, have no worries - these sorts of exercises lend themselves to speed. But again, I hope what you will take away here is not so much a way to tear up the fretboard, but a way to expand your ability to come up with musical phrases.

Major 7th Arpeggio on Two Strings Guitar Pro tablature
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Guitar Lesson Exercise Performance Tips

Performance Tips

In the tab you will see I I don't indicate picking or legato - just play as you see fit. For an aggressive sound go for alternate picking, for a smoother sound use a combination of picking and hammer ons/pull offs. 

I notated the exercise as triplets, as I think the exercise lends itself nicely to triplets. So as you are playing really accent the triplet feel.

You will also notice that from one measure to the next I indicate a slide. The sliding may be the trickiest part of the exercise, so really pay attention to those shifts and execute smoothly.

For those looking to build their speed, once you are comfortable playing as triplets try playing as sextuplets at around 120 BPM or faster.

Criteria for Mastery: You can play the exercise cleanly as triplets at 180 BPM or faster and you understand how we constructed these major 7th arpeggio patterns on the fretboard