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Playing with Uncommon Arpeggios
By Alex Jasperse - 10/27/2007 - 02:34 PM EDT

On the guitar, arpeggios are the notes of a particular chord played one at a time. Often referred to as a “broken chord,” arpeggios can liven up the sound of a chord, and are great starting points for creating melodies based off of the chord.

(a) Stretching your fingers:
Below, is an uncommon arpeggio that was made popular by Joe Satriani, during the 90s. It’s a bit of a stretch at first, and will require you to use all four fingers to master it properly.

For the first three notes (B-F#-C#), you should be using fingers 1-2-4, and for the next three notes (D-A-E), you should be using fingers 1-3-4.

(b) Moving it around:

Once you’re comfortable with the ascending and descending patterns, it’s time to try moving the pattern around on the fretboard. In this case, the pattern moves up the neck, but it should also be tried going down the neck, as well.

(c) Returning to chords:

Demonstrated in a descending pattern, bars 1 to 3 (Bm-Bsus2-B5), and 4 to 6 (Am-Asus2-A5), allows you start with the arpeggio shape you just practiced, maintain a root note, and liven up a typical power chord with the movement of only your pinky. Try it in various combinations across the fretboard, to achieve maximum effect.

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