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Author Topic: Arpeggios Explained  (Read 7666 times)

Offline T-Block

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Arpeggios Explained
« on: November 03, 2007, 09:04:55 AM »
Arpeggios

An arpeggio is a broken chord where the notes are played separately instead of altogether.  The notes being played must form a specific chord in order to be considered an arpeggio.  The great thing about this is any chord will work, no matter how many notes are involved.  There is no name for an arpeggio excpet for the chord that it forms.  Here are some examples of how arpeggios can be used using the C major chord, C-E-G:


C major chord arpeggio, root position, Foward

C, E, G (jump up to the next C)   C, E, G (jump up to the next C),  repeat til u run out of keys

The way I suggest you to play this is playing C with your 1st finger (thumb), E with your 3rd finger (middle), and G with your 5th finger (pinky)



C major chord arpeggio, root position, Backward

G, E, C (jump down to next G)   G, E, C (jump to the next G), repeat til u run out of keys

Notice that this arpeggio starts with the last note of the C major chord in root position.  So, you have to start fairly high on the keyboard in order to do this one correctly.  Use the same fingers as the foward arpeggio in root position.



C major chord arpeggio, 1st inversion, Foward

E, G, C (jump up to next E)   E, G, C (jump up to the next E), repeat til u run out of keys

Notice that this arpeggio starts with the 3rd note of the C major chord in root position.  The way I suggest you to play this is playing E with your 1st finger (thumb), G with your 2nd finger (index), and C with your 5th finger (pinky)



C major chord arpeggio, 1st inversion, Backward

C, G, E (jump down to next C)   C, G, E (jump down to the next C), repeat til u run out of keys

Notice that this arpeggio starts with the last note of the C major chord in 1st inversion.  Use the same fingers as the foward arpeggio in 1st inversion.



C major chord arpeggio, 2nd inversion, Foward

G, C, E (jump up to next G)   G, C, E (jump up to the next G), repeat til u run out of keys

Notice that this arpeggio starts with the 3rd note of the C major chord in root position.  The way I suggest you to play this is playing G with your 1st finger (thumb), C with your 3rd finger (middle), and E with your 5th finger (pinky)



C major chord arpeggio, 2nd inversion, Backward

E, C, G (jump down to next E)   E, C, G (jump down to the next E), repeat til u run out of keys

Notice that this arpeggio starts with the last note of the C major chord in 1st inversion.  Use the same fingers as the foward arpeggio in 2nd inversion.


_______________________________________ _______________________________________ _________



C major chord arpeggio, root position, mixed order, Foward

C, G, E (the one in between C & G), then jump to the next C, G (the one in between the E & C), then jump to the next E, C (the one in between the G & E), repeat

Just in case that is confusing, here is an illustrated version of it:

C   ->   G   <-   E   ->   C   <-   G   ->   E   <-   C (repeat upwards)

* -> = foward
* <- = backward



C major chord arpeggio, root position, mixed order Backward

Use the same logic and movement as the one above.  From here on, I'm going to use the illustrated version cuz it's easier to type out, LOL:

G   <-   C   ->   E   <-   G   ->   C   <-   E   ->   G (repeat downward)




C major chord arpeggio, 1st inversion, mixed order, Foward

E   ->   C   <-   G   ->   E   <-   C   ->   G   <-   E (repeat upwards)




C major chord arpeggio, 1st inversion, mixed order, Backward

C   <-   E   ->   G   <-   C   ->   E   <-   G   ->   C (repeat downward)




C major chord arpeggio, 2nd inversion, Foward

G   ->   E   <-   C   ->   G   <-   E   ->   C   <-   G (repeat upwards)




C major chord arpeggio, 2nd inversion, mixed order, Backward

E   <-   G   ->   C   <-   E   ->   G   <-   C   ->   E (repeat downward)


_______________________________________ _______________________________________ __________


C major chord arpeggio, all inversions, Foward

The idea here is to play the root arpeggio first, then 1st inversion arpeggio, then the 2nd inversion arpeggio up the keyboard.

C major chord root arpeggio - C, E, G

then

C major chord 1st inversion arpeggio - E, G, C

then

C major chord 2nd inversion arpeggio - G, C, E

then keep going up the keyboard



C major chord arpeggio, all inversions, Backward

The idea here is to play the backward root arpeggio first, then the backward 2nd inversion arpeggio, then the backward 1st inversion arpeggio down the keyboard.

C major chord root arpeggio backward - G, E, C

then

C major chord 2nd inversion arpeggio baclward - E, C, G

then

C major chord 2nd inversion arpeggio - C, G, E

then keep going down the keyboard



C major chord arpeggio, all inversions, mixed order, Foward

The idea here is to play the root arpeggio in mixed order first, then 1st inversion arpeggio in mixed order, then the 2nd inversion arpeggio in mixed order up the keyboard.

C major chord root arpeggio - C, G, E

then

C major chord 1st inversion arpeggio - E, C, G

then

C major chord 2nd inversion arpeggio - G, E, C

then keep going up the keyboard



C major chord arpeggio, all inversions, Backward

The idea here is to play the backward root arpeggio in mixed order first, then the backward 2nd inversion arpeggio in mixed order, then the backward 1st inversion arpeggio in mixed order down the keyboard.

C major chord root arpeggio backward - G, C, E

then

C major chord 2nd inversion arpeggio baclward - E, G, C

then

C major chord 2nd inversion arpeggio - C, E, G

then keep going down the keyboard


Once you can do all this for the C major chord, move on to the C minor chord, then the C diminished chord, etc.  Pay very close attention to how things are worded in this post.  Don't move on to the next concept until you understand the previous concept.  As you move through, you will have to rely on the techniques you learned ealier, so be careful and take it really slow.

Arpeggios are a great way to improvise your music.  They will make you seem like you playing more than you really are.  Also, the faster you can play them, the better they will sound.  This is something I picked while playing classical music.  If anyone has any questions about something in this post, please don't hesitate to ask.  Enjoy!!!
Real musicians play in every key!!!
Music Theory, da numbers work!

Offline chevonee

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Re: Arpeggios Explained
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2007, 03:00:35 PM »
This is absolutely, 100%, unequivocally Grrrrrrrrrrr8!!!! ;D Thank you so much T-block, I've been confused about arpeggios but you have cleared up every question I had. God bless you Mr. Block!!!! ;)
Strike while the iron is hot!

Offline lauenceholley

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Re: Arpeggios Explained
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2007, 03:39:46 PM »
Very good post, I have  question, what principles do you use to form arpeggio's with 7th, 9th, 11th or 13th chords ?

Offline T-Block

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Re: Arpeggios Explained
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2007, 04:45:29 PM »
Very good post, I have  question, what principles do you use to form arpeggio's with 7th, 9th, 11th or 13th chords ?

Well, just pick a chord and arpeggiate it.  Let's say a C major 7th chord:

C-E-G-B

play the notes separate just like I explained with the C major chord

C, E, G, B

You see, it doesn't matter what chord it is or how many note there are.  Just take the notes of the chord and play them separately instead of altogether.  That's about as deep as arpeggios get laurenceholley.
Real musicians play in every key!!!
Music Theory, da numbers work!

Offline rspindy

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Re: Arpeggios Explained
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2007, 05:33:59 PM »
The 7th (a 4 note chord) is the largest practical arpeggio for any chord, at least on the piano.  Beyond that, you deal with arpeggiated voicings.

A common jazz voicing above the root for a major chord (I'll use C major here) is L.H. C and R.H. E-G-A-D (actually a C 9, add 6).  Just Arppegiate the R.H. 4 notes. You can then play around with those 4 notes rearranged (like an inversion, but since it has no root it isn't inverted.) Try arpeggiating A-D-E-G over that C bass.     

The thing is to pick out the 3 or 4 notes that truly define the chord over the bass, the characteristic notes.  A C9 = Gm/C (A G minor chord in the R.H. over a C bass).  A C9 sus or a C11 = a Gm7 over a C bass.

Other types of chords (mostly dominant, which have the biggest variety) can be arpeggiated with different 3 or 4 note chords above a root.

An experiment to try is play a C bass and then try triads built on each degree of the C scale.  Some work some don't.  Those that work, relate them to a type of C chord.   For example, A Dm chord over a C bass is a C 13/11/9.  Em over a C bass is a Cmaj 7, etc.

 

Offline lauenceholley

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Re: Arpeggios Explained
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2007, 08:11:49 PM »
Thank You tblock and rspindy for additional information on arpeggio's

Offline 4hisglory

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Re: Arpeggios Explained
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2007, 01:46:26 PM »
Nice T-block
:)

Offline Gibby

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Re: Arpeggios Explained
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2007, 02:59:11 PM »
Mr. Music theory, Appreciate it  ;)

Offline teresac

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Re: Arpeggios Explained
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2007, 06:19:27 PM »
T-Block, rsindy,

Very nice post ... very helpful. This post should be added to the LGM Ultimate Music Theory Collection.

This weekend a piano teacher gave me a very helpful tip for playing arpeggios.  Practice your arpeggios as block chords up and down the keyboard.  Once you master this, you will be able to play the arpeggio with ease.  He had me practice the C chord as C E G C.  RH fingering 1 2 3 5.  LH fingering 5 4 2 1.  It felt very awkward at first.  But within a day I was playing arpeggios up and down the keyboard no matter which inversion.  Once I learned the chord this way, I found that I had now become so familiar with the chord I could easily change the fingering if needed.

One more tip ... do not cross over when you play arpeggios.  Move your hand to the next position.  This is why it's important to practice the block chord first.

Playing arpeggios is good for learning any chord.  It really gets the chord into your fingers.

Offline T-Block

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Re: Arpeggios Explained
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2007, 09:08:15 PM »
Very nice post ... very helpful. This post should be added to the LGM Ultimate Music Theory Collection.

Way ahead of you.  It was added the day I posted this.  ;)  :D
Real musicians play in every key!!!
Music Theory, da numbers work!

Offline teresac

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Re: Arpeggios Explained
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2007, 10:27:03 PM »
 :D

Oh ... good looking out!!!!

Offline lauenceholley

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Re: Arpeggios Explained
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2007, 08:01:36 AM »
Here is web site that shows fingering of arpeggio's :  http://sites.estvideo.net/lk/finger.php

Rjthakid

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Re: Arpeggios Explained
« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2007, 12:07:00 PM »
I need to practice arpeggios.  When you get them smooth enough they sound SO nice.

Thanks for this T
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