Below is a guest post from Jamie Holroyd. Jamie Holroyd is a UK based jazz educator and author who runs www.jamieholroydguitar.com, a free website with countless lessons and resources to help students across the globe play jazz guitar.
Arpeggios are great to practice when learning how to play jazz guitar. Not only do they have fewer notes to remember than scales, you can also define the chord quicker because they contain the important chord tones.
As useful as arpeggios are, they can sometimes sound a little bare and incomplete by themselves in an improvisational setting. There are many ways that you can adjust these arpeggios to create new and interesting sounds. In today’s lesson I am going to be teaching you how to add passing notes to an arpeggio. For this example we are going to be looking at how to add passing notes to a C dominant 7th arpeggio.
I will be teaching two ways to add to this arpeggio. The first way is to add a note below each note of the arpeggio.
The second way to add extra notes to your arpeggios is adding the note above each note of the arpeggio.
Remember when using this approach the notes above and below the arpeggio notes are not necessarily diatonically within the key so be careful how you use them.
Check out this great Charlie Parker line that uses the ‘Note below approach’. Notice that after he reinforces the harmony by playing each diatonic chord tone three times after the outside note is introduced.
Did you find the above lesson helpful? How do you practice adding chromatics to arpeggios? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.