Lesson 2 - Dominant 7th CAGED Arpeggios - intermediate level  

Perhaps the most useful tool in understanding improvisation, is the knowledge of arpeggios.

Amongst guitarists this tends to be a sadly missed gap in our knowledge that usually results in a mainly scalic approach to a given chord progression. We often wonder then, why the trumpet, sax or keyboard players seem to have a more musical and melodic approach. The answer is simply that they have studied arpeggios, where as we guitar players have not.

An arpeggio ie. a chord broken down into its component intervals (or spelling), poses some tricky problems for the guitar player.

Most arpeggios are written in standard musical notation, so if your sight readings not so good, these often appear out of your reach. The CAGED Guitarist® however, can put these easily within your reach using the CAGED system.

Opposite you will see the arpeggios for the 3 chords of a 12 bar blues in the key of G (G7, C7 and D7).

Look carefully at the CAGED shapes above the chords and then take great care to use the fingerings shown underneath, noting that on the G7 and C7 chords you use the 3rd finger on the way back down the arpeggios to play the 5th interval.

The G7 and C7 arpeggios are double octave whilst the D7 covers just a single octave. Play the arpeggios up and down using the be-bop long and short (jazz quaver) rhythm.

Learn to play, sing and visualise each of the 3 arpeggios until they are fluent under your fingers and in your mind.

Check out what to do with this new knowledge in lesson 3.

    G7 E/Shape arpeggio  
    C7 A/Shape arpeggio  

D7 C/Shape arpeggio