Tip: Up and Down

Here’s a melodic idea you might enjoy exploring. You might want to brush up on your arpeggios before working on this tab:


The idea behind this fragment is pretty simple: go up with one kind of arpeggio, and come back down with a different but related one. As ever with melodic work, we’re interested in giving our ears something intriguing to hook into, but not something totally foreign.

In this particular case, we go up with a Bbm arp and come down with an arp built on Bb’s fifth, which is F minor, or F minor 7. The two arps share only 1 note in common, the F, but they’re related by both being in the same key: Ab major.

There’s a ton you can do with this idea to create some colorful lines. Instead of subbing an arp with its fifth, try is third or 6th or 7th. Or go up with an arp and come down with a scale or mode. Descend with a pentatonic and ascend with an arpeggio. The ideas are endless.

Thanks for reading.

Copyright © 2010 Darrin Koltow

This first appeared in the Guitar Noise News – January 16, 2009 newsletter. Reprinted with permission.