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Why learn arpeggios and triads?

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Active Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 7
Topic starter  

Sorry for the teaser, but I am somewhat new on learning scales and wanted to be more melodic in soloing. Mostly improvising over chord progressions and wanted something to help make my music more interesting. Am I right; that arpeggios have the scale tone of that chord and that you can use some of those notes mixed with the scale of that chord? Practicing an arp. is kind of difficult because of their fingering as compared to just picking notes on a memorized scale pattern. My biggest problem is practicing an arpeggio with fluidity... it is the string skipping that slows me down. How would you use the arpeggio and do you practice them like scales, up and back down?

Now that brings me to the next question about triads. Can triads be used in improvising, What I mean is that they also help in conjunction with scales on targeting the tones of that particular chord I am guessing. For guitarist, triads, like the arpeggios, can help on making your music more interesting when soloing or improvising. I have been practicing some patterns of the major scale and minor so far and wanted to learn some arps. and triads and it seemed that learning a few of these would help. I use the pentatonic mostly when improvising but just wanted a different sound. Thank you.

Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 5342

This is always a biggie. So many people say "I can play power chords and play a solo like this" (using a first pattern pentatonic) "so why do I need anything else?"

And the answer is "Because you sound boring"

Arpeggios - broken chords, and because of that they'll always be comprised of chord tones - check out people like Hermann Li (Dragonforce) or Synyster Gates (A7X) for top quality sweep arpeggios. Are arpeggios worth learning and practising every day? Your bet your.... If you ever take your Grades, you will be expected to produce them on demand, in major, minor, dominant 7th and diminished configurations across two octaves. How do you practise them? Up and down, like scales.

You said this:
Practicing an arp. is kind of difficult because of their fingering as compared to just picking notes on a memorized scale pattern.

Practising an arp is identical to practising a scale; because it is a memorised series of notes, just like memorising a series of notes to play a scale and produce a solo.

Can triads be used in improv? Yep

Can triads help in identifying your scale tones? Yep

Go get your guitar. Work those scales, arpeggios and chords

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at:

Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 652

Well said. I'll only add- sooner or later, you're going to learn them anyway.

Have you ever learned a solo note for note? (Either from a transcription or by ear.)

Did you notice some notes you didn't expect? (ie, that were not part of the scale/pattern that the solo seemed to mostly follow?)

When you learn your arpeggios...there they are!