Arpeggios 1 – Maj, Min & Dim Triad Arpeggios

Arpeggios form a neat middle-ground between chords and scales – you’ll be voicing chords in a manner similar to playing a scale. Today we’re going to cover the three different triads that appear in the Major Scale. A Tonic Triad, as you should know, is built by stacking thirds in your given scale, so the formula for each is as follows:
Major:              R          3        5
Minor:              R        m3      5
Diminished:     R        m3      b5
In each of these we start with our root note, (the 5th fret on the E string), and then play the third. In the case of A Maj this is the 4th fret on the A string, but the 8th fret of the E string for the other two. Our fifths are on the 7th fret of the A string, but flattened to the 6th fret for A Dim. All our Octaves are on the 7th fret of the D string.
We’re playing all of these arpeggios in A, which should allow you to see the differences between each triad. As with scales, it’s important to keep to the one-finger-per-fret rule.

           Well, now what? I’d suggest trying out each of these in various positions on the neck, remembering that they are moveable shapes, (you can play them rooted on the A string as well).
Once you’re happy you can move them around a bit, try applying them to the Nashville Numbering System and see if you can play arpeggios for every chord within a given key using both the E and A string as roots.

Example Song #3 – 7th Barre Chords in Gm

This track is intended as an exercise for students who have recently been introduced to 7 Barre Chords. Once they are familiar with the shapes this track is a good way of learning how they’re used in practice. You’re playing mainly 7 barre chords.

The Basic 7 Barre Chords lesson will be a useful reference if you need to remind yourself of the chords used below. (Use the Bm7 shape with the roots on the 5th and 3rd frets for Dm7 and Cm7 respectively. Use the F#m7 shape with the root on the 3rd fret for the Gm7. The F#7 shape on the 1st fret give you F7. Lastly, the BMaj7 shape on the 1st fret will give you BbMaj7)
You may also want to review the first Basic Barre Chords lesson. (Use the Bm shape, but with the root on the 5th fret to get your Dm barre chord).


This can also be used as a backing track for solo guitarists. The key is Gm.

Example Song #2 – Open 7th Chords in C

This track is intended as an exercise for students who have recently been introduced to 7 Chords. Once they are familiar with the shapes this track is a good way of putting them into practice and using them between chords they’re already familiar with.

You can review the Basic Open Chords and Open 7 Chords lessons to remind yourself of the chord shapes. The cool thing about the first 2 bars is that you only change one finger between every chord.

imageThis can also be used as a backing track for solo guitarists. The key CMaj / Am.

Example Song #1 – Open & Barre Chords in F#m

This track is intended as an exercise for students who have recently been introduced to Barre Chords. Once they are familiar with the shapes this track is a good way of learning how Barre chords can be used in a song. Students will be playing Barre Chords along with the Open Chords they’re already familiar with.

You can remind yourselves of the chord shapes by referring to the Basic Open Chord and the first Basic Barre Chords lessons.

It can also be used as a backing track for solo guitarists. The key is F#m.

Barring 7th Chords

This lesson focuses on Maj, Min and Dom 7th barre chords with roots on the E and A strings. Dim and Aug 7ths will be covered in another lesson, (although in the Open 7th Chords lesson, you will find one barre chord for the Dim7 rooted on the A string), as will roots on other strings.

Compare the following chords to the Major and Minor barre shapes you have already learnt. Seeing the physical difference in what your fretting hand is doing, and noticing what notes are being replaced or altered will help you get a better understanding of music theory in general. It also serves as a good starting point towards altered chord theory as the sound of 7ths is so easily recognized.

The chords in the Open 7th Chords lesson were all diatonic within the scale of C Major. Differently, here we will be examining chord shapes with no real regard to a specific key. You may want to refer back to that lesson to remind yourself where these chords lie within a diatonic scale. You could also try playing the barre open 7th chords you already know as barre chords. It may also be useful to refer back to the first Basic Barre Chords lesson, as some of those shapes are used and altered here.


Here are some tips to help you fret each chord.
F#Maj7 – There’s 2 ways to fret this chord. The first option assumes you have an especially large thumb, in which case you fret the 2 middle strings with your 2nd and 3rd fingers, then the B string with your 1st finger, using your thumb to fret the root on the E string. Option 2, you use your first finger on the root note, your 2nd finger to get the B string, and your 3rd and 4th fingers on the middle strings. You also need to try and mute the A string, whichever fretting you choose.
F#Min7 – Here you can use your 2nd finger to get the root note on the E string, and your 3rd finger barres the other 3 notes. You can use a combination of both fingers to mute the A string.
F#7 – This is the easiest 7th chord of all. Play the F#Maj barre chord, then simply release whatever finger is fretting the D string. Done.
BMaj7 – Use your first finger to fret the root on the A string, then your 3rd finger to get to the D string. The, use your 2nd finger on the G string, and your 4th finger on the B string. Take care not to play either of the E strings.
BMin7 – This is pretty simple. Play the Bm barre chord that you already know, then raise whatever finger you have f the G string.
B7 – This is also really easy. Play a B barre chord, and raise whatever finger you have on the G string.

String-Skip Tapping Lick

This is my ultimate looks-cool-and-also-sounds-good-too lick. Ditch the pick, put 2 hands on the fretboard, prepare for nonsense.

I’d suggest being familiar with tapping, avoiding / muting string noise, and having a reasonable amount of hammer-on dexterity and finger strength before looking at this one.

Here is the tab for this lesson, including performance directions, timing and phrasing. Note that all notes are semiquavers, except for the 13th fret on the B string which is a quaver, (ie, it needs to last twice as long as the other notes).
On the B string, you also have the option to tap the note with either your 2nd or 3rd finger.


7th Chords in the Open Position

A 7th Chord consists of any triad, plus the note immediately before its octave.  For instance, a Major chord would have a Root, a 5th and a Maj 3rd; A Maj7 chord would have these three, with the addition of the Maj 7th. A Min7 chord would have it’s Root, 5th, min 3rd, and min 7th.  In total, there are 4 different types of 7th chord in the Natural Major Scale, and I’ve outlined the makeup of each below:

As you can see, the Maj7 and Min7 are fairly straight forward, using entirely Major or Minor notes. Between them, these 2 types of 7th chords account for 5 the 7th chords within the Natural Major Scale. Luckily for the beginner, the  Ø and 7 chords only appear once each. I will now outline the points at which each of these chords appears within the Natural Major scale:

I will now show you the easiest way to play these chords. I have chosen C Major, not only because it is the easiest to learn being as there are no accidentals, but also because most of the chords are playable in the open position. I will hopefully outline how to play 7th barre chord shapes in my 5th barre chord lesson, although one of these shapes will appear now.

I’ve colour-coded these chords in the same way as my other lessons. The new colours represent the following: Pink = Maj7; Purple = m7; b5 = Dark Green. Also, please remember that unless given a fret number, these chords are all open.