In this lesson, Shaun Baxter moves on from using three stacked 3rds to four, to create some delicious fusion-flavoured rock guitar lines.
Shaun Baxter begins a new mini-series that explores four-note Mixolydian arpeggios.
In the previous series, we looked at ways of constructing lines by arpeggiating triads from within the Mixolydian mode. We discovered that being selective with your note choice, rather than always playing every note in the scale, leads to more variety. Whereas triads have three notes, now it’s time to turn our attention to the most common four-note entities: 7th chords. Each 7th chord is composed of a root, 3rd, 5th and 7th and there are four different types to be found within Mixolydian (and any other mode of the Major scale): Within A Mixolydian, we have the following series of 7th chords (all created by combining various notes of the Mixolydian scale): Of all the above 7th chords/ arpeggios, it is the parental A7 that is the most important and you should make a habit of trying to understand most Mixolydian lines in relation to it; however, although it is possible to arpeggiate any of these chords within the scale, it’s the ones on the same arpeggio ladder (stacked 3rds), that are the most useful, as they sound more settled than the others (because they relate to the home A7 chord). From the following scheme, you should be
C#m7b5, able to see that Em7 and GMaj7 represent more extended versions of the original A7 chord (A9, A11 and A13 respectively). Learning the arpeggio shapes: If you were to establish the notes of each of the 7th chords shown above, within the strict confines of each CAGED shape for A Mixolydian you would arrive at all the ‘classic’ arpeggio shapes on guitar (see Diagrams 1 and 2). I could provide these for you within this lesson; however, you will learn far more by working them out for yourself.
Apart from the classic CAGED-based shapes, there are many other ways of arranging the notes of any arpeggio on the guitar, and you should experiment with all types of digital permutations to yield new technical and musical possibilities. For example:
2-2-2-2-2-2 (two notes on each string) 2-1-2-1-2-1 (two notes on the sixth string, one note on the fifth etc) 1-2-1-2-1-2 (one note on the sixth string, two notes on the fifth etc)
0-3-0-3-0-3 (no notes on the sixth string, three notes on the fifth etc) ...and so forth. For the purposes of this lesson, we are going to confine our approach to working mainly up and down each CAGED shape (vertical motion), rather than along the length of the guitar neck (lateral motion: something that we’ll look at in future lessons).
Finally, when constructing melodies from arpeggio notes there are various ways of creating interest, such as sequencing and adding various forms of articulation (eg bends, slides, vibrato etc).
The examples from this lesson show illustrations of this within A Mixolydian as well as showing how an arpeggio shape can be incorporated in a more blues-rock based vocabulary. Enjoy.
THERE ARE MANY WAYS OF ARRANGING THE NOTES OF ANY ARPEGGIO ON THE GUITAR AND YOU SHOULD EXPERIMENT WITH ALL TYPES OF DIGITAL PERMUTATIONS