Converting Major Scales Into Arpeggios.

Dizzy Gillespie

Now that you know the formulas for chord construction, the major scale pattern and how to convert intervals from maj to min and from min to diminished etc., we are in a position to work out our own chord arpeggios. An arpeggio is usually comprised of the root, 3rd, 5th and 7th intervals played in a repetitive pattern either across or along the strings. If you were therefore to play an arpeggio based on a Amin7 chord you would know that you needed to use the I, bIII, V and bVII in the key of A major to give the correct notes.

If you repeat these intervals past the first octave to cover all six strings you will have found a workable arpeggio shape that came from your own mind and not from the pages of a magazine or book, hence you are more likely to remember and use it.

Now try the same method for a random chord, say A7#9. From your knowledge of chords you will identify the intervals as I, III, V, bVII and #IX. Using the major scale at the 5th fret with the root on A you can quickly count off the steps to the intervals and convert the maj7 to a dom7, and the IX to a #IX. Once you have played the notes to fix them in your head you can experiment with playing them in other patterns on the neck. By doing this you will of course only be changing the pitch of the scale and not the notes themselves.

Copyright Dale Churchett © 1995. All Rights Reserved.