Today we’re going to look at a quick warm up exercise. This one combines a descending sweep arpeggio with an ascending picking run. This is a great way to warmp up both hands.
Warm Up! – Arpeggio section
We’ll start with a Bm arpeggio, descending from the 14th fret high E string down to the A string, the arpeggio shape looks like this:
When we get to the 9th fret of the A string we will ascend back up using the F# Phrygian mode.
Warm Up! – Mode section
Since we descended Bm (B – D – F#) we can think of this exercise as being in the key of B minor. The relative Major scale would be D Major. If we treat Bm as the Aeolian Mode, which is mode 6 of the D Major scale, then we can also build modes from the other notes of the arpeggio.
The 5th of our Bm arpeggio is the note F#. In relation to the D Major scale this would be the 3rd, therefore we can play the F# Phrygian mode in the key of D Major/B minor. Click here for more on modes if this is a new concept.
We’ll start from the 9th fret of the A string and playing the mode across 5 strings. Therefore the mode “pattern” will look like the 6 string pattern of the Locrian scale, except with the first 3 notes from the low E string missed off:
We will alternate pick our way up the mode. If you prefer you can play up the mode using legato instead. This can be a good way to change things up and work on your finger strength for hammer ons.
Once we reach the Root note at the 14th fret E string we can go back in to the Bm arpeggio and loop the whole sequence.
Applying the concept to other Arpeggios
You can apply this same concepot to any arpeggio. For example, if we stay in the key of D Major we could descend a D Major arpeggio. Then we can ascend by playing through the mode based on the 5th of D Major. This would give us A Mixolydian.
You could also experiment with trying this using Arpeggios taken from the Harmonic minor scale or any other exotic scales.
Another way to expand on this would be to move back further when you reach the lowest string. An example of this would be to descend Bm and then ascend E Dorian, instead of F# Phrygian. This would land you on the 12th fret of the High E string. From here you could descend the A Major Arpeggio. This means you can use these ideas to move through different Arpeggios and Modes to create progressions.
Remember, when using this as a warmup, start of fairly slow. The sequence uses all four fingers oin your fretting hand and a couple of different techniques on your picking. It will help to warm up both hands. That’s all for this Quick Lick, see you next time!
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