Today we’re going to look at some arpeggios for seven string guitar. In this episode we’ll learn some of the basic triads across 7 strings and then in future episodes we will expand on these to form more complex chord arpeggios.
If you’re an extended range player you’re probably already curious as to how to expand your ability to include the 7th string. These 7 String Sweep Picking ideas will definitely test your playing and finger dexterity. Always remember to take these ideas slow at first, speed is always a by-product of control! Lets go!
Seven Basic Triads in A Major/A Harmonic Minor
In episode 1 we’ll be using chords from the Major Scale and Harmonic Minor Scale. We’ll start off using A Major and then use the V chord to transition in to A Harmonic minor.
A Major has the following notes:
A – B – C# – D – E – F# – G#
Chord In The Key of A Major:
A Major [A-C#-E]
B minor [B-D-F#]
C# minor [C#-E-G#]
D Major [D-F#-A]
E Major [E-G#-B]
F# minor [F#-A-C#]
G# diminished [G#-B-D]
7 String Sweep Picking
For our first arpeggio progression we’ll use AMaj, Bm and G#dim. Then we will lower the C# to C, this puts us in A Harmonic minor. We could play an E Major chord but instead we’ll swap the 5th (B) for the minor 6 (C), this gives us an inversion of a C+ (C Augmented) chord. I’ve noted this as C/E+ (C Augmented with the E in the Bass). After this we’ll slide up to a regular C+ chord.
A Note on Chord Naming
You could call it an E+ chord as it has the correct pitches for this chord, however the +5 in E Augmented should technically be B# and not C (Even though they are the same pitch). So E+ doesn’t technically fit within A Harmonic minor: A – B – C – D – E – F – G#.
Playing the 7 String Sweep Picking Sequence
There are a few different ways to play these shapes across seven strings. The following shapes work pretty well because they use common 5 string shapes which are extended down to the 6th and 7th strings. They are fairly straightforward to play and fit nicely into a single bar of 4/4 when played as 16th notes.
To make the sequence more interesting I’ve written a short riff using the A Harmonic minor scale. The sweep arpeggios will lead nicely into this.
Remember to start off practicing slowly. Practice each arpeggio separately until you feel comfortable with them. Next you can start to practice moving from one shape to the next. Once you start to get the hang of it you’ll be able to string them together and play the full sequence.
Remember to start slow and do lots of repetitions to build up your muscle memory. Don’t overdo it however, take regular breaks and stop if you start to feel any pain/strain.
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