2 String Melodic-Minor Arpeggio/Scale Fragments

Hi Everyone!

As promised here’s a quick lesson of some material I’ve been exploring lately that may be interesting to you as well!

The In-Between

As those of you who have explored my not-peggio series know, I’m a big fan of melodic material that exists in the area between scales and arpeggios.

The following ideas will be drawn from D Melodic Minor (D, E, F, G, A, B, C#) – but the approach can be applied to any scale.  Lately I’ve really been into trying to work this scale over knuckle-dragging metal that exploits that Phrygian-ish 1/2 step E->F Bass motion but the licks presented will work over any of the chords outlined below,

Two-String is The Thing

The first thing I’m going to do is look at some ascending two-string diatonic 7th chord arpeggios.

2_String_7th note arpeggios

If you’re not familiar with these shapes try practicing them up and down the fretboard to get them under your fingers.

Here’s a little secret:

  • When I play two-string patterns, I think of all of the time I spent working out permutations for the two-string minor pentatonic patterns I practiced endlessly and try to find a way to get a little more use out of them.

With that in mind, I thought,  “What if I extended this arpeggio with some diatonic notes and kept the 2-note-per-string idea the same?”

Applied to the first arpeggio above, I got this (Note the fingering):

Extended Pattern Fingering

Practicing it a bit to get fluidity, I realized that I was playing it in a different rhythm:

Pattern 1

This specific arpeggio could be called an E min 7 (add 11), but the combination of 3rds and some step-wise motion opened up the sound of the arpeggio for me and made it sound more like a fluid lick.

Here’s each individual pattern.

Pattern 1 Pattern 2 Pattern 3 Pattern 4 Pattern 5 Pattern 6 Pattern 7

I’ve added a Soundcloud link of all of the individual patterns played together below.

Technical Note:

I think I’m playing this around quarter = 132 or so and using a combination of hammer-ons/pull-offs and sweep picking.  I edited out some clipping that occurred when I recorded these but you may still here some elements of them in the mp3.

As always, pay attention to the 3T’s (Tone, TIming and (hand) Tension) when practicing these and focus on trying to be as fluid as possible.  Also be aware of the little finger dance between the first and second fingers when switching between the G and B string.

Aesthetic Note:

While you could play each of these ideas all in a row as I did in the example, I view each of these licks as connective tissue to help create larger phrases.

I’ll post more examples of these in the weeks ahead.  In the meanwhile, keep exploring and, as, always, thanks for reading.


PS – for those of you who are interested, the sound on the demo was recorded on my iPhone using a modded 69 Lead amp I created in Positive Grid’s BIAS running through a signal chain in JamUp Pro.

It’s a stunning App…and I can’t recommend it strongly enough.  Look for an upcoming review in Guitar-Muse.com!

My New (Free) Melodic Minor Extraction Lesson Is Now Up On Guitar-Muse

Hello everybody!

The Power of Pentatonic Extraction

I’ve posted a few times about one of the new books that I’m working on, Pentatonic Extractions, and I’m really psyched about how its coming together so far.  It’s going to cover a lot of material in an easy and accessible way and make a great addition to the series.

But you’ll get to see what I’m talking about yourself as the good people at Guitar-Muse.com have been kind enough to allow me to adapt some material from Pentatonic Extractions for a lesson on the site.  There’s theory, audio and tab for some ideas that will probably get you shooed of the next open blues jam – but I really dig ’em and I hope you will too!  You can check that out here.

More on that Muse of Guitar

All of the audio examples were recorded with the JamUp Pro app by Positive Grid which is just an incredibly useful app.  I’ll have a full review for that coming up for Guitar-Muse, along with some other reviews, player profiles and interviews.

And For those of you who wish to guit a grip….

Guit-a-grip is going to be serializing chapters from my book, Nothing Ever Got Done With An Excuse, which chronicles the processes and observations I used to release the first four books of the GuitArchitecture series in 5 months.  If you want to get a hold on a project (or a late new-years resolution), this series will definitely help motivate you and keep you on track.  Look for a new podcast this week.

More soon!  As always, thanks for reading!