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What To Know About Fusing Arpeggios And Scales



In this quick lesson, guitarist and educator Chuck Anderson explains more about arpeggios and scales.

The most obvious techniques used in solos are scales and arpeggios. Too often, they sound like technical exercises because each technique can sound mechanical. However, if you fuse these 2 techniques, you can get more variety into your use of arpeggios and related scales.

Let’s take an example using the Fmaj7 arpeggio (F A C E) and the F major scale (F G A Bb C D E F).

A passing tone is a scale note that you use to connect 2 consecutive chord tones. If you do this systematically, you’ll get a series of three 5-note patterns that mix the elements of arpeggio and scale. 

We’ll begin with the root position Fmaj7 arpeggio.

F A C E  Use the scale note G to connect the F to the A. Now you have F G A C E. This is the first fusion.

F A C E  Next, use the scale note Bb to connect the A to the C.  Second fusion F A Bb C E

F A C E Now, use the D to connect C to E. Third fusion is F A C D E

Find these phrases anywhere on the guitar.

You can extend this concept by using inversions of the arpeggio such as:

A C E F, C E F A, E  F A C.

Beyond this example, apply this concept to any arpeggio and match a scale to it. 

Examples could be:

Am7 arpeggio with an A Dorian scale or a D7 arpeggio with a D Mixolydian scale

Make sure you also include all the inversions.

Check out Chuck’s Store with books and music

More Lessons from Chuck Anderson – 

Using A Dominant Substitution for Solos

What You Need To Know About Diminished Scale Fingerings and Chord Application

Helpful Tips With Symmetric Whole Tone Scale Fingering

Learn More About Double Third Chord Voicings for Guitar

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