8 - Guitar Arpeggios

Beginners Guitar Lessons Part 8 – Guitar Arpeggios


Playing Guitar Arpeggios

An arpeggio simply means, broken chord. Rather than strum the entire chord, we’ll play it in an arpeggiated style, meaning that we’ll play the notes individually.

The ways to play guitar arpeggios are almost limitless, as we’ll find out, and it can make your playing sound very interesting, without a lot of effort. For starters, let’s take a C chord:
C Chord
Rather than strum the whole thing, begin by playing the first three notes of the chord in succession, and repeat four times. Begin by playing the C note, on the 3rd fret of the A (5th) string, proceed to the E note, on the 2nd fret of the D (4th) string, the G note on the open G string, and repeat once.
After you reach the open G a second time, play the open G once more, go to the C note, on the 2nd fret of the B string, the open E string, and repeat. Sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?
Try mixing it up a bit now. Play the C note (3rd fret, A/5th string), the open G/3rd string, the E note (2nd fret, D/4th string, the higher C (1st fret, B/2nd string), the open G/3rd string, the open E/1st string, back to C (1st fret, B/2nd string), and finally to the open G/3rd string.
With our new knowledge of guitar tablature, this is what this arpeggiated piece above looks like:
Guitar Arpeggio Diagram
Try other guitar arpeggios with different chords, and make up your own patterns…you might even get the start of a cool new song!

More Guitar Chords…

Here a few more guitar chords for you to practice and play around with:
Guitar Chord Diagram
The D, E, G7, and A7 chords are popular and easy to play. We’ll get to how these chords are use in particular keys in a future lesson, but that’s no reason to not have fun with them now.
The B and F chords may be difficult at first, but it will get you used to playing bar chords, which are perhaps the most used chord type, aside from those you are now learning, in pop, blues, folk, and rock music.
In the B chord chart, you’ll notice that the (1) has parenthesis around it. This means that playing that note is optional. If you choose to play it, lay your first finger across the second fret, and press down on all strings. This is what is called “barring”, used in bar chords. You’ll also do a simpler form of barring on the F chord, by playing the 2nd and 3rd strings on the 1str fret with your 1st finger.
It may be tricky at first, but keep trying. By the way, remember in lesson 5 we talked about hand positioning? Give it a shot, and you may find that the more difficult chords, are not all that difficult.