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Rock Guitar Lessons: Arpeggiating Chords 1

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One, two, three, four.
All right in this lesson we're gonna
arpeggiate chords.
And of course, we know a lot of chords
now, [SOUND] and
I'm working with an E chord this time.
But I'm just gonna take the top four
Top as in pitch.
And I'm going to arpeggiate it.
And what is an arpeggio?
I remember the first time that I heard the
word arpeggio.
I had no idea what it meant, so I had to
look it up in a dictionary.
And it said the notes of a chord, played
So instead of strumming it, [SOUND] we're
going to play the notes separately.
And one of the things I do is, I mute the
That makes the notes more separate, more
tight, more precise.
the other thing we have to figure out is
what pick strokes to use.
And do we do all down strokes or all up
strokes or some combination of the two?
And I'm gonna give you my answer,
which is I pick it the same way that I
would finger pick it.
And my particular finger picking style is,
I hit the bass
notes with my thumb and everything else I
hit with my first finger.
I, I have, it's sort of a claw.
And it's primitive, but it works.
So let's take a look.
If I was going to finger pick this, again,
I'd play the bass note,
the lowest one with my thumb.
And then all the other notes,
with the first finger.
So that pretty feels like a down stroke.
And then three upstrokes.
Down, up, up, up.
I'm gonna do the same thing with my pick,
I'm gonna go down up, up, up.
That's it.
that's my method of arpeggiating chords.
Let's try this particular example which
starts with our E major chord,
[SOUND] top four notes, of course.
Then, I'm going to take a major scale on a
single string.
I'm gonna make little chords, little third
[SOUND] One, two, three.
That's how you tell that it's, it's a
You just count up the scale.
And [SOUND] these are the chords I get.
If I stay inside the E major scale.
Your shapes change a little bit in your
left hand, first one.
This is a major third.
Second one is a minor third.
One, two, three.
[LAUGH] I can just here that Doe,
a deer song circulating through out these
All right enough of that.
Then we're gonna have our open strings.
After each of those chords.
And they're all picked the same way so,
at the end I'm gonna do a little slide.
In to that chord, and
then come back down with chords.
Pick those together, so
they're nice double stops.
A double stop is basically a two note
That's just the name for it.
So here we go, let's, let's listen to it,
it's easier to listen to the music some
times, than hear my long explanation.
One, two, three, four.
All right now you have the sound in your
head that's important.
So, what else can we do with this, let's
put some distortion on it.
And to control the distortion, and still
makes the notes nice and, and
precise and tight.
We're just going to mute a lot and make
sure to get accurate picking.
So I'm going to turn on some distortion
and see what I can do with this.
One, two, three, four.
All right that's, that really brings a
toughness to it.
Or you can, you can also play it with a
clean sound.
let the notes ring out without being
There we go, that's nice too.
So just an example of the different sounds
you can get out of the guitar.
And this technique of arpeggiating chords,
is so useful, this
is one of the things that I really wish
someone had shown me when I was a kid.
You know, if you have a chord
Of course, strumming it sounds great.
But it's so
nice to be able to make that open up.
With, with any, any pattern you think of.
There's so many things you can do.
Of course you can do like, more distorted
muting things.
You know,
it's so, it really has a wide variety of
And the left hand is really doing a very
simple thing here just holding down
a chord.
And you're but
you're getting a lot of notes because how
you're picking it.
A large variety of tones if you're muting
or have distortion or have it open.
So I encourage you to go through the
chords you know.
And arpeggiate them.
It's a beautiful thing.
A great way to make a simple chord come
alive and sound great.