Lead Guitar Techniques for Beginners: Arpeggios

by Dirk Hagemann

The word Arpeggio means "broken chord". Because if you play an
Arpeggio, you don´t strum all strings when you play a chord, you pick
each one individually. One note after the other. Advanced Arpeggios
are like "Sweep-picking", a technique used by many fast Heavy Metal
guitar players. But we start with more simple Arpeggios.

Lets start with the C-Major chord shown below.


Hold the chord the whole time and then start to pick each note (include
the emtpy strings too!). Play every note, use the picking hand in a
smooth movement, in single up- or down-strokes.

Start with downstrokes (d or v), then use upstrokes (d or ^).

    d  d  d  d  d  d  u  u  u  u  u

Now, lets play a 2 chord arpeggio using C and D chords.

    d  d  d  d  d  d  u  u  u  u  u     d  d  d  d  d  u  u  u  u

In the next lesson we have several Arpeggios so you can practice this
technique until you can play it smooth and fast. But don´t rush, start
slow at first and keep attention to your up- and downstrokes while you
play your Arpeggios!

For more exercises and GuitarPro files for this lesson visit:

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Arpeggio is from a Italian word that means 'to play on the harp' and dates from the 18th Century. If you think about melodies typically played on a harp it makes sense.

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