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  • arpeggio

    Arpeggios and Chord Construction

    by Simon Joseph James

    Arpeggios are enormously useful as exercises not only for the training and dexterity that they provide for the fingers but also for the insight they give into chord construction and harmony.

    An arpeggio is made up of the root note, 3rd and 5th notes of the scale and it is these notes that make up the chord. Take C Major as an example:

    c major arpeggio

    In this example the 3rd is known as a Major 3rd. By making the 3rd one note lower we are now making the Major Arpeggio into a Minor Arpeggio:

    c minor arpeggio

    So by using Arpeggios in a very simple way we can explaining clearly in the language of music the difference between a Major and a Minor Chord.

    Now we can begin to add other notes to the Arpeggio. Try adding the 7th. In a C Major Scale if we play the Root Note, the 3rd, the 5th and the 7th we now have a C Major 7 Arpeggio or Chord:

    c major 7 arpeggio

    If we were now to make the 7th one note lower the combination of Root note, Major 3rd and Minor 7th would give uas a Dominant 7 Arpeggio:

    c dominant 7 arpeggio

    So as you can see, there is a pool of knowledge that comes from studying Arpeggios. In this short lesson alone we have learned the difference between a Major and a Minor Chord and how to construct a Dominant 7 chord!

    Related Posts:

    1. Using Arpeggios to Master Any Chord Progression

    2. Major, Minor: What's the Difference?

    3. How To See The Scale Intervals Clearly

    4. Are You Hooked On Theory? Music Theory Made Simple with the Song Wiki