1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)


Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by theshadow2001, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    Hey, Im always looking to learn something new on bass and something which i haven't given much thought to before is arppegios.

    Just messing around with the bass i've played a few major and minor arpegios but it doesn't seem to be a very useful thing to have there's no real apparant way (to me that is) to run up the fret board with an arpegio in the same way as you would with a scale and even if you could why bother to me it doesn't sound all that fantastic compared to something you could do with a scale. Granted i've only fleetingly looked at major and minor arpeggios. Im sure as you get to more complex chords things would get a bit more interesting.

    So i guess the whole point of this is maybe some of you guys could give me a new perspective on arpeggios, show me some uses or even throw out some links to somwehere with arpegio tabs or notation(im not being lazy with the tabs request i just need a sort of starting point from which i can use to work out other arpegios myself)

    To sum up this long winded post can i just get a bit of general guidance on the subject

  2. Wildside


    Jan 12, 2004
    theater of pain
    try sequencing them. Set up a chord progression, let's say in the key of Am. We could go .. Am-C-Dm-Em-Am ...for example. Then play those arpeggios from that chord progression. Play around with them. Play them super fast...play them using inversions (ie...the 3rd or 5th in the bass) ... play them high to low and then play the next one low to high. Play them broken up with jumps over strings. There's limitless variations you can make here, just be creative.

    For composers you may wanna check out the big names like Bach and Mozart, that's a good starting point for learning how to utilize arpeggios to craft melodies. Franz Liszt and Nicolo Paganini also had highly virtuosic compositions featuring lots of fast arpeggio work. Paganini's 5th caprice is a great arpeggio study (and a very cool sounding piece of music) and has been performed by lots of famous guitar players like Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai (in the movie Crossroads) and Troy Stetina. As far as bass players go, John Aldrete does some creative use of utilizing arpeggios to create great harmonies in his work with Racer x.

    Overall, arpeggios are just as useful/useless as scales are. They are just a series of notes, what you do with them is what makes them valuable. Hope this helped somewhat.
  3. stephanie


    Nov 14, 2000
    Scranton, PA
    It's extremely valuable to learn arpeggios up and down the fretboard. You can play 2 octave arpeggios just the same as 2 octave scales. The key is figuring out a comfortable place to shift positions. For example, if you have an A Minor chord you can use your 4th finger for A on the E string, and then C with your 2nd finger, E with your first. So you have your E on the D string you can take your first finger and shift to 7th position and your first finger is now on the A.
  4. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    You may be interested in this thread:

    Internalizing scales, chords, and arpeggios

    You will note in that thread that there are scale positions up and down the neck, and then there are arpeggio positions up and down the neck that correspond to those scale possitions. Basically, if you are in a key, you can expect specific chords/arpeggios related to that key. Then if you are in one of the scale positions, you can play each arpeggio for each chord out of that one scale position.

    You are going to need to understand the concept of diatonic harmony, or the I ii iii IV V vi vii chord sequence, to get the most of this discussion. For help with that, look here:

    Introduction to Scale and Chord Theory

  5. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    Dang, I couldn't live without arpeggio's.

    Hold the groove...climb up the neck and grab a couple of the odd chord tones to set up the turn around...back into the pocket....