Warm Up Exercise

Beginner Arpeggio Fun! One Shape, 10 Riffs (Amaj7 & Dmaj7)

Lesson #390

Video lesson

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Editor’s notes

Hey friends! Today I dive into the world of arpeggios, and want to show you a series of riffs & licks all created using a single major 7th (maj7) arpeggio shape. I’ll be bouncing between two chords (Amaj7 and Dmaj7) – backing track included – and I’ll show you how you any riff you create can be “moved” to work with either of the two chords. I’ll lead by example, showing 11 different riffs (with tabs for their corresponding Amaj7 and Dmaj7 versions) – and walk you through each one.

Video timestamps:

Arpeggios are new to me, to be honest: only through a few YouTube videos did I recently realize the value of being familiar with them (the most helpful video being this lesson from Justin Sandercoe). While I’ll save my own “introduction to arpeggios” video for another day, I do include a recap at the start of this lesson where I catch you up on the major scale and what defines an arpeggio.

Backing Track to Accompany This Lesson

Here’s the backing track I made to help you practice the concepts I show. This simply goes back and forth between Amaj7 and Dmaj7, spending 4 measures on each. I’ve intentionally made t his track very casually paced – giving you plenty of time to riff and prepare for chord changes.


The backing track loop, written out with counting, is as follows. Note, there is one measure (4 counts) of drums to count you in before the full instrumentation begins.

Amaj7                               Dmaj7
1 2 3 4  1 2 3 4  1 2 3 4  1 2 3 4  1 2 3 4  1 2 3 4  1 2 3 4  1 2 3 4



Need help reading fretboard diagrams, and wrapping your head around the concept of intervals (scale degrees)? Check out lesson #363:

Need help with the major scale positions and the CAGED chord shapes? Check out lesson #384:

And I also have lesson #385 where I introduce the CAGED chord shapes on their own, if that’s new to you.

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