Arpeggios Nine

Tired of playing 1, 3, 5 arpeggios? Well, just add the 9th.

The 9th is the second note of a major scale, up an octave. The formula for a Major add 9 arpeggio is (1,3,5,9). For example, the notes in a G add 9 arpeggio are (G,B,D,A).

Example 1 shows a G add 9 arpeggio with the voicing, or the order of notes (1,5,9,3). This pattern sounds cool when picked fast and is great for developing your picking hand. By the way, there is no sweep picking used in any of these examples.

MP3 - Example 1 - Slow
MP3 - Example 1 - Fast

Example 2 is a G add 9 arpeggio with some string skipping. I placed the root and 3rd up an octave. When learning new ideas it's very important to apply these ideas to your playing.

MP3 - Example 2 - Slow
MP3 - Example 2 - Fast

Example 3 shows a arpeggiated progression using all Major add 9 arpeggios with string skipping. Also notice the variation of the notes in beat 2 of the A add9 and the B add9, while the D add 9 arpeggio decends.

MP3 - Example 3 - Slow
MP3 - Example 3 - Fast

Now we will talk about Minor add 9 arpeggios. The formula for a Minor add 9 arpeggio is (1,b3,5,9). Example 4 shows an A Minor add 9 arpeggio. The notes are (A,C,E,B).

MP3 - Example 4 - Slow
MP3 - Example 4 - Fast

With Example 5 we are using more string skipping. These are similar to the Major examples shown earlier, but the 3rd is lowered.

MP3 - Example 5 - Slow
MP3 - Example 5 - Fast

Let's mix Major and Minor add 9 arpeggios together. Check out Example 6. In this example we apply what we learned by linking Major and Minor add 9 arpeggios across the neck through the chord changes -- E Minor add 9, G add 9, D add 9, and finally C add9.

MP3 - Example 6 - Slow
MP3 - Example 6 - Fast


Make sure you use alternate picking for all of the examples. Also, record the chord changes and play the arpeggios through them. And don't forget to experiment. Check out my CD "Full Circle" where you'll hear me using these arpeggios a lot, as well as other extended arpeggios. Good luck.

Mike Campese is an all-around music performer, session artist and teacher competent in many musical styles, electric and acoustic. He has studied at G.I.T. (Honors Graduate), and with Paul Gilbert, Norman Brown, Stanley Jordan, Scott Henderson and Keith Wyatt.

Mike Campese: The Fire Within