CAGED Arpeggios I - Interlocking Forms

Here is a great way of acquiring some useful improvisational tools, improving your techniques, sharpening your position shifting, discovering new chord shapes and learning some notes around the board. Carve up this pattern of arpeggios using the economical fingerings provided. These patterns cross the strings relentlessly so whilst you alternate pick, slide, hammer-on, tap and pull-off, etc.; be sure to work in some sweeping.


Take a rest, grab a fretboard diagram and examine all the notes. They are all D, F and A (repeated in that order). DFA are the notes of a D minor chord (or triad). Arpeggios are simply chords broken into their constituent notes and reassembled in alphabetical order from the root or tonic (in this case D).

After you master the pattern, try jamming around in the patterns looking for licks and phrases. Anything you create will be useful in the three keys where DFA can be found loitering with intent i.e. D minor (D E F G A Bv C), A Minor (A B C D E F G A) and G minor (G A Bv C D Ev F). Now try and combine some of the patterns into fretable variations of the humble open D minor chord.

If you are feeling industrious, break up another common chord and arpeggiate it across your board. If you put redistribute an A minor for example you could bounce between this and the Dm shapes in order to produce a progression. Masochists might even try extending each arpeggio with 6ths, 7ths, 9ths, 11ths and 13th.

Guy Pople is a music, education and multimedia specialist based in the UK`s North-West. He plays guitars, studies theory and runs St Annes Music in Lytham St. Annes, a one-stop shop for musicians on the Fylde coast of Lancashire. St Annes Music offers professional instruments, recording, tuition and accessories.

His live band Nomad is currently building up their original music. You can catch him
on Virtual Strangers.

Guy Pople

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