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Major 7th Arpeggios

The Arpeggio Guitar Lessons

How to play Major 7th arpeggios on guitar.

Here are the 5 positions of the Major 7th Arpeggios.

Make sure you practice playing the related chord, then the arpeggio and then the chord again - you should try and build a relationship between the two things (the chord and the arpeggio).


The fingerings are suggestions - I suggest that you break them only if you have a logical reason to. Don't barre with your fingers - use the tips!

Arpeggio Formula

R ^ 3 ^ 5 ^ 7
(of The Major Scale)

This means that you will use the first, third, fifth and seventh degrees of The Major Scale.

Tips for learning arpeggios quickly, easily and perfectly

Don't make any mistakes. Play it 4 times perfectly at a very slow speed and you will find you can speed it up without making mistakes and developing bad habits you will have to correct later.

Do not let your fingers "fold", use the tips the whole time, and definitely NO barrés at any point. Ever.

This will help train your ears into hearing the sound of the major scale, very important. So start on the lowest (pitched) root note, play up as far as you can, then go back down as low as you can, and then back up to the root note.

It is very important that you get all five of these positions down... eventually, but please start with one at a time - much much better to be able to use one scale shape and play a solo than play five up and down and not be able to do anything with them :)

So what is all this CAGED stuff?

The CAGED system applies to arpeggios as well as scales and chords!

Get all the information you need about CAGED at TB-031 • The Caged System

Root Notes???

A root note gives the scale it's name. Look at any of the scales and arpeggios (and most chords) on this site and you will see an R on some notes. This is note that gives the scale it's note name.

For example
Look at Pattern 1 below and notice that the R is on the 6th string (played with the second finger). Whatever note you put that one becomes the name of the scale. So place your second finger at the 3rd fret and you will play the G Major 7 arpeggio (because the note on the 3rd fret of the 6th string is the note G). Place the second finger on the 9th fret and you will play the C# Major 7th arpeggio (because the note at the 9th fret of the 6th string is the note C#)

The Arpeggio Shapes

Major 7 Arpeggio Pattern 1

Pattern 1 (CAGED System = E Shape)

Pretty straight forward this one, often the first arpeggio people learn when they get into jazz! Very useful shape this one, so make sure you learn it well.

None that I know of. This is it.


* REMEMBER to put the root note on the note name of the arpeggio!

Major 7 Arpeggio Pattern 2

Pattern 2 - D shape

This can be a little tricky to play, especially the 2nd string notes, but you will get used to it and it fits the chord shape well.

The most common alternative is to start with your 2nd finger (on the 4th string) but it leads you to playing almost in the E Shape, so I think this is the best option.

You could always experiment yourself and see what you find ;)

Major 7 Arpeggio Pattern 3

Pattern 3 - C shape

Pretty easy position. Make sure you don't barre with the first finger, move it across as you go.

None that I know of. This is it.

Major 7 Arpeggio Pattern 4

Pattern 4 - A shape

Little bit tricky on the 3rd string, but otherwise an easy shape.

Some people leave out the top note on 1st string.

Some people start with the first finger and stretch out for the next note with the little finger, but it makes the notes n the 3rd string harder to reach.

Major 7 Arpeggio Pattern 5

Pattern 5 - G shape

A little bit stretchy, but not too bad :)

Think this is it.

Lesson ID: AR-001