Guitar Essentials: How to Create Easy-to-Play Arpeggio Shapes

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Many guitarists struggle to play arpeggios. And while the effort is necessary if you want to master arpeggios, guitar instructor Jens Larsen has developed his own method that makes the process easier.

“Arpeggios are often difficult to play because they are a mix of one and two notes per string, and it can also be hard to use them to make nice lines with extensions,” Larsen explains.

In his new video, he demonstrates how you can change your chord voicings to create two-note-per-string arpeggio shapes with extensions.

“Whenever we can relate a scale or an arpeggio to a shape we already know—like a chord shape—not only is it easier to learn that arpeggio or scale, but we also get an idea about where and how we can use that scale or arpeggio,” he explains.

“The approach I am going to cover here will use that approach to make some arpeggios with added extensions that are easy to play because they are two notes per string, so we can incorporate hammer on/pull offs to execute them.”

We’ve featured Jens’ videos here before, including his lesson on a new way of looking at the pentatonic scale, and his video comparing the tone of new and seven-year-old strings. Take a look at Larsen’s very useful lesson, and when you’re done, check out the other videos on his YouTube channel.