TIP OF THE DAY

Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The I IV V Chord Progression
Advanced Tablature for Arpeggiation

The key innovation in this example of arpeggiation is the addition of notes outside the chord. In the G chord, we have added the note A, the 2nd of the chord. Why does it work? It connected the B and the G, both notes in the G chord, and it works to build a bit of tension. The C chord has both D and A in it - the 2nd and the 6th. Why does it work? You will note this is the same right thumb pattern as in the G chord, so it echos what went before and what will happen in the following measure. The D chord has a G in it, the 4th of the chord, which is the classical way of suspending a chord. Why does it work? It both connects the F#(3) and the A(5), but it also calls out for a return to the G chord (i.e., if you repeat the entire progression, which you should do dozens of times.

Another aspect of this exercise in arpeggiation is that everything is written in a strictly R-L-R-L alternating manner, which makes it easy to play. Also, the first three measures have the same right hand pattern, while the last measure has a right hand pattern which mirrors the pattern of the first three measures. And each of the left hand patterns have just two notes that alternate, so they all mirror each other.

I IV V advanced arpeggio

Listen to the I, IV, and V chords in advanced arpeggios.