I posted this on another thread.. but I wanted to give it it's own space, in hopes that more of you will see it.

This is what I have my students do after I've explained the major scale and it's modes, how chords are made and the circle of 5th's has been learned.

Basically, when you're sweeping, you're generally playing arpeggios, which are broken up chords. Just like modes, there is a chord for every note.

Assuming you know the A major scale, draw it out using the common shape:


But write it out as scale degrees. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7.

Your chords are made from every other note. The I chord is 1,3,5,7. The ii chord is 2,4,6,8. The iii chord is 3,5,7,2 and so on. (Capital roman numerals means Major tonality and lower case mean minor). These are the "seventh chords". If you leave out the 4th number, you would have triads.

I recommend starting with the triads and adding in the 7th tone when you master the triads.

Now what I usually do is have the student write the scale across the whole neck. This was you can start to see the different shapes going up the neck.

Another way is to know that you have a few different kinds of triads.

Major is: 1,3,5
Minor: 1,b3, 5
Diminished: 1,b3, b5
and Augmented: 1,3, #5

Now rewrite your major scale patter from before with just the chord tones for major, then minor, diminished and so on.. By now you won't need to buy those guitar diagram posters that are so overpriced.

Now you'll have your different arpeggio shapes starting from the sixth string.

Now, if you didn't know, if you were to harmonize chords for every note in the major scale you would have:

I (maj7), ii (Min7), iii (Min7), IV (Maj7), V (7, dominant or just major when using triads), vi (Min7), vii (Min7b5, diminished).

Now, with your root notes laid out for you on the page you made for the scale across the neck, you'll be able to start working on the arpeggios across the neck and be playing in key at all times.

The main thing is to now apply the rest stroke, pushing/pulling the pick through the strings, and make sure to only use down stroke when ascending and upstrokes when descending. When you can play through your chord scale using arpeggios.. start creating chord progressions and shredify them!


Any questions?