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Expand Your Melodic Colors with 9th Arpeggios

Expand Your Melodic Colors with 9th Arpeggios

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9th Chord Arpeggios 2

When learning these, or any, arpeggios, it is always a good idea to work out fingerings for them in a number of areas on the neck. This will allow you to always have these shapes under your fingers no matter where you are on the guitar, or what key you are playing in at the time.

Here are the same 9th arpeggios from the previous example but starting with the Dm9 root on the fifth string, and sticking to that general area for the next two shapes. After you have worked out these fingerings, try taking them to other octaves and areas of the neck in order to get a full grasp of how these shapes lie in each area of the guitar.

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9th Chord Arpeggios Lick

To finish this introduction to 9th Arpeggios for guitar, here's a ii V I lick that uses 9th arpeggios as the basis for each chordal outline.

In order to spice things up a bit, I’ve added a lower-approach note to the root-note in the first bar.

If you want to explore this concept further, you can check out my column “Three Easy Steps to Creating Killer Arpeggio Licks.”

After learning this lick in the key below, C major, practice it in other keys, all 12 if possible, at different tempos and then apply it to your solos over different tunes you are working on in the practice room. When you're comfortable with this lick, build your own soloing ideas, either writing them out or on the spot, that use 9th arpeggios as the melodic basis for your phrases and licks.

Click the audio sample below to hear this 9th arpeggio Lick:

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Adding one extra note to your root-based arpeggios is a great way to add color to your lines, while still outlining the underlying chord changes in a very real and interesting fashion. Check out these fingerings in the woodshed this week. Then, try bringing them to other chords you know, other keys, chord progressions and to full tunes that you are working on in your jazz guitar practice routine.

What do you think about 9th arpeggios, or do you have any tips or tricks for learning these shapes? Share your thoughts in the COMMENTS below.

Matt Warnock is the owner of, a free website that provides hundreds of lessons and resources designed to help guitarists of all experience levels meet their practice and performance goals. Matt lives in the UK, where he is a senior lecturer at the Leeds College of Music and an examiner for the London College of Music (Registry of Guitar Tutors).


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