Create twists and turns in your solos with four-note 7th-chord arpeggios

A close up of guitarist Bill Frisell's hands as he performs on stage with The Bill Frisell Trio during a soundcheck, Rome, Italy, 10 July 2019. He is playing a Gibson SG guitar fitted with a Bigsby vibrato unit.
(Image credit: Luciano Viti/Getty Images)

My last column focused on four-note arpeggios based on the A Dorian mode (A, B, C, D, E, F#, G), as played on different string sets and in various areas of the fretboard. Let’s expand our look at 7th-chord arpeggios built from the A Dorian mode by incorporating chromaticism and a “scalar” approach. 

An arpeggio is defined as a “broken chord,” meaning that the notes of a given chord are played individually and in succession. The chord tones are determined by playing the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th scale degrees; in A Dorian, these notes are A, C, E and G. When these four notes are played together, an Am7 chord is sounded. 

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Andy Aledort

Guitar World Associate Editor Andy Aledort is recognized worldwide for his vast contributions to guitar instruction, via his many best-selling instructional DVDs, transcription books and online lessons. Andy is a regular contributor to Guitar World and Truefire, and has toured with Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers, as well as participating in several Jimi Hendrix Tribute Tours.