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Exotic Techniques: Unassisted Tapped Arpeggios Lesson

In this lesson, we will go over two unique voicings of tapped arpeggios that, once mastered, will open other creative doorways for you to expand upon this approach and apply it to other avenues of your playing.

These arpeggios are demonstrated here in groupings of four. Like most of my licks that require unassisted hammer-ons, a string dampener would be recommended here.

FIGURE A shows us how to play an Em7, which is a great arpeggio because it can actually be used over a G major chord or an E minor chord. A major 6 chord is actually an inversion of its relative minor with an added flat 7.

So a Gmaj6 and an Em7 actually contain the exact same notes (E, G, B, and D), yet they have a different one of those four notes in the bass.

FIGURE B shows us how to play an Em6/C, which is somewhat of an exotic chord and has a very interesting sound. Both FIGURE A and FIGURE B start off with an unassisted hammer-on of a fifth with your fretting hand. The most challenging aspect of internalizing these arpeggios is getting good at changing from position to position fluidly without any noticeable interruption in the steady stream of notes.

Finally, the last example shows us how to take this Em7 shape and move it diatonically in the key of E minor from Em7 to Am7 to Bm7. Following the Bm7 is the Em6/C arpeggio, which adds a nice change of sound to the progression to keep it from sounding too harmonically static.

Cyamak Ashtiani is an award-winning rock/pop guitarist and songwriter who has written, toured and recorded with a multitude of major and indie recording artists. Recently, he has toured with Rockstar: Supernova's Lukas Rossi and country/rap artist Mikel Knight. You can catch his new project with former Dry Cell frontman Jeff Gutt at and his clothing line at, of which he is a cofounder.