It is true that open chords are primarily associated with beginner guitarists who are just starting to get their wings, but did you know that open chords have a place far beyond the world of beginner bass guitarists?
Some of the best sounding jazz chords involve open notes, and are thus considered open chords. In fact, there are a ton of different chords in different styles that involve the usage of open notes as well as fretted notes, giving a broader, more powerful overall sound to the chord.
In this article, we are going to talk about some of the simpler open note chords in a whole new light; open note minor 7th arpeggios.
Before we begin, let’s talk about what arpeggios are. You may have noticed we talked a bit about chords. Well, that is due to the fact that chords and arpeggios are, in the simplest of terms, the same exact things.
Arpeggios are simply chords that are played on single note at a time, in an upward to downward or downward to upward motion. In most cases, arpeggios are paired with a technique known as sweep picking. For more information on sweep picking, visit our articles on sweep picking for the bass guitar.
For our minor 7th arpeggios with open notes, we are going to keep it simple and use the A minor scale, that way sharps and flats and other crazy accidental notes won’t be any confusion.
The first of our A Minor 7th chord arpeggios is going to be a simple tonic arpeggio. This arpeggio will follow the tonic triad, adding a seventh, and will be in the first inversion (meaning that the arpeggio will follow the proper form, from the low notes to the high).
As you should know already (and if you don’t, you may want to take some time to learn about how triads and seventh chords work by reading back on some of our earlier articles), the tonic triad of A Minor consists of the notes A, C, and E.
Adding a seventh to this will give us the note G, completing our seventh chord. To play this is a simple open note arpeggio, we will play the A string as open, then move up to the tenth fret of the D string for our C, the ninth fret of our G string for E, and the eighth fret of our B string for G. This is the open A minor 7th arpeggio.
The second of our A minor 7th arpeggios will be a dominant arpeggio, built off of the dominant of A minor, which is E. This will give us the triad of E, G, B and the seventh of D. To play this as an open note arpeggio, we can start with an open low E, then move to the third fret of E for G, the second fret of the A string for B, and finally the open D string.
Now that you have a little insight as to how open note 7th arpeggio are made, try and create some of your own!
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