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Published on January 12th, 2015 | by Sam

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2 Octave Arpeggios

(Make sure to check out my post on One Octave Arpeggios here)

Two octave arpeggios are another tool that the jazz guitarist (or any guitarist!) should have in their arsenal.  Two octave arpeggios are simply arpeggios that span two octaves.  For this article, we will go from root up through 2 octaves of the arpeggio to the 7th and back down.

The two octave arpeggio has a big range…two octaves.  So these aren’t quite as immediately useable as the one octave versions.  They are still really helpful to get a better handle on the neck across the neck – from E to E.

These fingerings are all going to start on the E or the A strings.  When you learn these, try to learn the actual notes instead of the shapes.  Of course if the shapes help you get them down, work with them but try to get the notes happening as soon as possible.

How to Organize Two Octave Arpeggios

We are going to start with the major 7 arpeggio since you can change a note or two to create a dominant, minor, or half diminished arpeggio.  The major 7 arpeggio will be our blank slate then.  For more details, make sure to check out the lesson on one octave arpeggios here.

Learning a bunch of fingerings can get really overwhelming so it’s important to have a strategy to deal with the amount of information you’ll have.  It’s best to think of these starting from each finger on each string.  Since two octave arpeggios have such a big range we are really only starting from the E and A strings.  So we will have:

E String

1. First finger
2. Middle finger
3. Ring/Pinky finger

A String

1. First finger
2. Middle finger
3. Ring/Pinky finger

Here are the fingerings:

2 Octave Arpeggios – E string

2 Octave Arpeggios

2 Octave Arpeggios -A string

2 Octave Arpeggios

Notice that when you start on the A string with the ring/pinky fingers you have to jump up to get the 7th of the chord.

Dominant 7 Chord 2 Octave Arpeggios

Now, let’s edit these two octave arpeggios to get the dominant chords.  All you need to do is lower the 7th:

2 Octave Arpeggios

2 Octave Arpeggios

Minor 7 Chord 2 Octave Arpeggios

In order to get minor 7 arpeggios, lower the 7th and 3rd.

2 Octave Arpeggios2 Octave Arpeggios

Half Diminished Chord 2 Octave Arpeggios (Min7b5)

Finally, to get half diminished, lower 7th, 3rd, and 5th.

2 Octave Arpeggios2 Octave Arpeggios

How to practice Two Octave Arpeggios

Practice these similarly to the suggestions for the one octave arpeggios:

1. Practice in cycles – You can use the cycle of fourths, or create different cycles of minor 3rds, major 3rds, etc.

2. Practice in a tune – Make these contextual by practicing in tunes.  You also will end up moving from chord to chord differently, which is useful for ‘real life’ applications, ie you will go from minor 7 to dominant 7.

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