Use Arpeggios to Create Melody

Really cool things can happen from a simple idea. We thought it would be great to create a lesson that helped songwriters develop a melody by using arpeggios. What happened, though, is that when we started playing around with arpeggios we realised that we'd come up with some good warm-up exercises for piano, guitar, vocals and many other instruments.

In all honesty, if you're quite familiar with arpeggios there might not be anything new here. This is a foundation lesson. But, it's not beginner stuff either. There's a bit of meat here. Watch this video lesson that explores working through pairs of chords using arpeggios. There's minor chords, major chords, 7th chords and minor 7th chords. The combinations you can come up with after watching this lesson will probably be endless. Click play and enjoy!

As a bonus for visiting our website we've included a diagram that shows the notes of all the arpeggios shown in the video lesson. Notice that we've ignored time signatures. In the video all lessons are played in four/four timing regardless of the amount of notes used. The point of that was to just focus on the sounds of the actual notes. The same goes for the diagram included here. Just focus on the actual notes and don't worry about incomplete bars or time signatures. Sure, that music theory is very important but there's a good reason why we've bypassed it here.

Take a look at the score/tab for the E7 chord. If this was in 4/4 timing the bar would end after the first four notes, the fifth note would therefore be the first note of a new bar. Ok, that's fine. The trouble is that this left three more beats of dead space before the next chord kicked in. It felt too empty and the bond between the chords and notes was lost. Then, we hear you say, why not use 3/4 timing or some other appropriate timing? The answer is basically what we wrote earlier - we just want to focus on the actual notes.

arpeggios for piano and guitar

Here's the take home advice from this lesson. Practice these ideas as exercises. When it comes to composing melody lines to songs you've got a good foundation. You just might have to be a little creative. For example, let's say you do have a song in standard 4/4 timing, try sustaining the last note over the 'dead space' we mentioned earlier. Or, you could find a way to fit all the notes into the same bar which means using eighth notes (or smaller) sometimes instead of quarter notes.

If all of this seems overwhelming at your current playing level give it time. Go over this post now and then and things will be fine. Happy jamming!