Guitar Arpeggios in F Harmonic minor!

Hello and welcome to another lesson of our arpeggio series. Our last lesson included some great exercises to warm up with or learn for beginners, and now this lesson will build on the skills we have already learned, as well as applying some slightly harder theory to build more creative patterns.

Now as the title suggests, this lesson will be focusing on the F Harmonic minor scale which includes the following notes & intervals:

Iii ♭ iiiIVV ♭ ViVii
FGA ♭ B ♭ CD ♭ E

The difference between this scale and a natural minor scale is with the 6th and 7th intervals. The natural minor scale uses a Major 6th and a minor 7th, whereas this scale has the intervals flipped.

This gives us a new set of formula’s we can create while still keeping our notes diatonic. This includes the minorMajor7th which includes the intervals:

I – ♭ iii – V – Vii

This is an interesting selecting of intervals as the iii and the Vii (3rd and 7th) intervals are the notes which determine if the chord is minor or Major. Because we hold both a minor and Major element, we could use a minorMajor7th as a replacement over any minor 7th or Major 7th chord/pattern without our composition sounding like a mess.

Okay, other then that this scale is pretty straight forward, so let’s get going!

Example 1:

This example is a simple warm up to get your fingers rolling. The entire example is built on 3 string arpeggios and is a great starter exercise to ensure you are maintaining clarity throughout your arpeggios. Make sure each note is isolated and to not have clashing tones between multiple strings!

Example 2:

This one is a step up from our first example with some 4 string arpeggios, along with some bar shapes! These take some practice to mute each note after it has been actioned, as well as making sure your barring finger doesn’t slightly bend one of the notes.

Example 3:

This exercise has a great sound to it, yet still relatively easy to perform!

Until bar 4, the progression follows 4 string shapes, both ascending and descending. From bar 9 onward, it changes to 3 string ascends. Changing the picking hand pattern is a great way to enhance the composition, and add a layer of depth to your playing.

Example 4:

Now we have sufficiently warmed up, this next example will be used as our framework to build on for the rest of this lesson. This will help you understand the possibilities and how to decide which one you wish to use.

This progression follows I- ♭Vi-V-IV:

As you can hear, it sounds quite unfinished. However once you have successfully played through this beginning, we will expand further next.

Example 5:

Next up, we are expanding the last exercise with an additional four bars; which all together cycles around each diatonic 7th of our scale!

Our full progression is now: I- ♭Vi-V-IV-♭iii-ii-Vii-I

Example 6:

What we have with the previous example is a great frame to modify. The diatonic 7th’s are already mapped out for us and the ascending/descending pattern is both sporadic and creative. The only thing now is to modify our note/interval selection to open up our possibilities!

With this next example; we have altered all our minor 7th sequences to minor 6th’s, changed all of our Major 7th’s into minorMajor7th’s and also turned our C Dominant 7 into a C Dominant 7 sus 4.

Example 7:

In this exercise, we are taking what we have from our previous example and reversing our 2nd, 4th and 6th bar.

We have also modified our E progression into an E Diminished 7th which fits very nicely here, as well as altering a few of the progressions to perform smoother with the descents.

This includes some tricky stretches, string skipping and inversions that can catch you!

Example 8:

This next example is both challenging and a bunch of fun!

The intervals used are to display to you the vast amount of possibilities you can choose from!

It’s worth mentioning that we included a minor 6 add ♭ 9 progression which substitutes the iii interval with an ♭ii (or ♭9)

Example 9:

We are going to give you one more exercise for this lesson as a challenge to practice until you feel ready to move on!

This exercise takes our last example but descends a scale tone back every third tone throughout the progression (except for in a few places which messed with the flow).

The idea behind this was to help build speed and precision within each block of notes, instead of just sweeping up and down the strings. It is also a good practice as an introduction to economy picking.

Since this tab is quite long and cannot fit to screen, we have included a pdf file you can download if you wish 😉

We hope you have enjoyed learning with us for our Arpeggios lesson! 🙂