Minor Guitar Arpeggios


Minor guitar arpeggios are the notes of minor chords played one at a time. There are a lot of ways to play minor arpeggios on the neck of the guitar, but this guitar lesson will cover some of the most basic forms.

You might want to look at the Arpeggios for Guitar Primer before digging into this guitar lesson. It will teach you the basics of both playing arpeggios on the guitar, and how to read the arpeggio charts.

Minor Guitar Arpeggio Basics

Each minor arpeggio form is going to have 2 versions. One is going to have a suggested left hand fingering, and the other is going indicate the “functions” of the notes.

The numbering system for the functions is based on how the notes compare to a major scale with the same root. If you see 1, 3, 5, the notes of the arpeggio are the same as the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes in the major scale. That’s actually a major guitar arpeggio.

But if you see 1, b3, 5 then the b3 is a half step (1 fret) lower than the 3rd note a the major scale with the same root. The small (b) is used to represent a flat. This is going to be an important concept for applying music theory to the guitar fretboard.

Even if you don’t fully understand the theory behind the functions at this point, you can still get started with learning the arpeggio forms…and worry about that later. Or don’t worry at all :)

A major scale has 7 different notes, and therefore the functions assigned to the notes of the scale are 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 then it will start over with 1.

Major scale
functions with b3

Major Guitar Scale Chart with b3

Minor Arpeggio Fingering

Minor Guitar Arpeggio Fingering

Minor Arpeggio Functions

Minor Guitar Arpeggio Function

Minor Guitar Arpeggios – Root 6th string

Here are a couple of basic minor guitar arpeggio forms with the root on the 6th string.

Minor Arpeggio Fingering

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 6th String - Fingering

Minor Arpeggio Functions

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 6th String - Function

A Minor Arpeggio Tablature

This is the guitar tablature for an A minor arpeggio using the form above. The notes in parentheses are the root of the arpeggio (A).

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 6th String - Tablature

 

Minor Arpeggio Fingering

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 6th String - Fingering

Minor Arpeggio Functions

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 6th String - Function

A Minor Arpeggio Tablature

This is the tablature for an A minor arpeggio using the form above. The notes in parentheses are the root of the arpeggio (A).

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 6th String - Tablature

 

Minor Guitar Arpeggios – Root 5th string

When playing a guitar arpeggio with the root on a string other that the 6th string do the following.

Start by playing the lowest root (in this case the 5th string)
Play down to the lowest note in the arpeggio form (on the 6th string)
Play up to the highest note in the arpeggio form(1st string)
The come back down and end on the lowest root again.

This way your ear becomes accustom to how the notes relate to the root of the arpeggio. If you just started playing on the lowest note, your ear would hear all of the rest of the notes in relationship to that note, and not the root.

Minor Arpeggio Fingering

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 5th String - Fingering

Minor Arpeggio Functions

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 5th String - Function

D Minor Arpeggio Tablature

This is the tablature for an D minor arpeggio using the form above. The notes in parentheses are the root of the arpeggio (D).

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 5th String - Tablature

 

Minor Arpeggio Fingering

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 5th String - Fingering

Minor Arpeggio Functions

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 5th String - Function

D Minor Arpeggio Tablature

This is the tablature for an D minor arpeggio using the form above. The notes in parentheses are the root of the arpeggio (D).

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 5th String - Tablature

 

Minor Guitar Arpeggios – Root 4th string

Here is a minor arpeggios with the root on the 4th string.

Minor Arpeggio Fingering

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 4th String - Fingering

Minor Arpeggio Functions

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 4th String - Function

G Minor Arpeggio Tablature

This is the tablature for an G minor arpeggio using the form above. The notes in parentheses are the root of the arpeggio (G).

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 4th String - Tablature

 

All Minor Guitar Arpeggios Forms in Order

Another thing you might want to practice is all of the arpeggio forms with the same root. And going from the lowest point you can play on the neck and work your way higher.

Here are all of the forms in order if you were to play them as a G Minor Arpeggio.

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 6th String - Fingering G is on the 6th string, 3rd Fret

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 4th String - Fingering G is on the 4th string, 5th Fret

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 5th String - Fingering G is on the 5th string, 10th Fret

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 5th String - FingeringG is on the 5th string, 10th Fret

Minor Guitar Arpeggio - Root 6th String - Fingering G is on the 6th string, 15th Fret

Try this out with other roots as well. Pick a root at random, and find which minor arpeggio form is the lowest on the neck for that you could play with that root. Then work your way up the neck.

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