Tip #214 – Using the Blues Arpeggio

An interesting topic that I found from other composers is the use of the blues arpeggio. It looks something like this:

Just like how you can arpeggiate the chord harmony, the blues arpeggio works great over dominant-seventh chords in the blues format.

Notice that even as you are going down in the arpeggio, the lowered-third comes before the raised-third. This is so you can obtain that classic blues slide sound as well as the microtonal blue note in-between. Of course, this is a preference, not a strict rule.

In addition, just as the chords change in the 12-bar blues format, so will the arpeggiation. It does not stay strictly to the key signature; more so, it is determined by the root of the dominant-seventh chord.

Try practicing with them!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Author: Bryan M. Waring

Bryan Waring is a graduate of USM's School of Music with a B.M. in Performance – Composition and is now attending Belmont University for a M.M. in Commercial Media – Composition & Arranging. During his time at USM, he studied violin with Dino Liva and composition with Dr. Daniel Sonenberg, as well as has premiered several pieces during the semiannual Composer's Ensemble concert series. In 2017, Bryan was a writer for the original musical theater work of "Molded By The Flow," directed by Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert. Outside of school, Bryan has been involved with writing music for videogame developers at Portland's CI2 Lab, collaborating with the King Tide Party, and studying with Larry Groupé (Straw Dogs) in San Diego. Now living in Nashville. Along with composing, Bryan teaches music to children, receiving the Master Teacher Award for his work at ESF Camps; and does audio engineering for live ensembles. Besides talents in music, Bryan is a team-player in any competitive work environment; equipped with skills in leadership, organization, mathematics, creativity, communication, and managing. On the side, Bryan has worked as a model for several skilled artists in the New England area. Among his other accomplishments include obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in April 2013 with a project of building a side parking area with guide rails for Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT.

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