Learning Minor Arpeggios on Guitar

Posted on

In the previous lesson on arpeggios, we learned what an arpeggio is, how to build a major arpeggio, and the common shapes of the major arpeggios across the fretboard. In this lesson we’ll take a look at the minor arpeggio. We’ll learn what makes up a minor arpeggio, how it differs from the major arpeggio, and its various shapes found on the fretboard. Let’s get started.

Forming Minor Arpeggios

Minor arpeggios are formed from the notes of the minor chord, which are derived from root, 3rd, and 5th intervals of minor scale. The minor arpeggio differs from the major arpeggio in that the 3rd interval is a minor 3rd as opposed to a major 3rd.

Minor Scale

Minor arpeggio scale intervals

Major Scale

Major chord intervals - 1st, major 3rd, 5th

Arpeggio Technique

Like the major version, there are various techniques that we can use when playing minor arpeggios as well. Again, the style you use will largely depend on the type of music you play. Below are a few examples:

CAGED Minor Arpeggio Shapes

Below are the diagrams for the minor arpeggio shapes on guitar. They contain the chord shape from which they are derived and suggested fingerings. Feel free to change up the fingering as necessary if you find an alternative more comfortable.

C shape minor arpeggio
A shape minor arpeggio
G shape minor arpeggio
E shape minor arpeggio
D shape minor arpeggio

Wrap up

The minor arpeggio consists of the root, minor 3rd, and perfect 5th intervals. Like the major counterpart, minor arpeggios can be used to target chord tones in guitar solos and fills and help add a little color to your playing. Again, playing arpeggios can take a little time to get down, so be ready to put in some time!

Get notified of new lessons!