Melodic Play Through Modal Arpeggios

Do you want to play arpeggio-like melodies with "ear-caching" tensions? Fine! I'm happy to present to you a powerful method for very melodic arpeggio playing.

Myself, I play a very melodic Exotic Metal guitar style, and to make sounding my arpeggios more melodic, I often play arpeggios using other notes than 1-3-5 (i.e. more than root, third and fifth of the chord).

Listen to this example to hear what I'm talking about:

MP3 - Example 1


Sounds interesting? You'll see that it isn't very complicated, but very effective to use!

1. Take your chord (example: E)

2. Play 1-3-5 arpeggios starting on different notes on the scale of the chord (example: notes on the E major scale). Important: Use only notes of this scale!

Example: Play an E in the bass and then the following arpeggios: E major, Ab Minor, B major and Eb dim. These four arpeggios are marked on the fretboard.


Listen to this slow example:

MP3 - Example 2

Each arpeggio adds an extra note to the 1-3-5 arpeggio:

  • Ab Minor: adds the 7th tone
  • B major: adds the 9th tone
  • Eb dim: adds the 11th tone

What you get is a gradual extension of the standard 1-3-5 arpeggio. Use this method, and your arpeggios will sound more melodic than before!

Listen to another example:

MP3 - Example 3


On my album "Electric Storm" you can find more music and melodies using this powerful idea. Check it out...and I'd be happy to hear your own "ear-catching" tensions!

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me.

Dan Keller, Switzerland's Sultan of String, is a guitarist whose original compositions showcase his exotic metal fretwork.

His debut CD is entitled "Electric Storm".

Dan Keller