What a Difference This Has Made!
I was overwhelmed! My teacher told me, "Tom, there are seven chords you need to learn in five differnent places on the guitar. On top of that there are five scales you need to know, also in five places. And, you need to learn all this in twelve keys... and arpeggios patterns too."
How I'm I going to learn all of this, I thought. I can't even remember my wife's phone number! Maybe I should give up guitar.
It's Not Brain Surgery
My teacher said, "Break it down." That got me to really look at what my fingers were doing on the fretboard when I was playing arpeggios. I soon realized that arpeggios can go only one of two directions; either up the neck or down the neck. I also saw that the third, fifth, and seventh intervals of any arpeggio always fell in the same general area.
Ah ha! Instead of learning the positions of notes in every apreggio, I began learning the positions of the third, fifth, and seventh interval keeping in mind that these intervals could be either sharp or flat.
With this way of looking at arpeggios, I felt like I knew them rather than memorized them. It also allowed me to anticipate the sound my arpeggio would make, dominant, minor, major etc. When I played along with a backing track, I found I could choose what sound I wanted and create. I could add melodies in a way that could stay in the key or go outside. I was surprised at how polished I was sounding.
This Approach Works!
This approach to improvisation that works for me I have put into this book. I've recreated the exercises that I used to help me visualize arpeggios and build muscle memory. Like every other book on this website, I made it to help me play better. I don't know your learning style but if you are reading this, I bet you are a lot like me. I think you will enjoy this book.
I am no Django Reinhardt but how he incorporated arpeggios into his playing has inspired me to take them seriously and learn to play them. It has made a huge difference in my playing.