Dominant 7th Arpeggio
An arpeggio, as it relates to music, is similar to a broken chord. The only difference when playing a broken chord is that the notes of the chord are played out of sequence from how the chord is spelled. When playing an arpeggio the notes are in sequence of how the chord is spelled. The notes of an A dominant 7th or more commonly known as A7th chord are A, C#, E, and G. When played in that order these notes would create an arpeggio. The same would apply going backwards as well. A dominant 7th chord going backwards would be A, G, E, and C# the notes adjacent to one another are not skipped or missed.
Dominant 7th arpeggios are used in all musical genres, especially in classical music. When played correctly the arpeggio will have a harp like flowing sound that is very predictable and soothing to the ear. Arpeggios made their way into the rock guitar world especially in progressive rock and usually using a smooth distorted sound and often played very quickly.
In the Major key, the dominant 7th arpeggio, scale and chord structure are derived from the Mixolydian mode. The dominant 7th arpeggio can also be found in the Harmonic Minor key, Melodic Minor key and the Harmonic Major key.
Although the Arpeggio and chord structure always remain the same, the scale derived from these modes will be altered, giving the Arpeggio and chord structure different tension notes when they are extended. For example a C dominant 7th chord derived from the Mixolydian mode would have the extension notes D, F, and Bb added to the C7th , whereas the C7th chord derived from the 5th tone of the Harmonic Minor scale would have the notes Db, F, and Ab added to the arpeggio or chord extension. This mode is referred to as the Phrygian Dominant Mode.
Furthermore, the C7th derived from the Melodic Minor scale would have two dominant 7th chords present, one derived from the fourth degree and one derived from the fifth degree extensions. From the fourth degree would be D, F#, and A added to the arpeggio or chord structure. This mode is referred to as the Lydian Dominant mode. the extensions from the fifth degree would be D, F, and Ab added to the arpeggio or chord structure.
In the video below I will demonstrate the A dominant 7th chord arpeggio in five different positions on the guitar which can be used in improvisation, rhythm accompaniment, and melody’s. Have fun and enjoy.