How to Improvise with the Half dim Arpeggio over the Blues and add a Trill Ornaments

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How to Improvise with the Half dim Arpeggio over the Blues and add a Trill Ornaments

In this lesson, we will learn how to improvise with the half dim arpeggio over the dominant chord to get the 7add9 sound.

I will demonstrate it over a blues form in two difficulty levels. The easy level uses the arpeggio itself and the advanced level adds an ornament.

Arpeggios are broken chords, where the chord notes are played as single notes.

You need three main skills to play beautiful solos with arpeggios:

  • Know the arpeggios of every chord you are improvising over. at least 5 positions for each chord.
  • Know how to decorate the arpeggios with trills, ornaments and rhythm variations.
  • Know how to move from one arpeggio to another through the closest note, everywhere on your fingerboard, to be able to create long sentences.
Getting the 7add9 sound

The best way to get the 7/9 sound is by playing a half dim arpeggio starting from the 3rd degree of the dom7 chord.

In the following example, we want to get the C7/9 sound by playing a half dim arpeggio from the 3rd degree of the chord C (=the note E).

Let’s do the same over the chords of blues in Bb.

For Bb7 we’ll play a Dm7b5 arpeggio.

For Eb7 we’ll play a Gm7b5 arpeggio

For F7 we’ll play a Am7b5 arpeggio

We’ll also use a Cm7 arpeggio for the Cm7 chord.

The Shapes

In the following shapes, you’ll have the root of the Dom7 marked in red and the m7b5 arpeggio starting on its 3rd degree marked in blue.

The Licks

Here are four licks based on these arpeggios. You can play each lick in a simple way or you can add the ornament to make the phrase more interesting and stylistic.I have used the same ornament in all the phrases. The ornament adds one hammer-on with a note above the arpeggio note.

Lick#1 – Bb7/9

Lick#2 – Eb7/9

Lick#3 – Eb7/9

Lick#4 – F7/9

Now let’s combine these 4 phrases into a complete improvisation:

Complete Etude (easy version):
Complete Etude (advanced version):

Click here to learn how to master all the arpeggios you need to know to play beautiful Gypsy and Jazz solos and master the rest stroke technique.

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11 Comments
  • Brian Keeler
    Posted at 11:38h, 17 September Reply

    Really wonderful Yaakov- Thanks so much for sharing your expertise! I can see lots of valuable practice time ahead with your teaching. Regards, Brian Keeler

    • Yaakov Hoter
      Posted at 15:33h, 20 September Reply

      Thanks Brian!
      My Pleasure!

  • Trent Anderson
    Posted at 13:57h, 19 September Reply

    Great lesson, Yaakov. Thanks! Your explanations are always so detailed and easy to follow. Trent Anderson

    • Yaakov Hoter
      Posted at 15:33h, 20 September Reply

      Thanks Trent! I am happy to hear that!

  • Gunnar Sælen
    Posted at 14:01h, 19 September Reply

    Another great lesson! Cheers, Gunnar

    • Yaakov Hoter
      Posted at 15:33h, 20 September Reply

      Thanks!
      Best wishes

  • Tuhin Subhra Mandal
    Posted at 05:42h, 20 September Reply

    Thanks sir..to send me this arppegio..i am a big fan of urs..can u plz send me the c major triad staff note…in my mail…have a nice day sir..

    • Yaakov Hoter
      Posted at 15:32h, 20 September Reply

      You can get my arpeggio book for free if you register here above this post

  • Martin Lawson
    Posted at 16:46h, 24 September Reply

    Hi Yaakov,

    Good lesson which I’m currently spending time absorbing.

    I understand the close relationship between Dom7 and Half Dim but can the Half Dim also be played over other arpeggios too? To my ears it sounds like it would work over a straight Maj chord?

    Thanks, Martin

    • Yaakov Hoter
      Posted at 01:45h, 25 September Reply

      Dear Martin
      The Half dim7 does not fit the Maj7 chord, because it has the b7th degree of the root chord.
      For example – when you Play Bm7b5 you have the notes-
      B_D_F_A
      which are the
      3_5_b7_5
      of G7
      There for, if you want to play a chord on the third degree of a Maj7 chord that will
      give you the 9th sound, you have to play a m7 chord and not a m7b5 chord.
      To summer that up-
      Dim7 over the 3rd degree gives you the 7b9 sound, work over DOM7 chords
      m7b5 over the 3rd degree gives you the 7/9 sound, work over DOM7 chords
      m7 over the 3rd degree gives you the Maj7/9 sound, work over MAJ7 chords

      Hope that helps
      Best regards
      Yaakov

  • Martin
    Posted at 13:43h, 05 October Reply

    Hi Yaakov,

    Belated many thanks for your reply Sir!

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