05 Sep 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.
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.
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.
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: