Arpeggios are a major part of technique building, ear training, improvisational sound and a way of developing good fretboard visualization for guitarists.
In this eBook by Five Towns College (New York) faculty member, Bill Farrish, we get Bill’s unique way of approaching long arpeggios. In the introduction of this eBook, Bill writes. “The long arp studies in this book are as taught to me by Joe Monk. Joe was a huge fan of Johnny Smith who is credited with first applying these to jazz guitar.”
At 15 pages, the eBook doesn’t seem very long. But, when you start working on the material you can really see the depth of how useful these studies are.
At the beginning, Bill introduces us to the long arpeggios with C major and then A minor triads. He then shows different fingerings going through the cycle of fourths (F major, D minor, Bb major, G minor and so forth).
After that, we get the arpeggios in two different exercise formats going through the cycle of fourths, in time played as 16th notes. This is an important exercise as it teaches us how to play the triads as 16th notes and not just triplets because of the 3 note structure.
Moving on, the true potential of the fingerings are explored with added tensions and approach notes which embellish the fingerings. Some of this reminded me of the DVD/video set Creative Phrasing of Guitar by Berklee professor Joe Rogers which I previously reviewed. The difference however is in how fluid the fingerings are especially when I started to get a hang of the position shifts.
This is the kind of challenges I remember facing when I worked on the Diatonic Major And Minor Scales book from Andres Segovia. In terms of technical benefits, I saw similar results working on Bill’s material.
This is all very challenging material that is extremely rewarding when you practice it more and more. I got so much out of this book, and it’s only been a few days. I am definitely including this in my current practice routine.
I recommend this eBook for jazz guitarists who are interested in developing a more fluid fingering technique for improvisation. What a valuable resource this is! Thank you Bill for sharing this with the world.
Pros: Great material, well organized and hours of practice material.
Cons: None for me, but do note that there is no tablature included in the book. However, fingerings are clearly notated along in the standard notation.
TLDR: If you play jazz guitar and you’ve been stuck playing in position or boxes, this eBook might be a way to get out from that.
Get your copy of the eBook here: https://guitarschool.billfarrish.com/long-arpeggio-studies
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