Chords, Scales & Arpeggios

Let's clear up the differences between chords, scales, and arpeggios! :)

View the full lesson at Chords, Scales & Arpeggios | JustinGuitar

Based on the definition of arpeggios in the Learn More section, wouldn’t fingerstyle picking of chords introduced in Grade 2 module 11 be an arpeggio?

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An arpeggio is a type of broken chord, in which the notes that compose a chord are played or sung in a rising or descending order.

So yes if played in order I guess

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So a finger roll (also module 16) would also be a fast arpeggio? :slight_smile:

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yeah tho dont quote me I am not an expert the whole arpeggio thing has always confused me


Well, if you roll e.g. an open D major chord in the order of fingering, then you’ll play the 3rd (F#) last, so it will be only an arpeggiated chord instead of a legit arpeggio that would have the order of D - F# - A.


Justin explains in this very video the difference between a “true” arpeggio and an arpeggiated chord (e.g. roll or fingerpicked chord).

Even more info on arpeggio’s here:

These “true” arpeggios are really a rather advanced technique used for lead playing.


That would be termed ‘arpeggiated’.

Fingertyle uses the technique of arpeggiating chords, playing them in an arpeggiated manner, often with embellishment melody notes added too.

The differences between the two are subtle but important.

I hope that helps.
Cheers :smiley:
| Richard | JustinGuitar Approved Teacher, Official Guide & Moderator

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@jjw1 @Jozsef Thanks. I watched the video again and realized that the explanation of arpeggio had been completely overlooked in the previous viewing. I had seen the explanation when studying piano and thought that I understood the term. Now I think that I understand.

The arpeggio shapes in the grade 8 arpeggio lessons is well beyond my abilities but appears to consist of scales with just the notes of the chord

@Richard_close2u Richard. Thanks. I’ve been guilty of confusing the terms in the past so this has been educational.