In the previous issue, I looked at playing arpeggios across the strings using a combination of right hand tapping and string skipping, and I illustrated this technique with major and minor triads (in case you missed it, you can check out the last column on my website: For this column, I thought I’d continue on from this idea by applying the same concept to some common seventh arpeggios. A seventh chord/arpeggio is constructed by taking a three note triad and adding a note that is a seventh interval above the root note. The seventh arpeggios I’ve chosen to look at here are: minor seventh (1-b3-5-b7), dominant seventh (1-3-5-b7), major seventh (1-3-5-7), and diminished seventh (1-b3-b5-bb7).


For ease of learning, I’ve based the tapped arpeggio licks in Exercise 1 around the same root note (A) in 12th position. Using 16th note triplets, the basic concept behind these licks is to arrange the notes of a seventh arpeggio onto non-adjacent strings (string skipping) using a repeated three note legato tapping pattern on each applicable string.

I’ve notated the minor seventh arpeggio pattern first, since I feel it’s the easiest to begin with. On the fifth string, tap the 19th fret with your right hand middle (or index) finger, pull-off to your left hand first finger on the 12th fret, and hammer-on to the 15th fret with your third or fourth finger. Repeat this pattern. Now, jump to the third string and tap the 17th fret, pull-off to the 12th fret, and hammer-on to the 14th fret (and repeat). Skip over the second string and tap the first string 17th fret, pull-off to the 12th fret, and then hammer-on to the 15th fret (and repeat). The lick concludes by moving back to the third string pattern. From there, you can repeat the full pattern as many times as you like. These tapped string skipping licks sound best at a moderate to fast tempo (around 100-140bpm) to create a fluid and flowing sound.

Once you have the Amin7 arpeggio lick mastered, simply raise the third degree to form an A dominant seventh arpeggio (A becomes A#). When you’re comfortable with the dominant seventh pattern, raise the flat seven to a major seventh interval to make it an Amaj7 arpeggio (G becomes G#). For the Adim7 arpeggio, go back to the Amin7 shape and lower the fifth and flat seven degrees a half step (E to Eb, G to Gb).

Hear Exercise 1


When you have all four seventh arpeggio licks down, try applying them to a chord progression – as I’ve done here for Exercise 2. This is a common Im7-VII7-VImaj7-V7-Im progression in A minor (Am7-G7-Fma7-E7-Am). Note that I’ve used an E7b9 chord to denote that a Fdim7 arpeggio is actually used here as a substitution over the V7 chord. Transitioning between each tapped arpeggio is probably the hardest aspect of this lick, so start slow and then gradually work towards the suggested a tempo of 120bpm.

Hear Exercise 2

Try exploring other ways of playing these tapped string skipping seventh arpeggios such as using different positions, phrasing or rhythms. You could also apply this concept to other types of seventh arpeggios like Min7b5 (1-b3-b5-b7), Min/Maj7 (1-b3-5-7), or Maj7#5 (1-3-#5-7).