Marty Friedman style arpeggio lesson

Learn to play arpeggios like Marty Friedman  

Marty Friedman is a true arpeggio master. He makes use of them in all possible ways: As effective shred licks, as a melodic tool and for phrasing.

In this lesson we will have a look at the shred way of doing them - in the style of Megadeth "Rust in Peace" album.

Marty's approach is very useful, as opposed to many shred guitarists he doesn't just sweep the arpeggios up and down - instead he will often play them horizontally on 2-3 strings.

Not only does this open up more for improvisation and interesting variations - it is also a technique much suitable for guitarists of all levels. In fact, this was probobly one of the first arpeggio techniques I could start jamming with, when I was a fresh guitarist.

     Major 7 two-string-arpeggios


Ok - so what's the deal with the major7 thing? An E major7 chord looks like this...



Not something you would typically associate with Megadeth... However, the arpeggio which we will play has the same notes as this chord, except we will only be playing them on the e- and b-string:

E major 7 arpeggio Marty Friedman

Compare this to a standard major arpeggio:

E major arpeggio Marty Friedman

The major 7 arpeggio only has one more note than a standard major arpeggio. Still, this extra note makes a huge difference in playablity. Up to this day I am still struggling with major arpeggio improvisations - but the stuff which I am showing you in this lesson was something I mastered a long time ago - once again thanks to the extra major 7 note.


     When to play the Major 7 arpeggio?


The Major 7 arpeggio can be fitted into any chord progression, major or minor. Example: When playing a major 7 arpeggio over and E minor chord progression you can't just use E major 7 - instead you need to need to move the arpeggio three frets up , to the relative major key: G major. In other words, play G major 7 over E minor.

If the key is A major - you can obviously just play an A major 7 arpeggio.

Here is a typical chord progression in E major (where you can use E major 7 arpeggio):

E - A - F#m - B7


     Video lesson


Marty Friedman video lesson arpeggios

If all this theory scares you - don't worry, the video lesson will show you all the cool tricks without one word of theory. I personally believe it is better to get some practical ideas before even attempting to understand the theory behind - otherwise you might loose inspiration quickly.

-> Watch the first part of Marty Friedman arpeggios video lesson.

Good luck!




Marty Friedman Arpeggios backing (150 bpm)
Backing track slow




     Lesson Questions, Feedback & Comments

RIP Dime
post 11th November 2006


Marty Rules!!!
Keith Whalley
post 4th April 2007


What about Dave....
The two combined sound awesome.
Is there any truth to the myth that Dave who worked with Kirk Hammett (early Metallica) and that they both along with Steve Vai were taught by Joe Satriani?
The Useless Eaters
post 14th April 2007


The Useless Eaters
post 14th April 2007


Why we only playing the E and the B string, could you add some more variations so I could better understand the concept. Please
post 13th July 2011


gret lesson simpol but osome
Ivan Milenkovic
post 14th July 2011


@The Useless Eaters If you are interested in creating more elaborate patterns, feel free to use bigger arpeggio patterns/sequences.This lesson explains the style pretty good, but it is always up to a player to do a customized research.

If you ever experience any problems regarding lessons, or you would like me to create/generate more similar arp examples, let me know, and I will be glad to help

post 28th March 2014


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