Dom7 Arpeggios Guitar Lesson – Step 3

Arpeggios Guitar Lesson - S3
In this step, we use the same principles you know by now to master all 5 CAGED dom7 arpeggios!

Is The Dom7 Arpeggio The Most Useful Arpeggio?

The most obvious place to play a dom7 arpeggio would be over the V chord as it is the only chord that naturally extends to dom7.

However, whenever a chord has moved from a minor (II, III, and VI) into a major chord (IIx, IIIx, and VIx) it is usually extended to a dom7, rather than maj7.

No matter what the Roman Numeral is, whenever the chord is a dom7, you can use a dom7 arpeggio to improvise with.

As the dom7 chord shapes look very similar to the arpeggio shapes, learning all five isn’t actually that difficult.

Furthermore, since you learned the maj7 arpeggio in the last lesson, and there is only one note different, this step should be pretty quick to complete.

Once you can play each shape as the video lessons demonstrate, try them in D as well.

Playing all D7 arpeggio shapes sets you on a path to go through all keys using the cycle of 4th. So after A7 and D7, continue with G7, C7, F7 etc, like this in a D shape:

Dom7 Arpeggios D shape

Not enough tension?

Since dom7 chords are so incredibly common, it may seem like this is the most useful arpeggio to learn. The only problem is, as it naturally represents tension, and most players want even more tension than it provides, it doesn’t get us all the way.

We can do several things to extend the tension. The most tension we can achieve is to play a dom7 arpeggio a tritone away, for example, an Eb7 arpeggio over an A7 chord. Now we hit these intervals: 3, b5, b7, b9. Ultimate tension!

So, the dom7 arpeggio shapes are the most useful to learn, for tension and even extreme tension!

But what if you want something in between tension and extreme tension? The perfect in-between place is to substitute using the min7b5 arpeggio, this is conveniently the next step in this mini arpeggio course.

Dom7 Arpeggios Guitar Lessons | Related Pages

Arpeggios | Step-by-step guitar course

The dom7 arpeggio is the thrid arpeggio to learn in this course.

There are only four CAGED arpeggio shapes to learn on the guitar, the min7, the maj7, the dom7, and the min7b5.

In the step-by-step arpeggio course, we master all these arpeggios in all CAGED shapes, an essential skill to acquire if you want to improvise.

Major Pentatonic

There's a connection between the dom7 arpeggio and the Major Pentatonic.

This is where it all starts, you must learn how to play the Major Pentatonic in all five shapes and don’t cheat by thinking of them as minor.

And let’s not name these shapes 1-5, let’s call them by their CAGED name, and let’s practice them not just in A as the videos show!

Guitar Chords

To understand the dom7 arpeggio chord shapes, you must connect them with the CAGED guitar chord shapes.

Using traditional music theory, the stave, and a piano, you’ll get easy-to-understand chords but they will not help if you want to play chords on the guitar.

Instead, on the guitar, we use chord shapes derived from the five open-position chords, C, A, G, E, and D, hence CAGED.

Extend barre chords

In order to understand the dom7 arpeggio, you must compare it to how the dom7 chord shapes are extended from the triad.

Let’s extend all CAGED barre chords to min7, maj7, dom7, and the awkward min7b5. These are all possible to play!

Following the introduction video, you get individual videos demonstrating how to play this, moving through all CAGED chord shapes.



Spytunes chords, scale, and arpeggio software, Chordacus is a refined version of the so-called CAGED system.

Now available as both a chromatic (original version) and “within a key”, developed with the help of a Spytunes student.

About me

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson on dom7 arpeggios.

This guitar lesson on dom7 arpeggios was written by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and how learning guitar with Spytunes has evolved.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.

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