3 Variations in Arpeggios –
Major, Dominant and Minor 7ths!
In an earlier section of this website, we have already learnt about Arpeggios in general, both Major and Minor Arpeggiatic Progressions, as well as how they are structured. Here, we will learn more about 7th Arpeggiatic Progressions, which are an interesting variation of the basic progressions!
These 7th Arpeggiatic Progressions are created by using 4 basic notes, including selected chord notes from the various major and minor scales. Whenever we sing these arpeggiatic progressions, we are tested on our pitching of the 3rd, 5th as well as 8th intervals, which are basic intervals explained in another section on ‘Major’ and ‘Minor’ Intervals.
However, the 7th Arpeggiatic Progressions are so named because there is the inclusion of one more note, which is the 7th note of the respective scale, in the construction of these arpeggiatic progressions.
Scroll down to find out more about how each of these progressions are constructed to understand more about how to pitch the notes well!
Before we start, just a gentle reminder: Be sure to use proper breathing technique and practise your basic breathing exercises, in order to make sure that your voice is well supported with your breath. You may also wish to practise some vocal warmup exercises before actually singing these scales, because your voice definitely needs to be warmed up properly each time you sing!
There are 3 main kinds of 7th Arpeggiatic Progressions – Major 7th, Dominant 7th and Minor 7th. Here is what a Major 7th Arpeggio looks like in solfege notation:
Here is what a Minor 7th Arpeggio would look like in solfege notation:
For those who wish to play these progressions on a piano or keyboard, check out the various tables below for the actual piano notes to play for each Major 7th, Dominant 7th or Minor 7th progression:
For those who do not have any instrument at home, or who do not know how to play any musical instrument, do not worry! I have uploaded lots of practice music here just for you, so that you will be able to practise at home too!
There are also some other basic musical scales uploaded on the ‘Musical Scales for Warmup’ section of this website, and these will serve as a primer for this webpage. Here is the music for the Major 7th Arpeggios – the first note is sounded longer initially, followed by the notes for the arpeggiatic progression, in a continuous ascending and descending manner. Be sure to pitch the 1st note properly before singing the entire arpeggiatic progression, and if you are not sure of the pitch, be sure to listen to the music a few times first before singing!
Also, practising these Arpeggiatic Scales and Progressions will help you to be able to pitch various musical intervals and pitch jumps, making your voice more flexible, as well as training your hearing to be able to pick out more subtle changes in pitch and note! This is an important skill especially for singers, as we need to be able to listen to ourselves sing and monitor our pitch constantly while we sing!
Now, if you have been patient with me and read all the way up till here, i would like to reward you with more information about these interesting arpeggiatic progressions! Check out the following diagrams that explain the structure of each of these different progressions!
You will see that for a Major 7th Arpeggiatic Progression, it is basically made up of the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th notes of the Major Scale! This makes it really easy for us to construct a Major 7th Arpeggio using any starting or initial note or key! Just follow the structure as laid out in the diagram above, adhering to the number of semitones between each of the notes.
The Dominant 7th Arpeggiatic Progression is basically made up of the basic 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of the Major Scale, but flattens by 1 semitone the 7th note of the scale, making it a 7b (Ti Flat), and just slightly different from the Major 7th Arpeggiatic Chord above! Just a subtle difference in one of the notes changes the sound of the chord and progression dramatically!
As for the Minor 7th Arpeggiatic Progression, it is similar to the Dominant 7th progression, just that the 3(Mi) note now has become a 3b (Mi Flat), meaning that the 3rd note of the scale is flattened by 1 semitone as well. This gives it a distinctive Minor feel and sound! If you are observant enough, you will notice that the reason why the Minor 7th progression is so called is because it uses the notes in a minor scale!
With this knowledge about the various Major 7th, Dominant 7th and Minor 7th Arpeggios, we would have a better grasp of our pitches and master our singing voice too!
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