My previous post completed a series of basic arpeggio-based warmup exercises. So far the exercises explored all variants of four note arpeggios/chords of diatonic harmony: major seventh chords (scale degrees I and IV), minor seventh (scale degrees II, III, and VI), the dominant seventh chord (scale degree V) and the half-diminished chord (scale degree VII). The resulting 32 exercises covered all inversions ascending and descending and all twelve keys.
Building on this foundation, I intend to explore more of what can be done with this basic four-note diatonic material:
- More exercises to gain even greater familiarity with these arpeggios/chords.
- More musical applications of the arpeggios.
The first set of these extended exercises is based on…
Cycle of Ascending Fifths
All arpeggio warmups to this point have been written such that a given arpeggio is cycled through all keys in descending fifths (going around the Circle of Fifths counter clockwise).
All chords have a tendency to resolve a perfect fifth lower and so this exercise has practical relevance. Cycling if fifths also has the added benefit, that going from key-to-key only a single accidental changes (i.e. a single flat is added or a single sharp is dropped).
Chords that progress by ascending fifths are less common in Jazz but do occur. Jimmy Hendrix’s “Hey Joe” is completely based on chords progressing in ascending fifths. Here is what the example exercise looks like with ascending fifths (going around the circle-of-fifths clock wise):
Cycling through the chords this way is obviously not limited to this particular exercise (i.e. dominant arpeggio ascending from root) but can by applied to each of the original 32 exercises. And so by going through the keys in this different order produces 32 new exercises.
Here are the play-along recordings for all four chord variants:
Major Chords Ascending Fifths
Minor Chords Ascending Fifths
Dominant Chords Ascending Fifths
Half-Diminished Chords Ascending Fifths