Alternating Arpeggio Warmups

Up to now, all arpeggio warmups were based an a single form of the arpeggio, e.g. starting on the third of the chord and descending. A simple trick to create more challenging exercises is to combine an arpeggio’s ascending and descending form into a single exercise. Here is what this looks like for a basic dominant chord, starting on the root and going through keys in ascending chromatic order:

This exercise has a companion exercise which simply starts the first arpeggio in the opposite direction of the original exercise:

These exercises sound surprisingly musical (for a simple etude) because each arpeggio connects to its predecessor smoothly via a single chromatic step. The alternating directions also create a nice undulating line.

This trick is not limited to arpeggios and works just as well on scales. Here’s an example using the Mixolydian scale:

And here is its companion:

Applying this trick to all 32 basic arpeggio exercises going through keys in ascending chromatic fashion generates 64 new alternating arpeggio exercises. And this number is doubled by going through the keys in descending chromatic fashion for a total of 128 new warmup routines!

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