Dominant 7th arpeggios in all 12 keys.

Hi everyone, and welcome back to another practice lesson on arpeggios. 


In this one we will practice on dominant 7th arpeggios, learning to play each key individually, from root position to I, II and III inversion. Derived from the Mixolydian scale, the V mode of the major scale, the dominant 7th arpeggio is based on: 


  • root (the first note of the scale that sets the key) 

  • major third;

  • perfect fifth;

  • minor 7th. 

Seen from another perspective, a dominant 7th is part of a Mixolydian scale, played every other note, as we can see here. 

Quadriads (four notes arpeggios), just like triads, can be played in root position: this happens when the root is also the bass note.



Dominant 7th in root position: root - major 3rd - perfect 5th - minor 7th.

When the root is not anymore the bass note, any of the other chord tones being on the bass, we have inversions. 

Dominant 7th in I inversion: major 3rd - perfect 5th - minor 7th - root.

Dominant 7th in II inversion: perfect 5th - minor 7th - root - major 3rd.

Dominant 7th in III inversion: minor 7th - root - major 3rd - perfect fifth.

In the last part of this lesson you will find practice exercises on the dominant 7th quadriad in all twelve keys. In each exercise you will learn to play a specific key in root position, I, II and III inversion, ascending and descending, on both octaves of a 4-string electric bass. 


Mastering the exercises at the end of this lesson is extremely important for the following reasons: 


  • establish a practice routine based on the full scale of the instrument;

  • learn to play dominant 7th arpeggios in all 12 keys, root position and inversions; 

  • improve your reading skills; 

  • think outside the box in terms of fingerings. 


In other words, if you are just starting out on the bass, you will learn from the beginning to use the full scale of your instrument, which will give you a great advantage in terms of technique and fretboard knowledge. On the other side, if you’re already an experienced bass player and never practiced arpeggios that way, the following exercises will fill a gap, giving you a different perspective on dominant 7th arpeggios, and their possible combinations on the electric bass.    


In other words, meaningful and extremely effective practice! 


Without further ado, let’s check the exercises, starting from C7. 

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That was it for this lesson. Use the previous charts as a tool to expand your knowledge of the fretboard, and take your time to absorb those positions. 


Thank you for reading, happy practice and see you in the next lesson!

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