Learning about Thirteenth Arpeggios… In order to apply the musical concepts that our teachers present to us, I find it necessary to work on the information as strict exercises that follow a logical, sequential system of learning. This involves taking the exercises through all keys, applying variations, and employing repetition until the information is memorized. The study and application of music theory on our instrument involves a structured, disciplined approach. I consider this method of study to be time well spent and well worth the effort.
The study of thirteenth arpeggios follows this system of learning. Thirteenth arpeggios include chord tones 1, 3, 5, 7, and tensions 9, 11, and 13. Start these exercises in the key of F.
The F major 13 arpeggio (F Ionian mode) includes F, A, C, E and tensions G (9), Bb (11), and D (13). Begin by learning the arpeggio up to the octave (15). Continue to the next part of the exercise by playing eight notes up to the 13th and back down to the root.
Continue the sequence to Gm13 (G Dorian mode) G, Bb, D, F and tensions A (9), C (11), and E (13).
Am13 (A Phrygian mode) includes A, C, E, G and tensions Bb (b9), D (11), and F (b13).
Bb major 13 (Bb Lydian mode) includes Bb, D, F, A and tensions C (9), E (#11), and G (13).
C7 13 (C Mixolydian mode) includes C, E, G, Bb and tensions D (9), F (11), and A (13).
Dm13 (D Aeolian mode) includes A, C, E, G and tensions E (9), G (11), and Bb (b13).
Em7b5 13 (E Locrian mode) includes E, G, Bb, D and tensions F (b9), A (11), and C (b13).
These exercises do not include every available tension for the diatonic chords we’re dealing with. The available tensions are diatonic to the key and are pulled out of the modes. Start making your way through all 12 keys. My next lesson will incorporate different variations to these exercises so make sure absorb this material first. Good Luck!
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