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Soul and R&B Arpeggios

This is a compelling and rarely taught – or even acknowledged –guitar style that I absolutely love. When it comes to guitar accompaniment, this particular arpeggio style represents true restraint, taste and emotion. It is a technique that has almost always been part of “soul” guitar playing, as created by players such as Steve Cropper, Bobby Womack and Cornell Dupree, and many other Motown artists.

Most likely rooted in Gospel guitar, these arpeggios are perfect backup for ballads and soulful, slow songs in general, and feature certain subtle, yet very effective, hammer-ons, pull-offs and slides.

I love showing this style and its subtle uses. I’m sure you’ll enjoy making this a part of your rhythm guitar vocabulary, and you’ll always recognize it when you listen to those great soul ballads of artists such as Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett and many others!—Arlen Roth

Click here to check out the ES-335 that Arlen's playing!
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