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  • Becca Longhenry

Mapping three-octave major arpeggios

Updated: Jan 12, 2022

In another post, I shared my fingerboard maps for the three primary fingerings for major three-octave scales. However, after sharing those maps with my students, I realized that I shouldn't stop there - the arpeggios are equally as difficult, if not more so, to visualize on the fingerboard.


In the past, I have asked some of my students to play their arpeggios as scales, filling in the silent notes, so that when they perform the arpeggio, they place their fingers in groups and measure the whole and half steps between each note accurately. Playing the arpeggios in this way was difficult for the students, but still valuable - so, to make it easier, I drew up fingerboard maps for the tonic major arpeggios.


Again, the notes with dashed borders are typically silent, and the colorful boxes indicate positions above first position. Arpeggios with different fingerings for the ascent and descent have both represented. Notes are unlabeled to allow for transposition and the exercise of labeling the notes correctly.


When playing these arpeggios as scales, note that, in the arpeggios that start on second finger, the fourth finger plays the three highest notes both going up and coming down the scale. There is also a note that is skipped when playing the arpeggios that start on second finger.


Violin finger maps:

Open string 3-octave major arpeggio (G major)

First finger 3-octave major arpeggio (here shown as A major; shift down one half step for Ab/G#)

Second finger 3-octave major arpeggio (here shown as Bb major; shift up by half steps for each additional key)


Viola finger maps:

Open string 3-octave major arpeggio (C major)

First finger 3-octave major arpeggio (here shown as D major; shift down one half step for Db/C#)

Second finger 3-octave major arpeggio (here shown as Eb major; shift up by half steps for each additional key)


Be sure to comment or send me an email if you find any errors in these files!



#violin #viola #3octave #arpeggios

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