There’s a few tools every guitar player should have in their box of skills, and the ability to to play any arpeggio on demand is definitely one of them.
It’s important to say that this isn’t any crazy 250bpm shredding that I am referring to. Rather simply being able to, without hesitation, play through a Bb major arpeggio on the 8th fret of your instrument.
This is no unlikely event. It is what will happen if you are attempting to target chord notes when soloing (which is important to sounding good within a chord progression). If this is not something you are capable of doing (whether its by using your ear or memory) then it sounds like you are just playing notes at random and hoping for the best (not ideal).
What’s best is being able to do this both by ear and by simply knowing where on the fret board the arpeggios land.
As someone who teaches guitar for a living, it has become apparent to me that there aren’t a lot of guitarists out there who are able to do this. This is only because most don’t know the best way to practice it. Many will think that it will just come to them after a while of playing. While others believe its too difficult to even spend any time on.
It is my job to show people that this just isn’t the case. I will demonstrate to you (in the video below) a very easy exercise that you can use to instantly find an arpeggio anywhere on the fretboard. If you start incorporating this in your practice every day, you won’t believe how quickly your fretboard knowledge will increase.
This is an exercise I like to call "Intelligent Guitar Hero". It’s just like in guitar hero, where its all about hitting the correct note, except you get to learn a skill you can use on a real instrument!
Be aware that this in an exercise that is entirely system-agnostic. It can even be used with my not-so-favourite guitar CAGED system I personally would not choose to do it that way, but it’s up to you!
As you can see, this exercise can be pretty fun to play around with. Any skill level can incorporate it into their practice, it just all depends on the chord progression you use and the speed you choose to play it at. Add an extra fun challenge to it and get your guitarist friends in on it as well. See who can learn to play it faster!