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Try to make anything you play sound like a song. The obvious example is the Xmas song "Joy to the World" (descending major scale) but there are other examples, i.e., descending minor pentatonic = opening riff to "I Shot the Sheriff," ascending major pentatonic = opening riff of "My Girl."
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Drilling is just one aspect of practice. The idea is facility and memorizing the patterns. Do the up and downs real slow and deliberate a couple times a day (this means TWICE. Once up and down, 2 times a day.) ... and move on.
Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...
You're practicing them so you can eventually apply them in a musical way and have them be part of your vocabulary. As someone famous once said: practice, practice, practice... then forget all that and go play. You drill it so that when you want that sound you don't have to think about it, it's just there.
Don't get suck too long in the "drilling" part, though, you do have to take the step of practicing applying them to music. Either learn tunes with lots of arpeggions (Paganini's Caprice #4 or #24, Bach sonatas, etc), or just put on a backing track and start trying to work them into your improvisation. I generally try to avoid "aimless" noodling, but I do get a lot of value in just putting on a track and trying to find ways of incorporating new things into improvisation, whether it's a technique, chord, melody, lick, whatever... Just experiment and see what sticks.
It kind of feels like I'm running up and down scales.
I think I wanted to: Work on chord tones, practice alternate picking, and of course timing.
Any thoughts (tips) about practicing arpeggios?
To learn the positions of all chord tones for every chord you know, everywhere on the neck.
When learning a new song (that you want to improvise on), work through the arpeggios of the chord progression - choosing one neck position for all the chords. Could be any neck position, but stay within the same 3 or 4 frets for all the chords in the sequence. Then move to some other position, do the same thing.
Obviously, if you already know all your arpeggios, this process is easy. (It's mostly about chord shapes, but the arps will fill in one or two other notes.)
Otherwise, no need to practice them at all, IMO - except for finger exercise I guess.
Ie, it's the same as for scales. You practice them (a) to learn where all the notes are, and (b) for finger exercise.
Once you know all your notes, and all your chord (arp) positions, then the only thing to practise is MUSIC .
It should be noted too that melodic fluidity is a requirement of most music and eventually, the athletic concerns of scales and arps will have to be addressed as such, and in a "training" type regimen.