Betcha Can't Play This: Luis Carlos Maldonado's Add9 Roller Coaster

by Luis Carlos Maldonado
Posted Apr 14, 2014 at 5:03pm

This is an alternate-picking run based on an add9 arpeggio shape on the top three strings that’s moved up and down the neck to four different positions and tonal centers, with a slight variation in bar 2.

It begins in E, moves down to C with a little twist—more on that in a moment—then up to D and finally A.

The first thing you’ll notice is that the pinkie is the lead-off finger in each bar and that a five-fret stretch is required between it and the index finger for the first two notes. [Fret-hand fingerings are indicated throughout the run.]

Be sure to ease into these stretches and warm up with them in the upper area of the fretboard before attempting them in the lower positions.

For bar 2, I felt it sounded more colorful and interesting to alter the basic Cadd9 arpeggio [C D E G] by incorporating the #11, or #4, F#, into it, and in so doing the notes on the B and G strings are played two frets higher than where they would be if I would have simply applied the initial add9 shape from bar 1 to this position. In bar 3, the pinkie does a quick slide up to D, and the initial cell from bar 1 is used again, only a whole step lower.

Notice the common tones on the B and G strings in bars 2 and 3. The run concludes with a long pinkie slide up to A at the 17th fret—be careful not to overshoot it—and an Aadd9 arpeggio.

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