P,i,m-a,i  arpeggio

An excellent way to begin developing the alternation of a, is with the p,i,m-a,i arpeggio.  It’s organized exactly the same as p,i,m,i, only a is coupled with m. The pattern is organized as follows:

  • begin with p on a bass and i-m-a flexed into the hand.
  • as p plays, prepare i-m-a on their strings.
  • move i and m-a sympathetically in to the hand.
  • as m-a play, i prepares–this is the alternation.
  • as i plays, prepare p and repeat the pattern.
Both studies above are accessible, but“a”-tude is easier due to its built-in rhythmic pause on beat 3.  “a”-O-K maintains eighth-note rhythmc conituity and has more active left-hand work,  following the harmony change per half note. For more information about the p,i,m-a,i arpeggio as well as musical application, see the Shearer Method: Classic Guitar Foundations, Book I, p. 125.


  1. Matt Cosgrove

    Thanks for sharing these pieces. They really fill a gap.

  2. alntom

    Awesome…glad you like them Matt!

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