Misty Arpeggio Study

The Easy Guide to Jazz Guitar Arpeggios


In this lesson you will learn to play an arpeggio study over the chord changes of the jazz standard Misty. Only basic arpeggio shapes are used in this study, so no scales or chromatic notes.


Here’s the video:



The music notation and backing track:


Misty arpeggio study page 1


Misty arpeggio study page 2



If you want to learn how to use arpeggios in your guitar solos step-by-step, then check out our ebook The Easy Guide to Jazz Guitar Arpeggios (you can download a sample of the ebook on this page as well…). The 182 page ebook provides you with all necessary arpeggios shapes, theory, audio examples (over 100), sample solos, practice pointers and backing tracks you need to get a good grasp on arpeggios. Click here for more info…

  1. Carlos FigueroaApr 29, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Hi Dirk,

    I love the etude, so much that I immediately bought the ebook, but I just realized the Misty study was not there… Any way to download it other than just printing the web page?

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

    Carlos Figueroa

    • NicolásApr 30, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      Hola Carlos
      Lo que tienes que hacer es “guardar imagen como” y tendrás la partitura/tablatura como imagen. Luego si también quieres el audio, busca un convertidor online de youtube a mp3 (los hay a montones)
      Un saludo

    • Kelly JohnsonApr 30, 2015 at 2:54 pm

      Just so you know, you can right-click and choose to “Save Image As” and then open that up in case you want to print a clean image and not have the rest of the ‘web page’ all around it.

    • EdApr 30, 2015 at 4:15 pm

      I found that if you right-click on the image (the notation) to open in another tab (you do this twice, with measures 1-13,then 17-end on the screen) the notation appears, then enlarge the figure and you can print the notation in two pages.

    • Dirk LaukensApr 30, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      Hey Carlos, just right click the music notation and select “Print picture…”. You’ll have to do this twice because there are 2 pages.

      • Carlos FigueroaMay 2, 2015 at 5:31 pm

        Thanks lot Dirk and the others with the tip. Keep it coming!

    • Vinny SmithMay 2, 2015 at 3:36 am

      Real sweet! No too much coloring. Smooth Jazz at its best! Thanks Dirk.

  2. SilverfoxxApr 29, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Dirk, thank you for sharing this very good arrangement ,and as usual played extremely competently and smoothly presented
    and congratulations btw for now exceeding the 40k membership. You, Matt and the moderators must be doing it right !

    Best, Alan

    • Dirk LaukensApr 30, 2015 at 11:07 pm

      Cheers Alan, thanks for being a member of the forum!

  3. EmlynApr 30, 2015 at 12:17 am

    That sounds so good….I’d really like to play like that….thanks a lot!

  4. noelApr 30, 2015 at 1:51 am

    very very nice. lovely sound and brilliant playing

  5. MichaelApr 30, 2015 at 2:47 am

    Very nice indeed. An arpeggio study that doesn’t sound like an arpeggio study.

    • Carlos FigueroaMay 2, 2015 at 5:41 pm

      That’s exactly right! It doesn’t sound like an arpeggio study at all! Great sound Dirk!

  6. downhill240Apr 30, 2015 at 6:01 am

    This is sweet!. How about a lesson on your amp settings to get that sound?!

  7. erwinhApr 30, 2015 at 9:07 am

    Really Sound very good

  8. jonApr 30, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    more evidence that the best solos come from figures focused more on chords than scales. very nice. Thanks for your efforts

  9. VictorApr 30, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    I’m perplexed by the fact that I don’t hear the melody. Isn’t this the Misty that goes “Look at me, I’m as helpless as a kitten up a tree”?

  10. NicolásApr 30, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    So nice…ty

  11. Bob FrederickApr 30, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Great stuff…I have taken lessons and I have more instructional materials than the Library of Congress. Finally some good guidance that works for me. BTW…this Misty study gives me great incentive to work with your arpeggios book. More of the same, please!!!!

  12. RobApr 30, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    Man this is amazing! It would be cool to see another one that is one step up in complexity… so we can see how a solo can develop by adding different elements. Then another step up etc.
    Thanks again though I’m really glad I found this site! Thanks for all the help and inspiration!

  13. frankApr 30, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    excelent, Dirk

  14. André BaretteApr 30, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    Hi Dirk , very nice sound .
    What’s your material ( guitar , amps , effect ) ?

    • Dirk LaukensApr 30, 2015 at 11:01 pm

      Hi André, in this video I use an Epiphone ES-175 through a Fender Hot Rod George Benson amp. The amp is recorded with a Shure SM57 going to Cubase through a Steinberg MR816CSX audio interface with UAD plugins (compression and EQ).

  15. Jim KrasinskiMay 1, 2015 at 6:02 am

    One of my favorite jazz guitar songs that I play for myself and others during live performances. I really enjoyed Dirk’s version. And I plan to study his technique “in the woodshed”. Thanks Matt

  16. PaulMay 1, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Hi Dirk,
    Quick question: why doesn’t my bookmarked link to “The Lick” play sound anymore?
    Everything else seems to.

  17. CarloMay 3, 2015 at 5:15 am

    Hi Dirk,

    Are all the etudes in this book this musical as the example of Misty? I have too many arpeggio etudes that sound like etudes.

  18. Dave KarlMay 3, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    This is absolutely great. thanks Dirk.
    I have been slowly working through the Arpeggio ebook, but this came along and I haven’t been able to resist dissecting this completely. The book can wait.
    I have a question: In measure 17 you play a change on the last chord that is not in the transcription. In that measure you play a Bbm9, and just before the Eb7(b9) arp in measure 18 you hit another chord that sounds so cool. It sounds like a Cm, or maybe G#maj. Am I hearing this correctly? I would love to know what that is.
    Best regards and Thanks!!

    • Dave KarlMay 4, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      I’m going with A7#9

    • Dirk LaukensMay 4, 2015 at 2:24 pm

      Oops Dave, thanks for letting me know, I updated the music notation…
      The chord is an Eb13(b9).

  19. antonioMay 6, 2015 at 12:54 pm


  20. DieterMay 8, 2015 at 2:26 pm

    I’m just wondering (being a complete beginner with no music theory background) … is this something you make up on the fly – a nice improvisation – or did you actually practiced and thought that through?

    • Dirk LaukensMay 9, 2015 at 10:38 am

      Hi Dieter, it’s easy to improvise with arpeggios, but in case of making etudes I use a combination. I improvise a couple of choruses, listen to it, keep the interesting parts and think about how I can make the parts that are not so interesting better from a pedagogic point of view.

      • DieterMay 9, 2015 at 7:41 pm

        Thanks for explaining Dirk. So it’s a bit of a mixture. I bought the arpeggio book so hopefully some day improvising with arpeggios will be easy for me too!

  21. Paulo LucchiniJun 23, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Hi Dirk,
    Related to Misty, is there any possibility to put the arpeggios structure, like used in the ebook, because I found difficult to play the tablature.
    Thanking you in advance,

  22. Mike C.Jun 28, 2015 at 2:46 am

    How is measure 26, over the Eb7, not chromatic notes?

  23. STEE NEAVESJul 19, 2015 at 10:32 am

    This is what I was looking for but I just did not Know what to ask for.

  24. RobbieTheKAug 30, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    Measures 9-12 are quite the challenge trying to follow along with your fingering of it. It almost doesn’t seem like those are 2 eighth notes at the beginning of measure 10 over the Bbmin7 perhaps because of how you’re swinging?

  25. Buddy MartinJan 20, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Wow, that’s some real sweet stuff right here, thanks for all of it!

  26. Gordy RiderFeb 6, 2017 at 8:34 pm

    Any chance of getting the backing track on its own? Would be great to practice arpeggios and basic melody.

  27. RobbieTheKMar 30, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    What about tabbing the ending descending lick?

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