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Using Arpeggios in Beats – What are Arpeggios?

Do these questions relate to you?

Why do my beats never feel full enough – and why do they always feel like something is missing?

If you are not using arpeggios in your tracks, arpeggios can be what’s missing!

Now, there’s a time and a place for arps, but even blending them into the background can really fill up a chorus, verse, bridge etc. – Try them out!

The Video,

Here’s the video going over arpeggios. We cover the topics:

  1. Explaining what Arpeggios are – Block chords are all notes played at once. Arpeggios use those chord’s notes, but are played only one at a time.
  2. How to set up Arpeggiating in FL Studio – Setting up any sound to arpeggiate is very easy in FL Studio!
  3. Where, When, and HOW to actually use Arpeggios! – I break down how I use arps, and some other tips and tricks with them in an example beat.

For more info, simply read below!

What are Arpeggios?

First, you have to understand what a chord is.

A chord is three or more notes played at the same time. It creates that FULL, beautiful sound.

When you create a real catchy chord progression, for example C, G, A, F, this is the chord progression, and sets the mood of your track!

Block Chords

What are Arpeggios - Block Chords

A block chord is when you simply play all 3 notes together, at the same time.

This sounds very powerful.. but after you hit those notes together, the musical element slowly fades away (depending if you have delays/reverbs on).

It’s a great foundation layer, or adding into the chorus at certain parts, but can quickly make your track feel like it’s missing something.

You can always create little melodies on top of those chords, which definitely fills up your track, but there’s one approach like no other, you can take.


What are Arpeggios - Arpeggios

An arp uses those same three or more notes, but only plays one note of that chord at a time.

It may sound basic while playing on your MIDI Keyboard, but within audio production, playing notes this way fills up those empty spaces QUICKLY!

Especially when effects like delay are added in, it even enhances that fullness.

Did you know you can:
Arpeggiate ANY SOUND in FL Studio?

Setting up Arpeggios in FL Studio

The set up of the arpeggiator in FL Studio is VERY EASY!

When you click on any sound or VST in the pattern list, the Channel Settings window will pop up.

From here, click the FUNC tab.

FL Studio - Channel Settings - small

Scroll down to the Arpeggiator section, and click one of the arrows!

FL Studio - Channel Settings - FUNC Tab
The GAT knob beside the time knob stands for GATE. If you right click on the time knob, you can choose steps, making selecting the beat of your arpeggio very easy!

How to Get the Arpeggiator to Work?

You must hold down two or more notes, otherwise it won’t trigger the arpeggiator to work!

Experiment – try lots of notes held down at the same time to create real cool arpeggios! Also having different octaves gives different feelings as well!

Actually Using Arps in Beats

You must watch the video to learn how to use Arps within beats, I just touched on the basics.

Arpeggios are so powerful, and there is actually quite a lot to talk about with them.

If you know anything about cut off filters, using them with arpeggios is great for transitions into choruses, out of choruses, or even to give your tracks some “movement”.

A cool trick I like to do from time to time is:

  1. Create a catchy arp pattern. Usually just 3-4 powerful chords.
  2. Open a new VST, and copy and paste the pattern in.
  3. You now have two VSTs, with the same MIDI notes/chord progression.
  4. Pan one to the left, and pan one to the right!

This creates a real wide, and cool sounding track. (Works cool with two different sounding lead sounds).

For more info, just watch the video above!

What are Arpeggios - Still Image


GratuiTous is an artist and producer for the name of Jesus. He has many FL Studio Courses, and many BEAT TAPES and ALBUMS! In 2020 he became a Recognized FL Studio Trainer, and was previously an electrician for 10 years in Canada! Learn more..

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