Guitar Lessons - Chromatic Scales

by Bill McRea

Chromatic Scale

The chromatic scale may not sound like a lot of fun. It is simply a learning skill. So use this to learn and don't expect to sound like Jimmy Page. But this is one exercise that improves your playing dramatically, so put up with a little time playing the chromatic scale everyday, and before long you'll be giving lessons to Jimmy Page.

Follow the bouncing ball:



E---|--5-----6-----7--------8---| Then reverse it 8 7 6 5

Rinse and repeat. Playing it up and then reverse it and play it back down the scale (i.e. 8,7,6,5). Repeat, repeat, repeat. Nothing teaches fingering like this simple exercise. Use all four fingers one finger per fret. Master this technique. Relax yours hand as much as possible. Press down with the tips of your fingers. Use Alternate picking.

If you do this for 5 minutes every time you pick up the guitar, you'll be amazed how quickly you'll fingering will improve. Speed and accuracy come naturally. I highly recommend you practice using a drum machine or metronome to help maintain a steady rhythm. Look at these exercises as part of the end product and not a musical statement.

Bill McRea is the publisher of Guitar Warehouse the best place to Buy Guitar and learn Guitar Playing Techniques. Both sites offer free lesson and product sales.

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Is the song Chromatic Death a good illustration of this or do I just have no idea what I am talking about ( beginning bass player/metalhead speaking here) - blackdiamond13

This is a great exercise! You can also do all the different fingering permutations. 1234 1243 1324 1342 1423 1432, 2134 2143 2314 2341 2413 2431, 3124 3142 3214 3241 3412 3421, 4123 4132 4213 4231 4312 4321.

This exercise isn't exactly chromatic tho, here's a lesson that teaches the chromatic scale it's only 99 cents. :D

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