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Using The Chromatic Scale

For Warm up, Practice, Speed, and Accuracy!


Once you understand the chromatic scale, you can begin to use it to warm up or as an effective practice tool. If you practice it regularly, this simple scale can increase your speed and accuracy.


What it is

Simply put, you create chromatic scales any time you play a series of notes located on adjacent frets.

More technically, this type of scale includes 12 semi-tones (a semi-tone is a half-step, which is the same as one fret on a guitar).

The Virginia Tech Department of Music defines it as "A scale which divides the octave into its semi-tones. There are twelve semi-tones, or half steps, to an octave in the chromatic scale."

For our purposes, when played on a guitar you might re-write this definition as follows: A sequence of twelve notes, played on adjacent frets. You can also play these twelve notes on adjacent strings, as long as you play the same 12 notes.

If these definitions are not clear, don't worry, you will see a great example in a moment.

For another, and longer discussion of scales, visit my article on Scale Theory. You might also benefit from reading the article called Guitar Scales.


Uses To Improve Warm up, Practice Efficiency, Accuracy, and Speed Training

Our friends at Wayne's World of Music frequently video tape snippets of lessons. Their students can then review the video from home. Video is a great tool for any guitar instruction studio. As a continuing student myself, I find that I forget about half of the lesson between the time I leave the studio and the time I sit down for my next practice. Having a short video to review the material is invaluable to me.

One of the videos Wayne & John produced recently walks the student through this exercise. As you view the video, notice the following points:

Enjoy the video!





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