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Chromatic Scale
Every Note Included

The chromatic scale is probably the easiest scale to remember but not the easiest to play because of moving out of position from the beginning positions.

This is a good scale for finger exercise. This will help you to switch strings smoothly while staying in time. Just practice slow even notes. You don't want to be able to hear when you switch strings. Speed will come with accuracy.

Paul McCartney uses this scale in his older songs with Wings and with the Beatles

Sharps and Flats

The rule of not using a note name twice in a scale goes out the window when it comes time to write chromatic and other symmetrical scales as you can see below

There is no standard an A flat could be written as a G sharp or vice versa. Here is the C chromatic.

There is actually only one chromatic scale you just start on a different note, All the notes are in this scale

C Chromatic Ascending 6th string

c chromatic ascending 6th string notation and tab image

C Chromatic Ascending 5th string

This is similar to the last one. The same moves. The next one after this is different.

c chromatic ascending 5th string notation and tab image

C Chromatic Ascending 4th String Start

The difference happens between the 3rd and 2nd string because these two string are tuned a major 3rd apart instead of a fourth

c chromatic ascending 4th string notation and tab image

C Chromatic Ascending 3rd string

c chromatic ascending 3rd string notation and tab image

With the ascending scale we moved down one fret except between strings 2 and 3. With the descending scale we will move up one fret except for strings 2 and 3.

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C Ascending Audio Example

C Chromatic ascending

For the example up above I combined the first and last scale samples to make a two octave audio

Descending Chromatic Scales

We'll start backwards from the first section starting on the high E string. The reverse of the last ascending scale.

C Chromatic Descending 1st String Start

c chromatic decending scale first string notation and tab image

C Chromatic Descending 2nd String Start

c chromatic decending second string notation and tab image

C Chromatic Descending 3rd String Start

c chromatic decending third string notation and tab image

C Chromatic Descending 4th String Start

c chromatic decending fourth string notation and tab image

C Descending Audio Example

C chromatic descending

Chromatic Audio Example

Here's a sample of how to use this scale. We'll use a G to C Chord change

I had to leave out a note or two to get it to fit but you got the idea right. Just another tool to make your leads or rhythm guitar more interesting.

Rhythm guitar players use notes and chords. Listen to how the Rolling Stones guitar players work the rhythm and leads together.

Chromatic ending

You can hear this scale in Blues songs when going from the I to the IV chord, usually when compingquestion mark with short chords sometimes refered to as “Fat” chords because of their full sound.

I'll be adding more on comping and “Fat” chords later in the Chord section of the site.

I hope you found this page useful.

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