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"The Art of Shredding" Part 4

by Guitarslinger124

22 Apr 2009
Views: 7926

The Chromatic Scale: To Infinity and beyond



Hey there! Guitarslinger here. This next lesson is a conceptual lesson and is meant to show you what the Chromatic scale is and how to apply it to metal or rock soloing and riffing. I would hope that you have already read my previous "Art of Shredding" lessons before you read this one.

The Chromatic scale is a scale which divides an entire octave into its semitones. In one octave there are twelve semitones (or thirteen if you count the root note twice), or half notes. Here is an example of the Chromatic scale:



E:---------------------------------------4-5-6-7-8-|
B:--------------------------------5-6-7-8----------|
G:-------------------------5-6-7-8-----------------|
D:------------------6-7-8-9------------------------|
A:----------7-8-9-10-------------------------------|
E:-8-9-10-11---------------------------------------|


As you can see the notes in the scale are C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B and C. Playing in successive half steps is called playing chromatically, hence the name Chromatic scale. The Chromatic scale is the mother of all other scales and chords in western music. The Chromatic scale can be a tough concept for some guitarists out there, even some who can already shred have no clue how apply the scale.

Application

I like to think of the Chromatic scale as a tool used to enhance other scales by throwing in chromatic tones here and there. If you think about it, you play chromatics more often than you may realize. Take the A minor blues scale:



E:--------------------5-8-|
B:-----------------5-8----|
G:------------5-7-8-------|
D:---------5-7------------|
A:----5-6-7---------------|<===As you can see you play D D# E, that is chromatic.
E:-5-8--------------------|


There are many other scales with chromatic quatlities but I think a more practicle way to understand how to apply the Chromatic scale would be to give of example of how I use it. So I came up with a very simple two chord chromatic riff and played three main scale patterns in which I employ chromatic elements. Here are the scale patterns:

As you can see, this pattern consists of the notes E G# A A# B C C# & D. The are Chromatic tones from G# all the way to D:




In this next pattern I play G A B C D E F & F#. You can think of this pattern as G Ionian which has the notes: G A B C D E & F#. However, I had E Aeolian in mind, which is in the key of G major, but I added the F from the A Aeolian scale (A B C D E F G)To play in conjunction with the F5 in the rhyrhm riff:



The last main pattern I used is also very chromatic:




Moving on, here is the tune. Like any solo finger position is important here.



Tuning low to high is D A D G B E. The time signiture is 5/4 and the tempo is fairly slow,
maybe 120bpm. Enjoy! q = quarter note (1/4) e = eighth note (1/8).

Guitar 1 (This riff is played throughout)
E:-----------||------------||
B:-----------||------------||
G:-----------||------------||
D:-2---2---2-||--------2-3-||
A:-2---2---2-||--------2-3-||
D:-2-2-2-2-2-||2-2-2-2-2-3-||
q q q q q q q q q e e
Guitar 2
E:--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B:------------------------------14/15~~13-12-11-12~~----------------14/15~~12-11-12-14~~
G:-12~~-----12~~----------14--13------------------------------14--13--------------------
D:-----14-13--------14--13--12--------------------------14--13--12----------------------
A:----------------13--12------------------------------13--12----------------------------
D:--------------12----------------------------------12----------------------------------

Guitar 2
E:-3-5-7-----------------------------------------3-5-7----------------------------
B:------5-6-8-----------------------------------------5-6-8-----------------------
G:-----------7-9-10----------------------------------------7-9-10-----------------
D:-----------------9-10-12---------------------------------------9-10-12----------
A:------------------------10-12-14~~------------------------------------10-12-14~~
D:----------------------------------12-14-15~14~~---------------------------------

Guitar 2
E:------------------------------------------------------------------12/15\12-----
B:----------------------------------------17-20-22~~24~24\15~~12--13--------13---
G:-------------------------14-16-17~~17/19----------------------14------------14-
D:-----------------12-14-15------------------------------------------------------
A:---------12-14-15--------------------------------------------------------------
D:-12-14-15----------------------------------------------------------------------

Guitar 2
E:-----11/14\11-------------------------------------------12~----------
B:---13--------13-----------------------------------12--13---15-13-12~~
G:-14------------14~~12~~12-----12~~----------12--13--14---------------
D:-------------------------14-13--------12--13--14---------------------
A:------------------------------------13--14---------------------------
D:----------------------------------14---------------------------------

Guitar 2
E:-12--12----12-------------------------------|
B:---12--15~~--13--12-------------------------|
G:---------------14--13--12-------------------|
D:---------------------14--13--12----12-14~~~~|
A:---------------------------14--13-----------|
D:---------------------------------14---------|



Ok, that's all for now. I hope I've helped a bit. I know I used to have trouble with the
concept of the applying the Chromatic scale, but playing stuff like this is what helped me to understand it better. Rock on enjoy!



Comments:

01
06.14.2009
  carlsnow

nice lesson(s), Guitarslinger124 !!!

ya beat me to the olde 4 note per string wackiness(chromatic or otherwise) that i was thinking of posting as (rather as it reads to my students, lol) 'Carl's Mean Exercises' ;~)

but herein lies the rub, as they say :
I'd love to post a few of these , but 'm an "old-school" (pen & paper) kinda guy and only use stuff like Guitar Pro-(etc) when a student needs a tab emailed due to whatever keeps them home that day, Dig?

i love the flow of the Tab(s) above, and being the olden-farte that i am must ask the embarrassing question(funny as i tell my students that there are NO 'dumb' questions)
"where's the app / whats the app" you generated this Tab with?

i would love to contribute some to these lessons i see scattered about .. but i am , as i said , still a pen/paper teacher and need to find an 'easier way' of communicating them than a Nikon and a sheet of handwritten (w/ poor handwriting) jpegs and the like.

aka:
i are an old-timer who gets enough guff from my DAWs and Comps when ReMixing and/or Mastering that "it' (Mastering all day etc) has my poor olde noggin' aching enough to avoid finding these pp...

REAL AKA = though i work a lot (Mastering) on the Computer(etc) i am still a complete and grumpy olde beginner (lol) when it comes to
"nifty new Tab/etc apps"

can someone point his old dawg in the direction of he new trick above?
...please?
...I wont yell at it, i swear! i wont even toss another keypad!

i'll be able to post *sniff sniff* like an enlightened human-thang then.

;~)

HanX!
Cs


02
06.14.2009
  Guitarslinger124

Hey man, all you do to insert a tab is to type [tab] before your intended tab and [/tab] afterwards. and wala! Tab you shall have.

03
06.14.2009
  Phip

Guitarslinger,
I think what Carl is asking is; "what program did you use to write these tabs"?
Phip
P.S. I'd like to know also

04
06.16.2009
  Guitarslinger124

I'm not using any program. I type up my tabs myself. It's a pain in the ass, but that's how I do it.

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