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How to Do a Chromatic Scale Exercise on Guitar

Learn how to do a chromatic scale exercise on guitar from Broadway musician Michael Aarons in this Howcast video.


So one way to practice this new picking technique, once you've kind of gotten it together with the pick playing on the underside of the pick is something simple like a chromatic scale on one string. There are two facets to this. You can just take the open string and pick, alternate pick, and then we do the chromatic scale on the high E-string, four frets at a time. I'm going to go ascending first, then I'll stop. For now my foot will be the metronome. So the first thing to note is as soon as one finger goes down, they're all down. I'm not doing this. I'm doing this, next four. That's the ascending version.

Alternate picking, every finger down, and try to get the notes really even dynamically and volume wise. Try to get them all even. Now when you're descending the trick is when you lay the next four down have all the fingers planted already as opposed to... The difference is that. So ascending and descending faster would be like this. You can try it on the other strings. Make sure to keep the fingers planted on the way down and really dig into the fingerboard. And another thing to keep in mind is when you dig into the fingerboard with your left hand, the natural reaction is to pick harder with your right hand.

Be mindful of that and make sure that you're picking the same velocity, the same intensity while really digging into the fingerboard. When you can separate those two strengths, you really start to understand how the tone and dynamics work with your left hand in conjunction with the picking technique of your right had. Another cool thing you do is to try and do 8th note triplets or 16th notes, 8th notes triplets would be... And that will really help you to differentiate between the patterns of four and patterns of three, with triplets versus the groupings of four with your fingers. A really good technique for the picking and it helps all the way around.

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