Beginner Primer Guitar course
Chromatic scale

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Chromatic scale and its construction

In this lesson we will look at the chromatic scale and how it is constructed.

Contents of this lesson Construction of the chromatic scale Reference
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Construction of the chromatic scale

The word chromatic comes from the Greek word “chroma” which means colour. We use the word chromatic as it allows us to add colour and embellish the notes of and . During the 1600s, music was generally written in major and minor keys. Composers used notes outside of these keys (accidentals) to embellish the melody and add colour to the music. This is why we call them chromatics as they bring colour and emotion to the music without changing the key centre. A chromatic scale is all twelve notes arranged in ascending or descending order of pitch. It’s made up entirely of semitones (half steps) with each note being a semitone above or below the last note. If you want to play the C chromatic scale the notes will be
( C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C ) ascending as you see you can call this ( # )as sharp and descending the notes would be ( C B Bb A Ab G Gb F E Eb D Db C) you can call this symbol ( b ) a flat.
Given below is the C chromatic scale ascending :

And here is C chromatic scale descending :


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