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Introduction to Chromaticism


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In this lesson, we'll learn what chromaticism is and where it falls within our scale system. Chromaticism is a note that does not occur in the scale but is used to color the scale with a particular sound. When you hear chromaticism used, it will sound bluesy or jazzy.

I'll demonstrate chromaticism in our C Form scale using a flat third. In our key of G Major, that note is a Bb. I'll also demonstrate the same chromaticism in the G Form Scale.

I won't demonstrate the chromaticism in all scale forms. You should try and place the chromaticism in each scale form to secure your understanding of the concept. Try finding that note in each of the CAGED forms.

We'll use chromaticism in some licks later. You should try putting different chromaticism into the scales to create your own lick. Try other notes that aren't in the scale, but always resolve those notes to notes that are in the scale. If you hold chromatic notes for too long, they sound "off" or "wrong". Good luck!

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