All the scales you’ve learnt so far have probably been Diatonic ones. A Diatonic Scale is one that ascends and descends in a pre-ordained pattern of Tones and Semitones. A Chromatic Scale is derived from a much smaller pattern. In this lesson we’re going to learn the two Chromatic Scales that have the most musical potential, (that doesn’t mean they sound great by themselves though!)
As implied by the brackets, the Whole Tone Scale can comfortably be played over an Augmented Chord.
It’s much easier to play this scale outside of a box pattern.. If you attempted to learn the pattern starting on roughly the same fret, like we normally do, you would probably struggle as there’s basically no memorable pattern.
The Whole-Half Scale can be used over a Diminished Chord.
Many guitarists will try and tell you that Chromatic Scales are only useful as an exercise to improve finger dexterity and left-right hand coordination. There are, however, some much more rewarding applications – try out the following:
– Ascend a Major or Minor Scale, but descend with either of these Chromatic Scales.
– Play normally over a chord progression, but dip in to either of these scales when you reach a Diminished or Augmented Chord.