Lesson 5 Chromatic Chord Scales

In previous lessons we played chords using what is called the open position meaning we play our chords within the first three frets on the neck of the guitar. Now we will start moving up and down the neck. This is called ascending and descending. We will do this with the aid of the Chromatic chord scale. This is a musical term we will use often in our lessons.

To help you understand exactly what a chromatic scale is, take a look at the neck of your guitar. Notice the fret board. Depending on the type of guitar you have, you will see what we call fret position marks between the 2nd and 3rd , 4th and 5th , 6th and 7th , 8th and 9th and 11th and 12th frets. These are used for quick visual reference when playing the guitar. Some guitars use dots, some small rectangles or some type of fancy design and material to mark these positions. Some guitars such as a classical or nylon string guitar have no marks at all.

A chromatic scale consists of 12 half steps / tones / notes or chords. These are interchangeable terms we will use depending on purpose of the lesson. In this lesson we will use the term chromatic chord scale because we are playing chords, not the notes.

On the neck of the guitar starting at the first fret, with your left hand count up the neck from fret 1 to fret 12 and then back down to fret 1. You have just ascended and descended a 12 step chromatic scale. In this lesson we are going to ascend and descend a Chromatic Chord Scale from our 3 Basic Chord Positions – Position 1, Position 2 & Position 3.