Theory behind chromatic runs?


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QuiteTheFellow
03-08-2007, 02:16 PM
Could someone please explain the theory behind chromatic runs, like why they sound good in some situations? Is it just that you take the song out of key for a extremely short time and then bring it back, or what is it?

:confused:

Archeo Avis
03-08-2007, 02:19 PM
Chromatic notes played out of key cause tension, which can sound quite good if you're actually trying to build tension in a solo. There are no real rules behind it, it's mostly a matter of preference.

bo2167
03-08-2007, 02:26 PM
Begining the chromatic run on the same note as the chord you are soloing over gives an idea of where you are as well, but yeah, not too many rules with chromatic runs. I keep'em short for quick tension builds. Too much of it can get spacey, but that's not always a bad thing.

Inf1n1tY.
03-08-2007, 02:32 PM
Begining the chromatic run on the same note as the chord you are soloing over gives an idea of where you are as well, but yeah, not too many rules with chromatic runs. I keep'em short for quick tension builds. Too much of it can get spacey, but that's not always a bad thing.

yeah

build tension
start on the root note of the chord your playing over or on the perfect 5th of it

everything else is only a matter of preference

z4twenny
03-08-2007, 07:00 PM
i've done quite a bit of studying on chromatics. usually good consonant sounding chromatic runs are used in conjunction with the type of scale for example if you have a progression in E minor of something like


D-2--2--4--5---
A-2--2--4--5---
E-0--0--2--3---



in quarter notes

you migh use something such as ......


e-------------------------------------------------------------
B-------------------------------------------------------------
G-------------------------------------------------------------
D---------------------------------7-8-9----------
A-7-8-9-10-7-8-9-10-9-10-11-12-10-------------------
E--------------------------------------------------------------


or you could just run up the scale chromatically starting from the 7th fret on the A string, basically what i've noticed happens is that in the above example you are using every 4th notes as a starting point for your chromatic piece, and going up creates tension BUT also note that several of the notes used in comparison to each chord are in the same scale. if you were to just run from the E on the 7th fret A string to the E on the 9th fret G string it would provide a forward motion movement that while chromatic in nature wouldn't be entirely dissonant, the notes not contained in the scale tend to add a push to resolve to the chord above it (and running down adds a push to resolve to the chord below it)

there are a LOT more intricacies of chromatics than what is presented here, but i hope this will be a good start for you.

this is just a real brief example, but something like this should help start you off

Vantastic!
03-08-2007, 10:30 PM
chromatics are great, i did a whole solo in jazz class using just chromatic runs. there is definently theory behind there use. but it's very advanced, at least for me. but they are very intense and can aid in a tension and relief type solo or riff.

psychodelia
03-08-2007, 10:49 PM
I don't do straight chromatics, but sometimes I'll use a ton of chromatic passing tones.

So, expanding on that, I'm hitting chord tones at the beginning and end of the runs, and usually on downbeats. I'm also not doing flight of the bumblebee: there's different rhythms in the chromatics, and sometimes some sequencing too, so it's not just an exercise.