#1
what is the point in the chromatic scale? Can anyone tell me? I know that it contains the notes chromatically but whats its uses? Surely if you use this scale then you will sound out of key.
#3
some songs use it. take that weird circus tune for example.. dont know what its called, but everyone knows it... that sounds pretty natural and it's in the chromatic scale

a lot of metallica riffs are chromatic, too, like master of puppets
Last edited by livefortoday at Jun 22, 2006,
#4
Yeah, the chromatic scale just happens to be the cornerstone of all Western music And the ultimate point of the chromatic scale is to be able to build from it all other scales.
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#5
Deathmetal bands use it, or so I've heard. Sometimes adding some chromatic things can give a little dissonanace that can sound pretty good.
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#6
Quote by COB4ever
yea i think the chromatic scale is pretty gay


Since when have scales had a sexuality? Next you'll be giving the order of the intervals in the C# bi-sexual hexatonic scale. Shut up.

Chromaticism is used quite widely used these days - Stuff like aug6 chords, mode mixture and so forth. Most people however will just use it for little runs up and down the fretboard and it really has no harmonic direction.

And like good ol' Dirk said - it's the cornerstone of all Western music.

Don't dismiss it because you don't know how to use it.
#7
i wrote a riff in C-chromatic a while ago. it's just another scale like major or minor or the modes etc, it's just harder to use effectively. Alot of jazz stuff is essentially based in chromatics, because the songs use major or minor scales and then switch into different modes. The thing about scales is that there's a ton of different ways to look at each situation. If I'm playing a riff in A, with the notes A C C# D and E, is that in A minor with an out of key major third, or in A major with an out of key minor third? It all has to do with the context of the music, what note the phrase resolves to and a number of other things, but now I'm blurring the line between playing in a key and playing with a scale, which are very seperate things. In general, if you want to come up with some riffs with a chromatic sound to them, I suggest by starting with a riff you already have in a normal major or minor scale, and adding out of key half step passing tones between chord tones to get you started.
#8
Thats the point. Chromatic playingis supposed to sound out of key. It gives the music a tense felling and gives it dissonance.
#9
The chromatic scale can be very simple and gay like say avenged sevenfold, or if used correctly very jazzy and awesome
#10
Quote by Johnljones7443


Don't dismiss it because you don't know how to use it.


An excellent point. Chromaticism has a variety of uses, but you really never get to understand them until you get into higher forms of music. Jazz solos have been known to incorporate chromaticism. So does classical, yknow, once you get into the romantic periods. Hell, even your minor blues scale incorporates the 5, b5, 4, which could be considered chromatic.

Practically, I've seen it work best as little lines within a larger harmonic context. I disagree with John. Most people I know who even think to use chromaticism have some direction to their playing. My former jazz teacher was really good at playing a little riff then descending it chromatically until it fell over the chord he was using. I've seen a shred book with some examples of the same thing (Shred is not Dead), the riff they use actually sounds like the opening of an '80s video game. It's pretty cool sounding and hard as hell to play. Also, if you want examples of minor chromaticism that still sound very tonal, check out Devil's Slide by Joe Satriani. The solo has a few chromatic licks that really make it shine.

But don't let me tell you what to do with it. After all, it's just a technique. Instead of saying, "chromaticism sucks," why don't you try to find ways to incorporate it into your playing? Put it in a song, solo, try something new. If nothing else, it's good exercise.
Last edited by DSPShadow at Jun 22, 2006,
#11
Quote by COB4ever
yea i think the chromatic scale is pretty gay


that's one of the dumbest thing's i've ever read here on UG
#12
you don't really ever use it in the real world.

you can't exactly "write something in a chromatic key" unless your song is named MoP

all I'd use it for is a little chromatic run outside of my key, like, accidentals.
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#13
Quote by SpIkE27Z
you don't really ever use it in the real world.

you can't exactly "write something in a chromatic key" unless your song is named MoP

all I'd use it for is a little chromatic run outside of my key, like, accidentals.


Wrong.
Scales are built off the chromatic scale.
and if one song is written chromatically, then others can as well.
What the **** are you on?
#14
Also, chromatics are really popular in music less theory-soaked than jazz and classical -- most blues turnarounds are based in chromatics
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#15
Quote by IThinkYou Smell
The chromatic scale can be very simple and gay like say avenged sevenfold, or if used correctly very jazzy and awesome


(Roughly translated) "I just came to this forum a couple months ago and noticed everyone else was bashing Avenged Sevenfold. So I decided, hey why not!"

To the poster, as stated earlier, it can be used to create tension in the notes by breaking the mold of the traditional scale either momentarily or repeatedly. As was pointed out by Smelly up there, Avenged Sevenfold uses it in several of their songs. A good example would be the Beast and the Harlot solo. The song is about the fall of Babylon, so when I hear the harmonized chomatic decending lick at the end it really captures the feeling of "falling."

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#16
Quote by Luke666
what is the point in the chromatic scale? Can anyone tell me? I know that it contains the notes chromatically but whats its uses? Surely if you use this scale then you will sound out of key.


it wont sound out of key if you play it hella fast.

your ear cant distinguish notes when they are played at >10 nps I believe...

anyways the point is basically to describe the tones of western music... it has all 12 tones which we use... you can use it to write as well, you can create some eerie feels if you stack alot of halfsteps on one another all at once...

Opeth does it in a song, its pretty crazy sounding...

basically it can be used if your skilled, and have an ear.
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Last edited by `NeXxuS` at Jun 1, 2009,
#17
The opening riff to Stairway to Heaven even has chromatics, IIRC...

And Not to Touch the Earth by the Doors must have a lot, cause it just has this weird feel to it, I swear it has to have a bit...
#18
ummmmm not to try to start arguments but i know stairway and i can't think of a part that uses chromatics in the opening, in fact, i dont think any part of stairway has chromatics. and yes they can be used often as a transitional phrase from one key to another, me personally i like to use them in conjunction w/ modes of any given keys to give an eerie dissonant feeling and as phrasing transition from one key or mode to the next theres a TON of ways to use chromatics, you just have to know the dynamics behind how to use them properly
#20
I've seen chromatics used in order to run up to a note, very fast. They can be used as lead-up-tos to a note that you want to emphasize... that's where I've seen them, mostly shred guitar because it's easy to pack in many notes that close together.

I use them lots for finger exercises and speed exercises.... that's about it so far.
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#22
Quote by Bryan52803
(Roughly translated) "I just came to this forum a couple months ago and noticed everyone else was bashing Avenged Sevenfold. So I decided, hey why not!"

To the poster, as stated earlier, it can be used to create tension in the notes by breaking the mold of the traditional scale either momentarily or repeatedly. As was pointed out by Smelly up there, Avenged Sevenfold uses it in several of their songs. A good example would be the Beast and the Harlot solo. The song is about the fall of Babylon, so when I hear the harmonized chomatic decending lick at the end it really captures the feeling of "falling."

Bry

i think thats bs in an interview they said there stuff has nothin to do with the bible when ALOT of it does! so confusing
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#23
k, in regards to the stairway thing, the movement is chromatic based but all of it is based off of chord shapes so the chord shaping makes it inherently non-chromatic even though it does move down in half step increments..... does this make any sense?
#24
the notes going down in halfsteps is chromatic. the rest is totally not..
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#25
ok just because a move appears chromatically does not necessarily make it so..... i.e.

E-------5-7-----7-|-8-----8-2-----2-|-0---------0------|--------------------|
B-----5-----5------|---5-------3------|---1---1-----1---|-0-1-1------------|
G---5---------5----|-----5-------2----|-----2---------2-|-0-2-2------------|
D-7-------6--------|-5-------4--------|-3----------------|--------------------|
A-------------------|-------------------|-------------------|-2-0-0---0--/8-7-|
E-------------------|-------------------|-------------------|---------------------|

as we all know, this is stairway courtesy of our wonderful UG
The first chord is an 'A minor' the next is a 'Gmajor add 6 (i believe) then a 'D major' then an F major, and ends on the G major to A minor and the slide bit..... the point i'm trying to make here is although the d string moves chromatically it doesn't necessarily make it a chromatic piece, like the intro to master of puppets, chromatic pieces typically have a dissonant or jarring effect because there is not a genuinely consonant root note..... . another common misconception on chords is that the lowest note of the chord defines the chord, which is often true but not always..... does this help any more i hope?
Last edited by z4twenny at Jun 22, 2006,
#26
In Bloom by Nirvana is pretty chromatic i think. Throughout the song, the only power chords it doesnt use are C# and E
#27
you don't really ever use it in the real world.


Please see Schoenberg, Webern, Berg, and Bartok.

you can't exactly "write something in a chromatic key"


So what? You seem to be suggesting that music was invented 400 years ago in the West, and has remained here ever since.
Here are some equally ridiculous statements...

- You can't exactly build a tin can out of lead
- You can't exactly write a 4/4 beat in 5/4

There does exist music outside outside of the Western tonal system (which itself is misleading, since it is entirely possible to use all twelve notes of the chromatic scale in a single key)
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#28
So what? You seem to be suggesting that music was invented 400 years ago in the West, and has remained here ever since.
So what? you're arguing against somebody that posted that nearly 3 years ago.
Call me Batman.
#29
Quote by J.A.M
So what? you're arguing against somebody that posted that nearly 3 years ago.


Take it up with the person that resurected the thread.
Someones knowledge of guitar companies spelling determines what amps you can own. Really smart people can own things like Framus because they sound like they might be spelled with a "y" but they aren't.
#30
Quote by Archeo Avis
Take it up with the person that resurected the thread.

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#31
Quote by COB4ever
yea i think the chromatic scale is pretty gay

COB,and A7X are gay too then lol.

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Last edited by Dawnwalker at May 21, 2009,
#32
Quote by livefortoday
some songs use it. take that weird circus tune for example.. dont know what its called, but everyone knows it... that sounds pretty natural and it's in the chromatic scale

a lot of metallica riffs are chromatic, too, like master of puppets



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#33
The opening riff to 'new born' by muse is chromatic, which sounds great.
#34
Quote by Dawnwalker
COB,and A7X are gay too then lol.


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You sir win this thread! Plus I like your sig, I too lost my passion for metal to the blues.
#35
Quote by GumbyEater
i wrote a riff in C-chromatic

lol
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#36
I find that using chromatic scale can allow you to make a longer "climb" or "fall" because there are more notes to use.
#37
you use it all the time, either for passing tones or modulation in diatonic music and playing non diatonic music. when used correctly (melodic inflection and rhythmic phrasing) chromatic runs here and there add alot to improvisation, allowing you to string the listener along more then if you stayed diatonic.