I want to improve my picking speed and coordination, and eventually shred. However, I am not sure where to start. My main question is if practicing chromatic excercises to a metronome is a way to improve my speed. Would I just be able to play chromatics faster by following this path? Or will it speed up all of my playing including new riffs. If not will I have to repeat the metronome process with every riff I want to learn? Thank you.
The more you practice your chromatic scales the more precise your fingering gets regardless what you're playing, so your riffs become cleaner and quicker with less practice.

I can highly recommend two books;
Troy Stetina - Speed Mechanics for Lead Guitar
Jack Zucker - Sheets of Sound
It's a fine line between clever and stupid.
Yes, chromatic runs will help to build up speed. There are a few another practice techniques that can help. Try funny fingering patterns or play your chromatic runs, but instead of straight 16th notes or whatever you do, try to change it up. Try a 16th followed by two 8th and then three 16th notes or something like that. Any weird patterning will help you develop rhythm and coordination.
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