Lesson 15 Chromatic


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Clicking Up

We want to play the chromatic scale as fast and as cleanly as we possibly can. We also know that we do not want to push ourselves so fast that we practice errors. With this method, you will never play too fast, but you will play faster than you ever have before! Here is how it works:

  1. Start at a tempo slow enough where you can play the scale perfectly every time (this may be playing quarter notes slower than ♩=60)
  2. Play the scale 1 time correctly
  3. Click up your metronome 1 click
    • Some electronic metronomes click up by 1 number (ex: 60-61)
    • Traditional metronomes do not change by one number at a time
    • Traditional metronomes change by multiple numbers with one click up or down (60-63)
    • Follow the metronome markings below
  4. Play the scale again correctly (1 time only)
  5. Repeat this pattern (see audio examples below for an example of the entire process)
  6. Clicking up should generally happen a minimum of 10 times before an error occurs
  7. If you are unable to click up 10 times before an error occurs, than your starting tempo needs to be lower on the metronome
  8. Stop the “clicking up” process when you make your 1st real error. (Play the scale 1 more time at a slower tempo, ending correctly)
  9. Repeat this process each day, always starting at the same low tempo marking

By following this process you will:

  1. Play your scales correctly
  2. Never play too quickly
  3. End up playing faster than you thought possible

Let’s Play

I am going to make an adjustment to this exercise in relation to the clicking up process described above. Normally we will play a minimum of 10 times, but for this lesson you will repeat the scale just 5 times. We will begin the scale at ♩=60, playing quarter notes, and click up 5 times to ♩=72. You can do this on your own, or with me in the audio below.

If you are having a difficult time reaching ♩=72, then feel free to start at a slower metronome marking, such as ♩=52. Don’t worry if you are not able to reach ♩=72 the first day. You have all week to accomplish this goal.

In addition you may be able to play faster than ♩=72 when not using the metronome. If this is the case, check yourself with the metronome and make sure you can lock in with the tempo. If you are not able to do so, it will limit how fast you can play in the future.