Chromatic Scale Exercise for Accuracy: 16th Notes
A little while ago I gave you a real cool finger exercise, Diagonals.
In case you missed it, it is now here on my blog with accompanying video:
There is now another one that I am really stoked about that anyone can do. It doesn’t matter your playing level.
It utilizes the basic chromatic scale. But, as an added bonus, you play the notes in 16ths.
What that means in a nutshell, is you play 4 notes per beat.
It also means that you need to work with a metronome.
This exercise works as a great warmup. But also, maybe even more important, it also helps with your accuracy and speed (although, accuracy should always be a priority over speed).
Grab the TAB here to follow along. There will be 4 different sequences to work on. Don’t worry, they aren’t complicated!
Here is how it works:
- Assign 1 finger to a fret. In my example, pointer is on the 5th fret, middle on the 6th, ring on the 7th, pinky on the 8th (although you can do this starting on any fret).
- Use alternate picking. This is real important. As you move through faster metronome speeds, just down picking will be become very difficult. Your picking hand should be in a constant up/down motion.
- As always, make sure your technique is right. If it isn’t, don’t continue until you have it. Thumb and wrist positions need to be correct. Use your finger tips. No body english. Good posture. Arm off of leg. Guitar is at a good angle.
- Set your metronome to a slow tempo. This will vary for everyone, so find a tempo that is easy for you to start with. If you aren’t sure, start at 60 bpm and see how that feels.
- Look at the TAB and work on Sequence 1. The notes always ascend on each string as you move from the low string to the hi one and back.
- Then go to Sequence 2, then 3, then 4. Some will be more difficult than others.
- Here is where the real magic happens: you will eventually find a tempo where you fail and it is real difficult. That is your breaking point and is where you should practice most.
- Soon you will master that tempo, then move up in 8 bpm increments. Make sure your notes sound clean before you move on.
- When you come back to start again, start slow to warm up. Notch it down about 16 bpm below the breaking tempo. Then work your way back up.
- This isn’t a race. Take your time. Move as slow as needed. I guarantee you will get to your destination faster by moving slow. Remember the tortoise and the hare. You wanna be the tortoise.
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