Chromatic Exercise

Hello! Firstly it is an honor to share a bit of space with some of the most ferocious players out there! Secondly thank you to CFH for letting me share a rather interesting chromatic exercise with you. This comes from Pat Martino (if you don't know who he is, do take the time to check him out. He is a genius.). This is an amazing chromatic riff/exercise that gets your fingers pumping through dramatic string skipping and (at first) awkward fingerings, while challenging your sense of the more traditional half step chromatic exercises.

The ascending riff is fairly straightforward, with a finger per fret, which are as follows: 1 4 3 2 3 1 2 1 2 3 4 2 and slide up half step for next section). The awkward part is the skip from the high E (fingers 1 and 2) to the low E (fingers 3 and 4). The descending section fingering should go as follows: 4 2 3 1 4 1 3 4 2 3 4 2 1 (note that the 8th and 9th note occur on the same string and are only a fret apart, but the fingering goes from the pinky to the middle! This might seem very awkward at first until you see that it is necessary for this setup to complete the rest and get into position for the next descending section!)

We are always hearing chromatic runs and riffs in all sorts of places, but this is by far one of the more disturbing and complicated-sounding riff/exercises! In my opinion, if played too fast, those creepier intervals can't hang around long enough to be disturbing. On the other hand, if you blaze crazy fast, it begins to sound like some kind of machinery! I play as melodic as the next guy, but I always like to throw a little something extra in to stand people on their ears!

Experiment, and don't be afraid to harsh up your melodic soloing with a little quick left/right combo once in awhile!

Take care, and shred on folks! Matt Kim

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