Chromatic Scale Exercises

Taming The Saxophone vol 3

Patterns, scales & licks for intermediate to advanced players. Examples in this section
Lots of great stuff for myself and my students - I wish I'd had the book fifteen years ago! -Dan Forshaw

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Exercises involving the Chromatic Scale


These exercises are all based around the chromatic scale so it’s a good idea to first learn the scale before studying these exercises. Obviously you don’t want to run before you can walk!

As usual I have followed a convention of using sharps for ascending passages and flats for descending, except where it complicates the look. For example in the very first bar of the first exercise, I could have used Eb instead of D#, however if that was the case then the second note would have needed a natural sign for the E, followed by a further flat sign for the next note. It is simpler in this cased to use D#.

Although the chromatic scale doesn’t specifically “fit” any  particular chord as it obviously contains all the available notes, you can still use it within chord changes by paying attention to the chord tones on strong beats. In the first example here, the first two bars could fit the chords G7 to C major. The notes that don’t seem to “fit” can be assumed to function as or like passing notes. Bars two to three could fit a change from C major to E7. Take full advantage of the fact that especially on dominant chords, almost any note can be an extension or an alteration.

Ex 5.01

saxophone exercises on the chromatic scale number 1

Ex 5.02

saxophone exercises on the chromatic scale number 2

Ex 5.03

This is a good exercise as it takes you up the chromatic scale, then down to start on the note a step higher.

saxophone exercises on the chromatic scale number 3

Chromatic Scale Exercises
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