Beginner Chromatic Exercises

Bring the chromatic exercise to life

Use different rhythms for maximum results

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Chromatic exercises

A twist on the Chromatic Exercise

The concept of Spytunes chromatic exercises is to vary the rhythms. This is a unique concept that has become one of our most popular exercises.

Exercise 1 has a straight 8th note pattern (8 notes in one bar of 4/4). Aim to reach a BPM of at least 120.

Exercise 2 is based on a straight 16th note pattern (16 notes in a bar of 4/4). This is the exercise you’ll keep coming back to in order to measure your overall development.

Exercise 3 uses an 8th note triplet pattern (3 notes per beat). The first thing you’ll notice when you play it is that the downbeat is no longer synchronized with your index finger. This, in itself, will greatly improve your left and right-hand coordination.

Keep practicing the last two exercises until they reach 70-90 BPM.

Put into a daily routine, these exercises will seriously improve any guitarists:

  1. Accuracy
  2. Speed
  3. Right and left-hand coordination
  4. Rhythmical awareness
  5. Timing & groove

In my beginner guitar course, I’ll reveal the full potential of this amazing concept as we push the BPM, play it on string pairs, in reverse, string skip and turn it into a sweeping exercise.

To find exercise 4-14, visit intermediate chromatic exercises.

Here are the first three chromatic exercises and below, links to lessons in the course where they are developed further.

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Chromatic exercises 1-3

Guitar Lessons

Combine Three Chromatic Exercises

Today we put the three chromatic exercises together.

Practice all exercises as the TAB describe before you start combining them in an improvised way.

Go to Combine three chromatic exercises.

Push The BPM Of A Chromatic Exercise

The chromatic exercises are great for developing left and right-hand coordination, improve accuracy and speed.

It’s also a great exercise for warming up, so let’s start with that.

Go to Push the BPM of a chromatic exercise.

Chromatic Exercise on string pairs

Decide for yourself how you want to practice this concept. Do you play all string pairs before you change the BPM, or just one?

It would be a good idea to play at a tempo where 100% accuracy is achieved as speed is a consequence of accuracy.

Go to Chromatic exercise on string pairs.

The String Skipping Chromatic Exercise

Today we develop the string pair concept for the chromatic exercise by skipping strings, this makes it much harder!

You decide what tempo is right for you. Focus on 100% accuracy.

Go to The string skipping chromatic exercise.

Sweeping Exercise

Today we start looking at a completely new way of playing the chromatic exercise, we now travel across the strings in a sweeping motion.

We do this in preparation for playing a new song.

Go to Sweeping exercise.

Sweeping Exercise – Push BPM

How many times do you play the looped pattern before you stop for a break and increase the BPM?

Perhaps 20 seconds playing, 10 seconds resting is a good idea.

Go to Sweeping exercise – Push BPM.

Sweeping Exercise – 16th Notes

Today we move on to the next sweeping exercise.

Just like when we developed the first chromatic exercise, we now change to 16th notes.

Go to Sweeping exercise – 16th notes.

Sweeping Exercise – Triplets

Just like with the chromatic exercise, we can fit a triplet rhythm to the sweeping exercise.

And just like before, the downbeat will now start corresponding with different fingers.

Go to Sweeping exercise – Triplets.

Related Pages


Beginner Chord ProgressionWhat do you need to know in order to play real songs?

What exercises should you practice to warm-up and improve your technique? How do you understand and change the key of a song?

Go to Beginner guitar exercises.


Learning how to play guitar is best done through playing and learning from songs.

Not only will learning songs help you with switching between chords and improve your rhythm playing. Songs also hold the key to how music works theoretically.

Go to Beginner guitar course.

Beginner Acoustic Songs

You can learn how to play these beginner songs on the acoustic guitar.

Ain’t No Sunshine, The Drugs Don’t Work, One More Cup Of Coffee, Redemption Song, Rewind, Robin Hood, Talking About A Revolution, Time Of Your Life, and Wonderwall.

Go to Beginner acoustic songs.

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A monthly subscription with access to all acoustic and electric step by step lessons, each one designed to bring your guitar playing skills to the next level.

Including detailed, but bite-sized explanations on how the music theory of each song is applied to the neck.

Go to Monthly subscription.