Tip #189 – Adding Chromatics into your Scalar Line

By default, use any chromatics that are included in said scale that you are using (such as blues, bebop scale, etc.)

However, in the case that you are using any regular major, natural minor, or modal scale – here are some times and where and how to throw in chromatics:

Typically, chromatics between the notes of the scale are used as neighboring tones, passing tones, or enclosures.

That being said, in any job their focus in to bring emphasis the arrival note.

So, as you are using a chromatic line, or just inserting chromatic pitches into a scale, think about the following:

  • Are they going in the direction of the note that needs the most attention?
  • Is it used for enclosing/neighboring effect?
  • Does the chromatics sound sublime or out-of-nature to the key?

From this assessment, you can add the right chromatic notes to the line.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read! Feel free to comment, share, and subscribe for more daily tips below! Till next time.

Author: Bryan M. Waring

Bryan Waring is a graduate of USM's School of Music with a B.M. in Performance – Composition and is now attending Belmont University for a M.M. in Commercial Media – Composition & Arranging. During his time at USM, he studied violin with Dino Liva and composition with Dr. Daniel Sonenberg, as well as has premiered several pieces during the semiannual Composer's Ensemble concert series. In 2017, Bryan was a writer for the original musical theater work of "Molded By The Flow," directed by Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert. Outside of school, Bryan has been involved with writing music for videogame developers at Portland's CI2 Lab, collaborating with the King Tide Party, and studying with Larry Groupé (Straw Dogs) in San Diego. Now living in Nashville. Along with composing, Bryan teaches music to children, receiving the Master Teacher Award for his work at ESF Camps; and does audio engineering for live ensembles. Besides talents in music, Bryan is a team-player in any competitive work environment; equipped with skills in leadership, organization, mathematics, creativity, communication, and managing. On the side, Bryan has worked as a model for several skilled artists in the New England area. Among his other accomplishments include obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in April 2013 with a project of building a side parking area with guide rails for Webb Mountain Park in Monroe, CT.

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