Chromatic Etudes for All Instruments (bass clef)

Year of composition
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
1 minute
Instrumental parts
Not available

These etudes may be practiced on any chromatic instrument. It is best to memorize these 3 basic patterns, and play them without music. Also available for treble clef, written two octaves higher.

Once learned, these studies will give the student a vast working knowledge of the 12 chromatic tones of their instrument and all their relationships to one another, help them to navigate from every note on their instrument to every other note, improve and speed fingering, master leaps and register changes, and in general rapidly propel the student in the mastery of their instrument.

It should also be encouraged to modify these etudes when practicing- shorten the repetition of notes, change rhythms, add repetitions of notes, etc.

FOR FURTHER PRACTICE- Play through again using the same patterns and principals as established in the chromatic etudes, but now with whole tones instead of half (using a whole tone scale as opposed to a chromatic scale). So, C, D, E, F#, G#, A#, C, D, and so on, in all ranges and starting notes (including C#, D#, F, G, A, B, C#, D#, etc. in all it's combinations). Next, play it all in minor thirds, using the same patterns as before. Next, play in major 3rds, then 4ths, then tritones, 5ths, minor 6ths, etc… at least up octaves. Next, after all that is mastered, you could continue the etude based on scales, starting with the octatonic scale (half tone, whole tone, half tone, whole tone, half tone, whole tone, half tone, whole tone). This would probably be a good place to stop, but if you wish to continue, you would next play it with arpeggios, major, minor, and then with the 4 major and minor 7th arpeggios. Next, play it with a diatonic western scale (C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C) which would take you through all the keys. Next, play it with any other scale you like, a pentatonic scale, a blues scale, a gypsy scale, etc. Of course you could keep going on almost forever, but first you might want to be screened for savant syndrome.

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