The Chromatic Scale

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Learning your chromatic scale is very important. The chromatic scale consists of all half steps and once you’ve learned the chromatic scale you have learned every note on the flute. In order not to overwhelm my students, I have them learn 4 notes at a time (remember there is a link to a flute fingering chart on my post “Bettering your sound on the flute”). In one octave (not including the actual octave note which will be the same note name to which you started) of the chromatic scale there are 12 different notes, so that means there will be 3 groups of 4. I have my students start on the low F and learn F,F#,G and G# first. Once they have those four notes (it doesn’t matter how long it takes them to learn them) I have them learn the next four (A,A#,B,C), then the next four (C#,D,D#,E). Remember these notes are in the lower octave, but once they are use to the fingerings of those 12 notes I point out that the next 12 notes are almost identical fingerings, except for D,D# and E. It won’t take long before you know 2 octaves. Once you’re pretty comfortable with the chromatic then start practicing playing one octave at a time. Start with playing low F to middle F and back down. Then start the next octave on low F#, go to middle F# and back down again. Then start the next octave on low G, go to middle G and back down again. Continue with this pattern and try to cover all the octaves possible. When you get to an octave that goes to a note you don’t know yet, try learning that note and practice playing up to it from the note right below it. When you’re ready, then try playing the octave chromatic scale that goes up to that note. Make sure to take it slow and don’t ever rush, try to avoid mistakes when you practice otherwise you are practicing mistakes. Just keep challenging yourself and strive to learn more notes high and low. The chromatic scale is the foundation to music. It’s very important to learn it.