Advanced Chromatic Exercises

Improve your speed with these chromatic and sweeping exercises!

On this page, you find another seventeen chromatic and sweeping exercises to get your teeth into! The main difference from now on is that we start combining different rhythms.

When you can play these at a tempo between 100-140 BPM you will notice a new ease in your playing.

Let’s start by sweeping using 16th note rhythms.

Sweeping exercises 15-18

Identical to chromatic exercises 11-14, these exercises use 16th note clusters, now we sweep them.

The best way to approach these exercises is to sing the rhythm (see Guitar Conspiracy) at the same time as you play. Take short breaks and increase the BPM slowly.

Sweeping exercises are the ones to be extra careful with when increasing BPM. Don’t increase with more than 2 BPM at a time, you must focus on accuracy!

Since the rhythms vary, but the distance between strings remain the same, you will develop some serious pick control if you practise these exercises regularly.

Chromatic speed exercises 19-20

These two chromatic exercises will dramatically improve your speed. By playing six 16th notes and rest for two as in exercise 19, you create a little gap in the exercise, this means that the BPM can be pushed further.

For exercise 20, play seven 16th notes, rest for one. This will require some serious focus.

Chromatic exercises 21-25

The following chromatic exercises combine rhythms, this is key to improving your ability to stay in time.

When you are perfectly on the click it should disappear, the sound of your notes should cancel out the sound of the metronome. This is what musicians refer to as “burying the click”.

Sweeping speed exercises 26-31

The last sweeping exercises focus on improving your speed. The secret to success here is to play with absolute accuracy.

In the advanced course, we spend thirty seconds to a minute on an individual exercise before taking a short break, increase the tempo with only 2 BPM. We also modify the sweeping and chromatic exercises by adding chromatic notes.


These exercises focused on timing and speed, we played them both chromatically up and down the neck as well as sweeping over strings.

It would be a good idea to keep track of your BPM results for each individual exercise. If you do this you’re more likely to improve pick control and speed.

The advanced guitar course explores these exercises further.