Beginner Chromatic Exercises

Bring the chromatic exercise to life!

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

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

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

The first three exercises set you up nicely for the intermediate chromatic exercises where the concept will be taken to its full potential. Before you dive into that, make sure you can play the first three along to a metronome.

For exact step by step instructions and how to get the most from these chromatic exercises, turn to the beginner course.

Chromatic exercise 1

The first exercise has a straight 8th note pattern (8 notes in one bar of 4/4)

Aim to reach a BPM of at least 120 before you stop practising this and move on to exercise 2.

Chromatic exercise 2

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.

There is no point in trying to get this exercise to really fast BPM settings just on its own, you will have to practise the intermediate chromatic exercises as well.

Doing it this way will fine tune your picking technique and enable this straight 16th note pattern to be executed quicker.

Chromatic exercise 3

The third chromatic exercise 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 synchronised with your index finger. This, in itself, will greatly improve your left and right-hand coordination.

Keep practising the last two exercises until they reach 70-90 BPM. When this feels comfortable, move on to the intermediate exercises.


The first three exercises got you set up to play the same exercise with different rhythms. Doing this will enable you to play these first three faster. The beginner course discusses this in more detail.

The best way forward to achieve great results is to play these little and often, most importantly you need to play different rhythms in order to iron out any problems in the right hand.

To ensure you have improved, keep track of what BPM you can play these first three at.

In my step by step guitar courses, I’ll reveal the full potential of this amazing concept. In total, there are sixty-six variations!