Last week’s post introduced 32 new arpeggio warmups by cycling through the keys in ascending fifths rather than descending fifths. This week we’re going to take this idea further by cycling in half-steps or chromatically.
For instruments that don’t naturally transpose chromatically (piano, sax, etc.) this may seem like a daunting task. In my experience though it doesn’t take long to learn to transpose simple, short melodic fragments chromatically.
This is what a sample exercise looks like that descends through all twelve keys chromatically:
And this is the ascending version:
The chromatically descending cycle occurs in practice when dominant chords are tritone-substituted. A regular ii-V7-I (which descends in fifths) becomes ii-IIb7-I (with the roots descending chromatically).
Again, all 32 original arpeggio inversions can be practices based on those to cycles resulting in 64 new arpeggio warmups. Here are the 8 play-alongs for all those new exercises: