Chromatic Scale

The Chromatic Scale consists of twelve notes that each are one semi-step apart (it can be compared with the contrary diatonic scale), and is also called the Half-tone Scale. As the picture below shows, all notes in the octave are included. Chromatic scales are not very useful as groundworks for a composition, instead they can be integrated as parts of songs. For example, in a bass walk sequence of notes such as G - F# - F - E from the G to the Em chord. This can be referred to as a chromatic movement.

If we take the Chromatic Scale in C as an example, it can be played as:
Ascending: C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, C
Descending: C, B, Bb, A, Ab, G, Gb, F, E, Eb, D, Db, C

C Chromatic scale diagram
You will not find pictures of chromatic scales in all keys, it would be somewhat unnecessary due to the similarities. The formula is uncomplicated: all notes are included. Therefore, the G Chromatic Scale would begin at G and consist of all notes to the next G including one octave.

Use the Chromatic Scale for exercise

This scale can be used for an exercise of the control over your fingers:
Notes of chromatic scale
Notice the instructions for fingerings: you should mainly alternate the thumb and the middle finger. Begin slowly and play strictly according to the advised fingerings. The exercise can be mirrored for the left hand. As you get more secure, you can gradually increase the tempo. You can also bring in more octaves in the exercise.

Use the Chromatic Scale for a melody

Here is another, more melodic, example:
Example with notesThis short melody line shows how a bass walk made by adding chromatic notes (F# in the second bar and D in the third bar) can be constructed.

Chromatic passing tones

Chromatic notes can be used as passing notes, which are played shortly between notes in the key. These can be seen as the opposite of target notes. Many scales include seven notes and there are five passing notes in a such scale. In the C Major, for example, the scale tones are C, D, E, F, G, A, B and the passing tones are Db, Eb, Gb, Ab, Bb. A specific technique that can be used is to "slide down" from a black key to the following white key on the right. This can create an interested effect and is relatively common in blues.

Chromatic notes between chords

Using chromatic notes between chords are a common approach, not at least in jazz. This can be done with single chromatic notes (e.g. a D# note between chords such as Cmaj7 and Dm7) or part of longer sequences of notes.