Chromatic Walkup

A Powerful Scruggs Lick that Walks to the D Chord.

Chromatic means the notes move one fret at a time. That's what's happening here. This is a simple, but powerful lick. It walks from that open B note right up to the D note. Since we are doing it as a double stop with the open D string, it makes the movement intense; and suspenseful. A double stop just means that two notes are played at once. The term comes from fiddle players, but is used to communicate the same concept on all the Bluegrass instruments.

The other cool component to this lick is the timing. That first double stop comes on an off beat. It arrives just a hair sooner than you may expect. That's what makes it so cool! The element of surprise. This unique timing is known as syncopation. You might also hear someone call it "pushed" or "anticipated" attack/beat.

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Next up, we'll look at another chromatic walk-up that takes us right back to the G chord.