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guitar_demon 2004-12-06 16:16

when you have two notes next to each other, or on top(next to each other would be melodic beause your playing one, then the other note, but if one is above the other, then you have harmonic, because there are played at the same time) then you have a space between them from one note to the other. this is called an interval. if you play guitar/bass then you may currently think of intervals as 5 frets or 4 half steps. but actually its easer then that(well before you complicate it). the interval is just the number of notes names from one to the other(you dont count # and b unless your dealing with augmented, diminished ect). you do however always count the note that you start with. so lets do a simple one
what is the interval from A to D?(remember your alphabet ABCDEFG)
start with A and count that as one then count to D so its a 4th.
these are the intervals you can have

prime, 4,5,octaves are perfect. so say you went from A to D you would have a perfect 4th interval.
2,3,6,7 are Major intervals. so if you went from A to F# you have a Major 6 interval

now lets incoprerate our major scales in here.
for now lets use the key/scale of Ab(Ab,Bb,C,Db,Eb,F,G,)
when your in scale you to find the normal intervals you must use the notes in that scale. so here we have some flates and some natural notes. if you had your first note as Ab and you wanted to go up a perfect 5th, then you would end up at Eb(not E because the E's in the Ab scale are flatted) but say you wanted to go up a Major6 interval then you would end up at F

when figuring these out, you have to take the note you want to figure the distance of and use the scale that shares that name. so say you had these




you would take the bottom note (A) and use the A scale(A,B,C#,D,E,F#,G#)
and then take the top note (F#) and see how far it is in the scale (start at A and count to F# remember to count A as one) so you have a Major7 interval there :cool:

for the example above the top note was in the scale of the bottom one. this makes it a diatonic interval(if it was not in the scale it would be a chromatic interval)

EDIT:thanks to POT for pointing out a stupid error on my part :p

guitar_demon 2004-12-06 16:32

if you are not confused by the above post then continue here for the more tricker stuff :)

so now that you know the basic intervals lets move on to some harder ones

perfect intervals can only be turned into diminished, or augmented. while Major intervals can be changed into augmented, diminished or minor intervals.

lets use the C scale again(C,D,E,F,G,A,B)
if you have a perfect 5 interval (from C to G) and you raised that G note up a half step to G# then this would make it an Augmented 5 interval (usually written as +5) now if you took that same G note and lowerd it a half step to Gb then it becomes a diminished 5 interval (written as dim5 or with a degree sign before the # like *5).

if you DONT have a perfect interval and you have a Major interval
then the augemented works the same. so if you had a major 2 (C-D) and you raised it a half step to D# then you would have an Augmented 2 (+2).
BUT if you took the same note and lowered it a half step you DO NOT get a diminished like you do with the perfects. if you took that major2 and lowerd it a half step you end up with a minor 2 (written as min2 or mi2 with a line over the "mi")
now unlike perfects you can lower it another half step so lets take our major2 (C-D) and lowerd it two half steps(one full step) and you end up with Dbb(its the same note as a C but diff name) this would then be a diminished 2 (dim2)
a perfect lowerd a half step=diminished
a perfect raised a half step=augmented
a major lowerd 2 half steps=diminished
a major lowerd a half step=minor
a major raised a half step=augmented

you encounterd a double flat above (bb) there is also a double sharp(notated with a "x")
so say you were in the scale of F#(F#,G#,A#,B,C#,D#,E#)
and you had a perfect 5 (F#-C#) and you made it a +5 then you would end up with F#-Cx or C double sharp

to play a double sharp or flat, you would
take the sharp and raise it up another half step
take the flat and lower it another half step

have fun! :beer:

johnmansley 2004-12-06 16:39

Thanks, Guitar Demon, excellent stuff!

powersofterror 2004-12-06 16:46

Originally Posted by guitar_demon an Augmented 5 interval (usually written as +5) now if you took that same G note and lowerd it a half step to Gb then it becomes a diminished 5 interval (written as dim5 or with a degree sign before the # like *5).

;)keyboards have some music notations...well not technically... to write a diminished you can also do "6" for a diminished 6th. That's the Alt key while hitting the numbers 0186. The aug. was cool though. That is just a "+" symbol. In figured bass though (don't know when you'll get into that) it's different.

guitar_demon 2004-12-06 16:49

Originally Posted by powersofterror
That's the Alt key while hitting the numbers 0186. .

ah thanks i didnt know how to get that so thats why i used the * instead

Transient 2004-12-06 18:35

i just went over this in theory class. youre right on. figuring out how to do intervals is easier if you have the circle of fifths in front of you, or better yet are damn good with key signatures

johnmansley 2004-12-07 06:11

So far so good, but what are the intervals for the chromatic scale?

Transient 2004-12-07 07:31

? i dont really understand what youre asking....a chromatic scale is just every note on the fretboard

powersofterror 2004-12-07 08:15

C-C#-D-D#-E-F-F#-G-G#-A-A#-B-C? That what you were atlking about?

johnmansley 2004-12-07 10:48

I meant what are the names given to the intervals of the chromatic scale.

Say we have C-D-E-F-G-A-B. The interval between C and D is a major second, right? But in the chromatic scale we have C-C#-D-D#-E-F-F#-G-G#-A-A#-B-C which is 12 intervals to arrive at the octave. Now, Guitar Demon said that there are eight types of interval:


So what are the other four intervals in the chromatic scale? If I stick with the interval between C and D (major second from what I've gathered) then would the interval between C and C# be a minor second? Similarly, would the interval between C and D# be a minor third and so on?

Cloaca 2004-12-08 05:10

And what about if you're not using a 12 note octave??

powersofterror 2004-12-08 09:11

They're semi'tones. Also called half steps or minor seconds...

johnmansley 2004-12-08 13:59

OK, so let's see if I can apply this to all the intervals from the C note of the chromatic scale:

C-C#: minor second
C-D: major second
C-D#: minor third
C-E: major third
C-F: perfect fourth
C-F#: augmented fourth/diminished fifth
C-G: perfect fifth
C-G#: minor sixth
C-A: major sixth
C-A#: minor seventh
C-B: major seventh
C-C: octave


Where I'm trying to go with this is applying intervals to harmonization. Rather than harmonizing with notes that are already in the scale I'm thinking about harmonization whereby the whole scale is doubled exactly but just shifted up or down a certain number of steps.

For example, the C major scale harmonized in minor seconds.

Instrument 1: C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C (C major)

Instrument 2: C#-D#-F-F#-G#-A#-C-C# (harmonized in minor seconds)

[Aside: on the guitar, guitar 1 would play within C major while guitar 2 would mirror guitar 1 but shift everything up by half a step.]

powersofterror 2004-12-08 15:20

Christ John, that would be the most wicked sounding riff in the world!:vampire:

C-F# is NOT a dim 5th.
C-Gb is....;)

johnmansley 2004-12-08 17:17

Ah! So C-F# is an augmented fourth? I think I'm starting to get the hang of this ;)

guitar_demon 2004-12-08 17:50

yea it would be

powersofterror 2004-12-08 18:27

Right. Try to think of it like seeing a staff. A line to line/space to space is a 3rd no matter what accidentals, a line to 2 spaces up/space to 2 lines up is always a 4th no matter what the on and so forth.

BTW, An inverted perfect 4th is a perfect 5th
An inverted perfect 5th is a perfect 4th
An inverted minor 2nd is a Major 7th
An inverted major 2nd is a minor 7th
An inverted minor 7th is a Major 2nd..

yadda yadda yadda.....

DEAD 2004-12-09 02:21

There is also something called a tri-tone which is the sound between a major 3rd and a perfect 4th

powersofterror 2004-12-09 08:33

That's just another name for the "sound" of an aug. 4th or dim. 5th.

G_urr_A 2004-12-11 20:53

Originally Posted by guitar_demon



the top note (G#)

That's an F#

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