Lesson 2 - intervals

21/12/2012 14:24

In the last chapter we talk especially about the octave. Now we look also at other intervals. The interval is always represented by two tones . Exactly it is combination of two tones. The smallest interval is called perfect unisono, is represented by number '1' and it consists of two the same tones. For further explanations, look at this list of intervals:

abbreviation interval name diference between tones
1 perfect unisono 0 semitones
b2 minor second 1 semitone
2 major second 2 semitones
b3 minor third 3 semitones
3 major third 4 semitones
4 perfect fourth 5 semitones
b5 tritone 6 semitones
5 perfect fifth 7 semitones
b6 minor sixth 8 semitones
6 major sixth 9 semitones
b7 minor seventh 10 semitones
7 major seventh 11 semitones
8 perfect octave 12 semitones


Notice, that there are 12 intervals and 13th interval is an octave (i.e. first and last tone of the interval is the same, but sounds higher or lower). The difference between intervals (between rows in the table) is always one semitone (e.g. next interval is always bigger by one semitone). And another thing is apparent from the table - that after every 12 semitones you get octave.


Now look at your guitar. Difference between any tone and a tone one fret up (or down) is also one semitone . Now play any tone. For example the low E (open thickest string). We consider this tone as the root tone (first note of an interval). So when you play open string E and then second tone with pressed string on the first fret, you will hear interval b2 (minor second). When you play open low E and then the tone on the 2nd fret of this string, you will hear interval 2 (major second).


You can continue and then you will realize, that the tone on the 12. fret is the same as the tone of the open string. You can try it on the other strings as well – just play any open string and then press that string right before 12. fret and play it again. This is octave - two the same tones, but one sounds higher and another sounds lower...


Notice, that on most guitars are dots beside five and twelve fret . It can help you to know where are you on the fretboard.


Exercises for this lesson:

In the first exercise play any open string (e.g. low E). Then press this string on the 1st fret and play it again. Listen carefully these two tones and simultaneously say the name of the interval (b2). Next two tones will be farther apart by one semitone. So the tone of the open string and the tone on the 2nd fret of the same string (interval 2). Tehn follow the table (above) until you play the octave (open string and 12. fret).


In the second exercise play any open string and then the same string but press it on any fret (e.g. open string and then 5.fret of this string). And again, listen carefully and simultaneously say the name of the interval (4 in this case). Do it a couple of minutes or more to be more familiar with interval sounding.


Next: Lesson 3 - semitones


Other lessons:

Lesson 1 - first steps

Lesson 3 - tones

Lesson 4 - first chords

Lesson 5 - seventh chords

Lesson 6 - any-fret chords

Lesson 7 - chord progression I

Lesson 8 - chord progression II

Lesson 9 - arpeggios

Lesson 10 - scales

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