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Jesus Joshua 24:15 Home  »  Forum Home  »  Music Discussions  »  Guitar Discussions  »  Lesson #10: Building Blocks - Interval Studies



Guitar Weenie

740 Posts

Posted - 06 Dec 2005 :  14:57:25 Show Profile
Building Blocks: Interval Studies

Last column, we looked at the 'Chromatic scale'.To review, the Chromatic scale contains all twelve tones of the
western system of music. Each tone is a 'half-step',or 1 fret, distance apart.For example, if you started on the
low 'E' string, picking the open 'E' note, then moving to the first fret,'F', on the same string, you are moving
up in pitch "chromatically", hence the name.Let's look at this in a more practical way;


 1  E  --------------------------0--1--
 2  B  ---------------------0--1-------
 3  G  ----------------0--1------------
 4  D  -----------0--1-----------------
 5  A  ------0--1----------------------
 6  E  -0--1---------------------------
        E  F A Bb D Eb G Ab B  C E  F
               A#   D#   G#

Let's take this a step further;


 1  E  -------------------------------------------------------------------------1--2--3--4--5--
 2  B  ----------------------------------------------------------1--2--3--4--5-----------------
 3  G  ----------------------------------------------1--2--3--4--------------------------------
 4  D  -------------------------------1--2--3--4--5--------------------------------------------
 5  A  ----------------1--2--3--4--5-----------------------------------------------------------
 6  E  -1--2--3--4--5--------------------------------------------------------------------------
        F  F# G  G# A  A# B  C  C# D  D# E  F  F# G  G# A  A# B  C  C# D  D# E  F  F# G  G# A
           Gb    Ab    Bb       Db    Eb       Gb    Ab    Bb       Db    Eb       Gb    Ab

(Note that you can DESCEND back down in half-steps as well as ascend.Just reverse the process.)

Now, let us get more specific.Since the 'chromatic scale' ascends and descends in one fret increments, we say
that the 'chromatic scale' is constructed of "half-step intervals". The term "interval" refers to the distance
that spans from one note to the next.So, the distance between 'E' and 'F' is an "interval" of a half-step.The
distance between 'A' and 'Bb'is an "interval" of a half-step.Another way to refer to this half-step interval
is a "minor 2nd." (Look at the column "Building Blocks:#2")

Let's get even deeper inside this.I'm going to show how the intervals relate to the beginning note of a Key.
From here on out, the first tone of the scale, or key, is called the "Root." Most of the time,itis refered to
as the "one", or defined as a capital "R".Either way, it is refered to as the "Root".We are going to use the 'E'
note on the 6th string, open fret, just for the sake of simplicity.


 6  E  -0--1--0--2--0--3--0--4--0--5--0--6--0--7--0--8--0--9--0--10--0--11--0--12--
        E  F  E  F# E  G  E  G# E  A  E  Bb E  B  E  C  E  C# E  D   E  D#  E  E (8va) (Note:8va=Octave)
        R  b2 R  M2 R  b3 R  M3 R  P4 R  b5 R  P5 R  #5 R  M6 R  b7  R  M7  R  R

Notice that I refered each interval from the "Root or "R".So each interval is a jump from the "R" to the next
scale step.For example, 'E' to 'F' is a distance of a "minor 2nd" or "b2". From 'E' to 'F#' is a "Major 2nd",
or "M2".'E' to 'G' is a "minor 3rd" or "b3", and 'E' to 'G#' is a "Major 3rd", or "M3". To clear this up a
little bit more, let's look at the chart below:

(All examples will be based in the Key of 'E'.)

  Root----next note----interval name----common label----distance in steps----distance in frets----

   E   to    F           minor 2nd         b2               Half-step               1 fret  
   E    "   F#/Gb        Major 2nd         M2(2)            Whole-step              2 frets
   E    "    G           minor 3rd         b3              3 Half steps             3 "   "
   E    "   G#/Ab        Major 3rd         M3(3)           2 Whole-steps            4 "   "
   E    "    A           Perfect 4th       P4(4)           2&1/2 steps              5 "   "
   E    "   A#/Bb       Diminished 5th     b5
                        Augmented 4th      #4              3Whole steps             6 "   "
   E    "    B          Perfect 5th        P5(5)           3&1/2 steps              7 "   "
   E    "    C          Augmented 5th      +5(#5)          
                        minor 6th          m6(b6)          4Whole steps             8 "   "
   E    "   C#/Db       Major 6th          M6(6)           4&1/2 steps              9 "   "
   E    "    D          minor 7th          b7              5Whole steps             10"   "
   E    "   D#/Eb       Major 7th          M7              5&1/2 steps              11"   "
   E    "    E	         Octave            8va             6 Whole steps            12"   "

I used a single string (the low 'E' string) to illustrate the distances for these intervals,
but these intervals can be move to other strings.For example;

   Root----next note----interval name----next position (string/fret)----
   E          F            b2              6/0 TO 6/1
   E         F#/Gb          2              6/0 to 6/2
   E          G            b3              6/0 to 6/3
   E         G#/Ab          3              6/0 to 6/4
   E          A             4              6/0 to 6/5  OR  5/0
   E         A#/Bb         b5              6/0 to 6/6  OR  5/1
   E          B             5              6/0 TO 6/7  OR  5/2
   E          C            #5              6/0 to 6/8  OR  5/3
   E         C#/Db          6              6/0 to 6/9  OR  5/4
   E          D            b7              6/0 to 6/10 OR  5/5 OR 4/0
   E         D#/Eb          7              6/0 TO 6/11 OR  5/6 OR 4/1
   E          E           R or 8va         6/0 to 6/12 OR  5/7 OR 4/2

And so on... (in the fraction above, the first number is the string and the second numberis
the fret on that string. Example; 6/0= 6th string,Open; 5/2=Fifth string, second fret,etc...)

The purpose of this is to further get to know the fretboard, and understand how the scales will
be constructed.

"C'mon Dave, Gimme a break!"

Edited by - AXEMAN2415 on 06 Dec 2005 15:00:48

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