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Jesus Joshua 24:15 Home  »  Forum Home  »  Music Discussions  »  Guitar Discussions  »  Lesson #11: Building Blocks - More Intervals



Guitar Weenie

740 Posts

Posted - 12 Dec 2005 :  16:23:23 Show Profile
Building Blocks: More Intervals

When last we looked at this subject on intervals, we looked at things from a single string perspective. This time, let's look
at how intervals create shapes ACROSS the fretboard (or "neck"), meaning from string to string, rather than on a single string.
I will try to compare both ways, but by looking at things across the neck, you can see how chords shapes are formed.

Let's begin with intervals on the low 'E' string,to review:


 6th '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--

 Interval   R b2  R M2  R b3  R M3  R  4  R b5  R  5  R #5  R M6  R  b7  R  M7  R  R (8va)

As we can see, the interval steps are based on the first note of whatever key you start (in this case, the key of 'E'). The 'R'
means "Root", and we use the root as our starting point. So we reference all of our intervals to 'E', and they move according
to the appropriate fret distance. Let's break it down even further; we'll just use the first 5 frets.


 6th String 'E' --0--1--    --0--2--    --0--3--    --0--4--     --0--5--
                  R b2        R M2        R b3        R M3         R  4
                  E  F        E F#        E  G        E G#         E  A

Let's take note of a couple of things. First, notice the distance in frets. The distance of 'E' to 'F' (a minor 2nd) is 1 fret.
So then, we can conclude that ANY minor second interval is one fret. It does not matter what note that you begin with.Any note
that is 1 fret from another on the same string is called a "minor 2nd." Likewise, in our example, the distance from 'E' to 'F#'
is TWO (2) frets apart. This is called a "Major 2nd interval",and we can conclude that any two notes 2 frets apart, on the same
string, is called a "Major 2nd interval." The distance of three (3) frets is a "minor 3rd interval". A distance of 4frets equals
a "Major 3rd interval." And a distance of 5 frets is a "Perfect 4th interval." And so on up the string.

The second thing to observe in our last example is the "Perfect 4th interval",or 4(The 'E' to the 'A'), is that the 'A' at the
5th fret is the same note as the 'A' on the open 5th string.


 5th String 'A'  ---------------------0---
 6th String 'E'  --0--1--2--3--4--5-------
                   E  F  F# G  G# A orA

So now we can build interval distances onto adjacent strings, rather than having to only build on a single string. Why is this
important? Well for one thing, if you only play intervals on one string, you can only play one note at a time. But if you find
larger intervals on two different strings, you can play more than one note in a single stroke. Usually, that is what chords are.
Chords are merely stacked intervals played at the same stroke. This atacking of intervals is called "harmony", whereas playing
intervals in a linear, or single note fashion, is called "melody."

At any rate, finding intervals that require long reaches on a single string, can be made easier to reach when reaching to a new
string. Let's look at some stacked intervals involving more than one string.

Ex.4: (For the time being, we will use the Key of 'E' as our root, for the sake of simplicity.)

 1st string 'E'   ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2nd string 'B'   ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 3rd string 'G'   ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4th string 'D'   --------------------------------------------------------------0---1---2-----------------
 5th string 'A'   --------------------------------------0---1---2---3---4---5-----------------------------
 6th string 'E'   -0--1---0--2---0--3---0--4---0--5-----0---0---0---0---0---0---0---0---0-----------------
                   E  F   E  F#  E  G   E  G#  E  A or  A   Bb  B   C   C#  D orD   D#  E     And so on...
                   R  b2  R  M2  R  b3  R  M3  R  4     E   E   E   E   E   E   E   E   E
                                                        4   b5  5   #5  M6  b7  b7  M7  R8va
                                                        R   R   R   R   R   R   R   R   R

As you can see, the process continues either 'linearly' (meaning up a single string),or 'laterally' (meaning across the neck).
Just so you are not any more confused, those notes do not have to be played in a single stroke. They can be played one after
another. The illustration was just for visualization. You can play intervals like this;

Ex.5 (Again, the Key of 'E' for reference)

 1st string 'E'   ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 2nd string 'B'   ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 3rd string 'G'   ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 4th string 'D'   -------------------------------------------------------------------0------1------2------------
 5th string 'A'   --------------------------------0------1------2------3------4---------------------------------
 6th string 'E'   -0--1---0--2---0--3---0--4---0------0------0------0------0------0------0------0---------------
                   E  F   E  F#  E  G   E  G#  E  A   E  Bb  E  B   E  C   E  C#  E  D   E  D#  E  E  (etc.,)                         
                   R  b2  R  M2  R  b3  R  M3  R  4   R  b5  R  5   R  #5  R  M6  R  b7  R  M7  R  R 8va

Consequently, this makes an excellent picking exercise for the picking hand. You can also reverse the pattern, from the 8va 'E'
back down to the low 'E'. You can also continue the pattern up to the next series of strings. There is no rule that saye you have
to stop on the 'D' string. You also don't have to play them in this order,either.We will get into extending the interval studies
in the future, so experiment. You may find some cool lead lines or that awesome riff that you've been looking for within these

Next up, how to derive scales from the Chromatic scale.

"C'mon Dave, Gimme a break!"

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