Friday, September 30, 2011

Interval ID




This post is for my good friend Darryl. He brought it to my attention that many beginners would have no idea what I am talking about when I say things like b3 or #5. So I created this chart (click to download) to explain the concept behind those terms.

A brief explanation
The notes of the major scale are numbered 1 through 8, then they repeat*.
(see the foot note here) 

C major
C is 1, D is 2, E is 3 ... on and on.

In between those notes there is what are called alterations or accidentals... fancy terms for sharps and flats. Between C and D there is an empty fret between. This note could be called either C# OR Db -> they are the same note. The sharp of C is the same as the flat of D. All notes have a sharp/flat between them except for E-F and B-C. So if I typed out a chromatic scale (a scale that includes ALL notes) it would be like so:

C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, C

Which is the same thing as:

C, Db, D, Eb, E, F, Gb, G, Ab, A, Bb, B, C

Get it?

So when I say a major chord is just 1,3,5,7 or a Minor chord is 1, b3, 5, b7 or a Dominant chord is 1,3,5,b7, you should understand what I mean. If not hit me up with a question.


*Notes above the first octave are typically named 9 (for the 2nd) 11 (for the 4th) and 13 (for the 6th). The notes 1, 3, 5 & 7 names are typically not changed. These are critical notes of the scale so general awareness of them is pretty important. So the numeric scale really goes.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 1, 9, 3, 11, 5 ,13, 7, 1....

So when someone says #9 they mean raise the 9th note of the scale by one fret. I realize this is confusing at first but you do get used to it.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks Jer

    Heres the part confusing me now
    "a major chord is just 1,3,5,7 or a Minor chord is 1, b3, 5, b7 or a Dominant chord is 1,3,5,b7, you should understand what I mean. If not hit me up with a question."

    Are you saying that a Major chord would be made up 1,3,5,7 in this list

    C, C#, D, D#, E, F, F#, G, G#, A, A#, B, C

    So A D chord would be D, E, F#, G#???

    Etc..

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  2. The interval shape doesn't change... but the notes can. With a D chord you you must start the form on the note D.

    A D scale is D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D

    So D is 1 (root)
    F# is 3
    A is 5
    C# is 7 (often the 7th is left out of acoustic strummy chords)

    So if you take that chart and place the root (green dot)
    on the note D then it all lines up. Get it?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think I get it.. I'm gonna have to spend a bit more time here with the guitar in hand going over what you wrote first.. That's sort of how it work for me.. I will eventually get a revelation, and SAY...OH!!! I SEE WHAT HE MEANT NOW!! :)

    Thanks bro!

    ReplyDelete