Intervals Explained pt 2: practical application on guitar.

25 Jan

We have seen in this post http://www.trueguitarist.com/intervals-explained/ what intervals are in theory and how the simplest and safest way to identify an interval is by calculating the number of semitones between the two notes.  Again, this is the table for you to ‘do the math’:

N.of halfsteps

1

2

3

4

5

6

6

also

7

8

8

also

9

10

10

also

11

12

Interval

m2

M2

m3

M3

P4

4aug

5dim

P5

5aug

m6

M6

6aug

m7

M7

P8

Example

C

Db

C

D

C

Eb

C

E

C

F

C

F#

C

Gb

C

G

C

G#

C

Ab

C

A

C

A#

C

Bb

C

B

C2

C3

where m=minor, M=major, P=perfect, dim=diminished, aug=augmented.

If you look closely, you will notice that the notes that are contained in the C major scale (being the example from the note C) are all a major or a perfect intervals.

C-D Major 2nd

C-E Major 3rd

C-F  Perfect 4th

C-G Prefect 5th

C-A Major 6th

C-B Major 7th

This stands true for all the major scales in every key.  So another quick way to find at what interval distance two notes are, is to calculate from the major scale.

How do I calculate intervals on guitar?

To  calculate intervals on guitar is not difficult at all as everything translate in exactly the same way. If I know the notes on the guitar neck this is all very simple as all I need to do is make the calculation like I did above. (Eg: if I am playing a C on the 3rd fret, 5th string and an F# 4th fret 4th string , that is a augmented 4th, just like above).

After a while you will see a some recurring ‘shapes’  and you will learn to quickly recognise an interval by the shape it draws on the fretboard, just like you do with chords: the following is an attempt to summarize all these shapes. Maybe not complete, but I hope it will help.

Click on the images below to download the interval charts PDF files:

Both these resources are from ‘The Guitar Kit Pro’, where the files will be higher resolution and unbranded: read all about it here: ‘The Guitar Kit Pro’ . Keep supporting this site by purchasing the products on the Shop page, thanks!

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Gianni

Gianni Chiarello has gained a reputation as an extremely versatile musician, having professional credits as a guitarist, bassist, arranger and producer. His music is a preconception-free mix of Jazz, Funk, Blues, R&B and contemporary elements, influenced by .

Born in Italy, in his forming years he performed with some of his country’s finest musicians working towards developing different styles, from rock to pop, funk and jazz. In 1999 he moved to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music, on a scholarship program, where he graduated with a Degree “Magna cum laude” in Professional Music, studying under the direction of Mick Goodrick, Hal Crook, Brett Willmott and Dave Samuels, also playing in the Boston area and along the States’ east coast as a freelance musician.

Alongside studio work, he has been performing with, and leading as Musical Director, numerous bands and orchestras, comping for celebrities from the sixties like The Platters, The Coasters, Bobby Arvon, The Diamonds, Vegas – Broadway entertainers like Tony Tillman, Kenny James, Hal Fraiser, Lorna Luft, Ben Vereen, Susan Anton and Roy Walker. Furthermore his work entailed musical theatre style production reviews, encompassing shows such as “Smokey Joe’s Café”, “We Will Rock You”, “Starlight Express”, “Grease” and “Rent”.

After relocating to the UK in 2005, has performed, amongst others with Robbie McIntosh (John Mayer, Paul Mccartney) Jeremy Stacey (Tom Jones, Sheryl Crow), Jason Rebello (Sting, Jeff Beck), Iain Ballamy and many others. His latest instructional eBooks can now be purchased online: “Contemporary solo guitar” (2008) and “Contemporary blues soloing” (2009) “Contemporary Blues Chords and Comping” (2011)

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