I keep getting lost in trying to learn this stuff. It's pretty complicated in my opinion.

Okay my problem is I don't understand what "fifths" are. And I don't understand this part for chord construction...

Major- 1 3 5

Minor- 1 b3 5

Augmented- 1 3 #5

Diminished- 1 b3 b5
***

What do the numbers stand for? I was guessing it would be the note on the scale but when i tried that it didn't really make sense.

Please help, it would be great if you guys could provide examples. Remember, I barely learned anything so far.
Its like if you look at the major scale of the key you are playing in, or the chord.

They are the intervals

So the 1 is the root note, the 3 is the 3rd interval up the scale, etc.

I hope that helps, im not an expert on theory myself, i hope to be!

Edit:

and of course you follow the flats and sharps on them, for example a diminished chord, you take the 1 (root) and flat the 3 and 5
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Last edited by Teh GIR at Feb 4, 2009,
major scale is made up by
then whole step,
whole step,
half step
W
W
W
H

half step=1 fret
if you start on C move a whole step to D
D is the 2nd.
whole step to E..
E is the third
half step to F
F is the fourth
etc..

so for a major triad you'll have 1 3 5
in C C E G

apply the same formula for E (wwhwwwh)
and a major triad would be E G# B

lower the third for a minor chord
Em= E G B
Cm= C Eb G

a quick expl. but i hoped it helped
Quote by joshjhasarrived
Little does the government suspect that it's funds are being rapidly drained through funding infinite free cardboard boxes to bored teenagers on an internet forum.
The numbers are the scale degree/intervals.

For a major C chord you need a C E and G
C is the 1 E is 3 and G is 5
notice that the 2nd would be a D and the 4th an F.

For a C minor chord, the 3rd is lowered from the major. C Eb G.

A C# E Major
A C E Minor
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A nice way to learn your major intervals (knowing how they sound is very important) go to a piano and find middle C and simply count from C up on the white keys. C to D major 2nd C to E major 3rd. etc

Musictheory.net is also excellent
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holy s***

hahaha this is so confusing! that article was crap at explaining intervals... i only understand the whole step and half step stuff and some of the scale stuff.
Quote by Artemis Entreri

that is a hell lot more simple... its so confusing on a piano though, especially since i play guitar xD
It'll probably be harder on a guitar. I learned/am learning theory on a piano and transferring it to guitar. I'm taking it as an AP class at my school.

You can get a pretty solid, if basic to mid-level understanding from those lessons on musictheory.net
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Quote by Artemis Entreri
It'll probably be harder on a guitar. I learned/am learning theory on a piano and transferring it to guitar. I'm taking it as an AP class at my school.

You can get a pretty solid, if basic to mid-level understanding from those lessons on musictheory.net

I learned a bit from that lesson, but it didn't teach me what i wanted.
This thread actually helped me a lot. I knew about the intervals and everything, but didn't know you had to apply the scale degrees to it...
For example, I would always write say: C, C#, D, D#, E, F, etc... and then count those. So now I gotta use the scale degrees...huh. should help alot. thanks guys.
And Drizzt > Artemis :P
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Quote by Jango22
This thread actually helped me a lot. I knew about the intervals and everything, but didn't know you had to apply the scale degrees to it...
For example, I would always write say: C, C#, D, D#, E, F, etc... and then count those. So now I gotta use the scale degrees...huh. should help alot. thanks guys.
And Drizzt > Artemis :P

i still don't understand... at all haha
Quote by bangoodcharlote

thats the music theory thread i am stuck on! haha... it just confuses me, i dont understand the interval part.
"I don't get it" does not help me at all. I've explained that lesson scores of times, but I need you to ask, "Sue what does [whatever] mean?" or "This sentence confuses me: [the sentence]." You need to ask specific questions.
Quote by bangoodcharlote
"I don't get it" does not help me at all. I've explained that lesson scores of times, but I need you to ask, "Sue what does [whatever] mean?" or "This sentence confuses me: [the sentence]." You need to ask specific questions.

I'm sorry for not being specific, everything is just hard to explain for me.

2.0 - What Intervals and Steps are.
First, I'll start with intervals and steps, as they are critical in learning how everything works, and they help you understand the major scale, and almost everything on this list. And interval is the space between one note and another. When you see 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1, those are intervals. Learning intervals is very important when learning everything in this article, because I dislike steps. I will get into that more in the steps section.

I don't understand how 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 describes intervals at all. Jeez my head hurts.
While it may seem odd to continue reading when you encounter something you don't understand, read a bit further. Read all of sections 1 and 2 and then you should have a bit of a better understanding of intervals.

To give you something, though, an interval is the musical distance between notes. Sprinters measure distance with meters, drivers use miles, and musicians use intervals. To say that something is a minor third is like saying you need to drive 3 miles to get somewhere. The difference is that drivers just add miles while musicians have a different name for each interval (which is the driving equivalent of calling a mile Sue, two miles Joe, etc).
Quote by Jango22
This thread actually helped me a lot. I knew about the intervals and everything, but didn't know you had to apply the scale degrees to it...
For example, I would always write say: C, C#, D, D#, E, F, etc... and then count those. So now I gotta use the scale degrees...huh. should help alot. thanks guys.
And Drizzt > Artemis :P

Oh but Drizzt is for fanboys.

I didn't understand ANY of this until I started my class. I still have trouble, but with complicated crap and 4 part melodic dictation.
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C D E F G A B C
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

That's in key of c, easiest way to put it
Last edited by zigslip at Feb 5, 2009,