#1
Well, I've decided to try and learn Music Theory with this lesson:
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/for_beginners/learning_music_theory_the_beginning.html

Anyways, I'm kind confused at the very first part

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.

2.1 - Interval guide.
This is an easy reference chart to look at for naming intervals. This example is in the key of C, for simplicity, but can be applied to any root note to find the intervals of that key.

Interval | Name | Note.(In C)
-----------------------------------------------
1 | Unison (root note) | C
b2 | Minor Second | Db
2 | Major Second | D
#2 | Augmented Second | D#
b3 | Minor Third | Eb
3 | Major Third | E
4 | Perfect Fourth | F
#4 | Augmented Fourth | F#
b5 | Diminished Fifth | Gb
5 | Perfect Fifth | G
#5 | Augmented Fifth | G#
b6 | Minor Sixth | Ab
6 | Major Sixth | A
#6 | Augmented Sixth | A#
bb7 | Diminished Seventh | Bbb
b7 | Minor Seventh | Bb
7 | Major Seventh | B
8 | Unison (Octave higher) | C
b9 | Minor Ninth | Db
9 | Major Ninth | D
#9 | Augmented Ninth | D#
------------------------------------------------


Where do these numbers come in? I've never really seen them.

And another question. Can some one maybe explain root notes better to me? I'm not quite sure I understand what a root note is. From what I got when they were explain to me it's were ever you're figure is when it's on the thickest string of the chord you're playing. So if it's on say the Estring of the forth fret it would be a G# chord? (I'm sorry if that doesn't make any sence what so ever.)
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#2
I think you're better off starting somewhere else, honestly. If you are just starting to learn theory start by memorizing the notes on the fretboard. After all these notes are the fundamentals of theory, and its a critical step a lot of people over look or find necessary, but believe me it helps a lot. Once you get that down learn the major scale and try to translate it into different keys, or root notes. The root note is just what key you are playing in, or in terms of intervals, the unison note.
#3
I recommend reading The Crusades lessons. They cover the same material as that lesson but are much better written, and much easier to read, IMO. The only difficulty I had with them is finding the damned things. However, if you go to the columns page and search for "crusade" they turn up easy enough.

I'd suggest bookmarking the search results, so in a couple of weeks when you know you read it somewhere but can't for the life of you remember the word "crusade" or find a link anywhere, you can still dig them up again.
Last edited by ascend at Sep 5, 2009,
#4
i skipped intervals for now because i can't hear the difference accurately. I am currently learning scales(i assume when i have practice scales enough i will begin to hear intervals)

but in regards to the numbers that you see, that is how you name the note, but the number determines which one on your fretboard. like E2 is located differently on your guitar than E3. i dont know the difference between the two, just know open low E string is a E(duh) and the 12th fret on the low E is another E(maybe its E2 open, E3 12th fret? dunno)
#5
I'm cheating and reusing an old answer, so some of this might not be relevant:

The Major scale follows the pattern WWHWWWH, where W is a whole step (otherwise called a 'tone'), and H is a half step (otherwise called a 'semi-tone')

The distance between any two consecutive frets on your guitar is a half step - so from an open string to the first fret is a half step, from the open string to the 2nd fret is a whole step.

I'm guessing you know the 12 notes used in western music? A Bb B C C# D Eb E F F# G G# - the distance between each consectutive note is a half step

So take C Major as an example. C is the root, and following the pattern of whole and half steps, you get

C (W) D (W) E (H) F (W) G (W) A (W) B (H) C

Intervals define the distance between two notes. When we talk about intervals in relation to a scale, we generally mean the distance from the root note to any of the other notes (degrees) of the scale

So number the notes of C Major:

C is the root
D = 2
E = 3
F = 4
G = 5
A = 6
B = 7

Those numbers are basically scale degrees - they tell you which diatonic note you're talking about....if someone says 'the 6th of C' you know they are talking about some sort of 'A', as that is the 6th note of C. What you can't tell purely from that statement is whether the C is natural, sharp or flat.

All the intervals can be major or minor apart from the 4th and 5th, which start out perfect. The words 'Major', 'minor' and 'perfect' tell you the exact distance the note is from the root. You can also get 'diminished' and 'augmented' intervals. The major scale only has major intervals and perfect intervals, so they must be:

C is the root
D = Major 2nd
E = Major 3rd
F = Perfect 4th
G = Perfect 5th
A = Major 6th
B = Major 7th

If you put that together with your WWHWWWH formula you can tell how many half steps (or frets) there are in each of those intervals:

C is the root
(W = 2 frets)
D = Major 2nd
(W = 2 frets)
E = Major 3rd
(H = 1 fret)
F = Perfect 4th
(W = 2 frets)
G = Perfect 5th
(W = 2 frets)
A = Major 6th
(W = 2 frets)
B = Major 7th
(H = 1 fret)
C is the root

So from C to E is a Major 3rd, which equates to 4 frets on your guitar.

Once you understand that, and you know the notes of your guitar neck and how to find intervals on the neck, you'll find it really easy to play scales anywhere on the neck in any key.

You can use the circle of 5ths to find out what notes are in a major or natural minor scale too, rather than working it out by intervals.

Edit:

A minor interval is half a step less than a Major interval
A diminished interval is half a step less than a minor interval or a perfect interval
An augmented interval is half a step larger than a Major interval or a perfect interval

So then you can apply the same logic to the natural minor scale, which is the Major scale with the 3rd, 6th and 7th notes flattened

So C minor is

C is the root
(W = 2 frets)
D = Major 2nd
(H = 1 fret)
Eb = minor 3rd
(W = 2 frets)
F = Perfect 4th
(W = 2 frets)
G = Perfect 5th
(H = 1 fret)
Ab = minor 6th
(W = 2 frets)
Bb = minor 7th
(W = 1 fret)
C is the root