#1
I've been practicing naming intervals on music theory.net (I'm ashamed to say I'm a huge theory noob).

I'm just wondering what is the best technique to name the interval? (by seeing the notes on sheet music before you, not by ear, yet)

So far I have been looking at the bottom note, working out the key signature of that note, and then determining what the second note is in the key signature of the first note.

It all seems very laborious and time consuming.
No doubt it is working well, having only started on intervals yesterday I am now getting an average of 80% on the exercises.

Is this the best way to determine the interval? I don't want any shortcuts that will hinder my future progress (this method seems ok since it's working my knowledge of key signatures too).
How do you guys work out the interval?

At a higher level is it just something you're expected to have memorised, or do people just get much faster at working them out?
#2
Your method works well, and as you say it's good to work it out that way. As you say, once you've been doing it a while the shapes sort of stick in your mind, so it doesn't take as much working out.

There are other ways of working out intervals, but in a practicak way yours is probably best for improving your theory knowledge. A lot of colleges teach you how many semitones there are between each interval, but I always found that a really hard way of doing things personally.

Personally, I look at the interval, and decide what sort of interval it is; 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, or 7th. Then I decide whether or not it's a major or minor interval.
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#3
Yeah just looking at the lessons on musictheory.net they suggest doing it working out how many semitones there are between the two notes. It seems ok but a little fake in my opinion. I don't know. I just get the feeling that if I only learn how to calculate intervals using semitones then I will find a roadblock somewhere in the future.
Calculating them using keys seems somewhat purer.
#4
As long as it doesnt hinder your understanding, there is no right way other than your own prefferences.

Speaking for myself however, I tend to name intervals from the key signature when analysing progressions / chords in the general perspective of the music, or just when I'm writing something.

When looking at melodic movement or trying to analyse a more specific dynamic of a chord or between two or so, I name them from distances IE perfect fifth downwards or minor second up etc.

When analysing harmony, for example the interplay between lead and chord voices I name from the scale of the root (chord).

So basically, if I'm writing something I'll keep it simple and just use the intervals of the tonic / key. If I'm actually analysing something, I'll use all three methods as each gives a different insight. It's a bit of a hassle that way, so I use it mostly when I realy want to analyse something deeply.
#5
When I told my college prof I was doing it the same as you he was like >:C wtf.

It worked for me though. Except when the intervals started to go down it threw me off a bit.
#7
The way I do it is first to look at what type of interval it is first (2nd, 3rd, etc.), then to look at the quality of the interval. The first part is easy, as the sheet music practically hands it to you.

Say you have a D and an F. D-E-F, that's a third. Then you just have to determine what kind of third it is. You can do this a few ways.

1) If you can look at familiar intervals this is perfect. If you can name that a D major chord has an F# in it, determining that F is a minor third is quite easy.
2) If you can't do this, you can count whole/half-steps. This is a bit more laborious, but you'll start to get the recognition with time.
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#8
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/music_theory/intervals.html

That's my favourite way of working out intervals from notation but after a while you end up knowing a lot of intervals up by heart so the technique in the article is not needed for all intervals.