#1
I've been doing a bit of ear training lately (I can pretty accurately figure out simple riffs by ear now, without any trial and error on an instrument), but I'm having lots of trouble recognizing and distinguishing tritones, major 6th, major 7th, minor 6th, and minor 7th intervals.

They all sound too alike, and aren't as distinctive as the other intervals, and don't have a certain distinguishable quality when the interval is heard. It all just sounds like a dissonant interval to me.

Does anyone have any tips for recognizing such intervals? Any songs, riffs, or licks that I can associate such intervals to?

Thanks.
#2
Tritones sound like hell. Think Black Sabbath the song. I have a little more trouble with 6ths and 7ths though.
#3
you want a tip? keep listening. play tritones and 6ths and 7ths and sing them as you play them.
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#4
Ya after searching quite a bit a pretty good tip I found was that major 7ths tend to want to sound like they want to move up a half step to the octave.

I've been practicing and working on it quite a bit, it's just that I consistently still get these intervals mixed up, and feel like I am guessing when I try to name them.
#5
Quote by zincabopataurio
Ya after searching quite a bit a pretty good tip I found was that major 7ths tend to want to sound like they want to move up a half step to the octave.

I've been practicing and working on it quite a bit, it's just that I consistently still get these intervals mixed up, and feel like I am guessing when I try to name them.

Don't feel bad: m6 and tri-tone are the most often missed intervals.

For the tri-tone, try thinking of The Simpsons theme song. That's a tri-tone. Or "Maria" from Rent.

M7 and m7 have always been pretty easy for me, so I don't have a trick with those. I just hear the dissonance in the M7 and I know it is what it is. And the m7 has always sounded blue to me (like the color).

The m6 tends to want to go down by half-step, so listen for that. I still have trouble with this one from time to time. And M6 is the NBC theme song.
#6
Quote by zincabopataurio
I've been doing a bit of ear training lately (I can pretty accurately figure out simple riffs by ear now, without any trial and error on an instrument), but I'm having lots of trouble recognizing and distinguishing tritones, major 6th, major 7th, minor 6th, and minor 7th intervals.


Ascending Tritones are easy. They're "The Simpsons" theme.
Ascending Maj 6ths are "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear."
Descending Maj 6ths are "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've seen."
Major 7ths ascending are the theme to Superman, or "Pure Imagination" from Willy Wonka.
Major 7ths descending are Cole Porter's "I love you."
The only reference I've been able to come up with for minor 6ths is the theme from "Love Story," which works in both directionrs.
Minor 7ths descending screw me up, but ascending they're pretty easy: "Star Trek."

The best web site I've found to drill these is TrainEar.com. You can select the song references, and it will play the references for you after you make your selections to help drill it into your head. Play aronud with the different song choices and pick ones that work for you.

7ths are generally considered to be pretty hard, which is part of the reason you don't see them in melodies very often.
#7
well the tritone like booby said, will indeed sound like hell. they way to distinguish it from the others will be that it is the only one which sounds 'evil'.

an example could be the intro to purple haze, the two notes are a tritone interval apart. or if you want to hear it in chord form, listen to the first chords in the song heir apparent by opeth

the major 7 you should be able to tell apart from the others since it's only a semitone away. you should hear it just begging to become an octave, while another interval like the tritone does not what to go to an octave (its wants to go the 5th, or potentially the 4th).

an example would be the last chord in the song like a stone by audioslave

the minor 7th should have a feel similar to the major 7th where it wants to become the octave, but not as persistently and its more muddy overall then dissonant

an example could be the first part of the main riff on cant stop by the red hot chili peppers. its goes root, root, minor 7th, octave.

the minor 6th is going to different from all the others in that while all the others feel like the dissonance wants to sharpen to a consonant interval this one wants to drop. the minor 6th interval is a semitone above the perfect 5th and thats what is wants to become.

an example would be in crazy train by ozzy.. it goes F# F# C# F# D F# C# to start off the intro. the part in italics is the minor 6th interval, which is pre/proceeded by the perfect 5th interval. get a mental image of how it sounds coming from and going to the 5th and everytime you hear that interval you'll recognize that particular type of dissonance and be able to identify it as a b6th.
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#8
Quote by Wiegenlied
well the tritone like booby said, will indeed sound like hell. they way to distinguish it from the others will be that it is the only one which sounds 'evil'.


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#11
Tritone = YYZ by Rush
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#12
For the tritone, if it isn't obvious such as in the middle of a 7th chord, you could try stacking m3s to create a diminished chord up to the tritone.

M6/m6 is another strange one, although for the M6 you can also stack m3s from the tonic note. You could also think of the m6 as an enharmonic of an augmented 5th, so if you know what a fifth sounds like just move up a half step. M7s are fairly easy, as they create a dissonance between the tonic note, as they're almost an octave apart, but not quite, as theres a half step separation.
#13
Quote by zincabopataurio
I've been doing a bit of ear training lately (I can pretty accurately figure out simple riffs by ear now, without any trial and error on an instrument), but I'm having lots of trouble recognizing and distinguishing tritones, major 6th, major 7th, minor 6th, and minor 7th intervals.

They all sound too alike, and aren't as distinctive as the other intervals, and don't have a certain distinguishable quality when the interval is heard. It all just sounds like a dissonant interval to me.

Does anyone have any tips for recognizing such intervals? Any songs, riffs, or licks that I can associate such intervals to?

Thanks.

For major 7

Take On Me - A-Ha. "Take On"

Somewhere Over the Rainbow - 1st and 3rd melody notes

Immigrant Song - vocal riff goes root, octave and then down to the major 7th.

For major 6th

Angels (Robbie Williams) I Sit and Wait
Hush Little Baby (Nursery rhyme) - first two notes
My Way (Frank Sinatra) - And now... the end is near

Minor 6th

The Entertainer - 3rd and 4th notes.
Without Me (Eminem) - chorus riff
Last edited by mdc at Aug 31, 2011,
#15
Quote by Wiegenlied
well the tritone like booby said, will indeed sound like hell. they way to distinguish it from the others will be that it is the only one which sounds 'evil'.


jesus guys get off the band wagon, i know it's the diablos in musica and all, but really? sure the major 7th in isolation is more dissonant. and and play a tritone followed by a major third a half step above the lower note. evil enough for you?

(sorry to be picky....)
#16
^ No, the tritone is and is always taught to be more dissonant then a major 7th.. that's the whole point of a perfect cadence, it's 'perfect' because you build up the most tension possible and resolve it.

And in your example you included context.. of course you can make anything sound like anything if you rearrange the notes following it. That's pretty ridiculous to say two notes don't sound like something together, if you add two notes after them
With that being said add two more notes to the major 7th interval and you get a complete different sound. Really all you need is one other note to resolve it.

The fatter of the matter is the most convenient and accurate way to describe that interval is to say it's 'evil' (hence why I add quotations), just as we would describe a minor 3rd as sad and a major as happy. You even pointed out yourself that its the 'diablos in musica' so its been perceived that way long before I. And don't bother bringing up the whole context argument. like I said of course anything will sound different in context, but we're talking in singularity here about specific intervals used together and nothing more. It's like a line segment instead of a line. There is no 'if'..

Here's the example I provided earlier for the tritone - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7C9Tr4okNw

The song begins with a simple tritone interval 'chord' composed of a E Bb E Bb and simply sustained without any real defining context. That's a good example of why it's believed to sound evil
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Last edited by Wiegenlied at Aug 31, 2011,
#17
Quote by Wiegenlied
^ No, the tritone is and is always taught to be more dissonant then a major 7th.. that's the whole point of a perfect cadence, it's 'perfect' because you build up the most tension possible and resolve it.



20th century theorists would actually consider the tritone a 'neutral' dissonance, major 2nds and minor 7ths 'soft' and minor 2nds/major 7ths 'sharp dissonances. I don't know where you're getting your ideas from. Never once have I been told my a book or a lecturer that the tritone is the most dissonant interval.

Also, there isn't a tritone in a V-I cadence, there is if you include V7, I'd say including the minor ninth in that chord would be a sharper dissonance than without it.
#18
1) Tritone - Listen to Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath

2) sing all of those intervals up and down, every day, with another instrument (one that is in tune) and you will see you will recognize them pretty easily after a while.
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#20
Quote by Wiegenlied
That's a good example of why it's believed to sound evil


yeah your right, that's definitely my bad saying about notes after, but my point still stands. major 7th is more dissonant than a tritone. anyone who nusts out this diablus in musica etc is probably quite new to music theory and has a certain fascination with it because your told you can sound eveel with it!

so basically, no. also, your idea about the perfect cadence is wrong. that's about the dissonance between the 7th and the root, or the dominant and the subdominant clashing, not the tritone.