I've started learning about intervals after a few years of not being able understand certain lessons due to many of them referring to intervals. I have been listening to each interval in an octave and thinking about how it sounds and im learning a lot.

My questions are;

1) When I get past the octave note, what happens to the intervals then? Taking the C major scale as an example; if I play a C note then a D note that is two frets away then that is a minor 3rd right? If I play the exact same C note then play a D note in an octave higher, is the interval the same? If not, does the list of intervals go on for several octaves? Can you end up with intervals like major 30th, minor 25th etc?

2) Using the C major scale again for the example; if I play a note within the scale such as a D note, then play the C note after, is this interval still called a minor 3rd? If not, what is it called? I'm basically asking how intervals work when going from a higher note to a lower one. Do things change then?

All help much appreciated.

1) C to D is a major 2nd interval. A minor 3rd would be Eb. Counting above the octave seems to be confined to chord naming and that is only really up to the 13th (6th above the octave).

2) The interval between C and D is a major 2nd. The interval between D and C is a minor 7th.
If I'm not mistaken the interval between D and C is a major 2nd if the C's pitch is lower than the D's pitch. When the C's pitch is higher than the D's pitch, the interval will be a minor 7th.

Correct me if I'm wrong pls.
Intervals that are more than an octave in size are called compound intervals and are named the same with a difference of seven. Your example of C to D is a major second and if the D is more than an octave higher it would be a major 9th.

Crash course: intervals are named by size and quality. Size is determined by counting the lower note as the first then counting off the letter names to the higher note even if it is more than an octave away. There are five qualities of intervals: major minor perfect augmented and diminished. Using the major scale, the first 4th 5th and 8 th (octave) are perfect intervals while 2nd 3rd 6th and 7 th are major. Lowering a major interval one semi tone makes it a minor interval and a major lowered two semi tones is diminished. A perfect interval lowered one semi tone is diminished and a major OR a perfect raised a semi tone is augmented.

To solve a compound interval, subtract seven from its size and solve like normal. I think your other question was about inverted intervals and that's another lesson

Good luck! !

* sorry for the edits, first reply was from my phone. Anyone who knows how to switch the spelling on a Galaxy 3 from moron to educated, hmu
Last edited by P_Trik at Dec 23, 2013,
Intervals from a higher note to a lower note requires inverting them to solve. Memorize this: Inverted intervals and their counterparts add up to 9; major becomes minor, minor becomes major, augmented becomes diminished and vice versa, while perfect intervals remain perfect. First, switch them and solve. D to a lower C would become C to higher D which is a minor 7th. Using the inverting rules, D to a lower C would be a major 2nd.

Good luck again!

* it should be noted by all guitar players that the distance in frets always stays the same. C to D is two frets, a major second, and D to a lower C is two frets, therefore a major second. G, third fret on low E to C, third fret on the A string is a perfect 4th, therefore C to a lower G is a perfect 4th. You can prove this with the above rules: C to higher G is a perfect 5th, invert it; perfect 4th.
Last edited by P_Trik at Dec 23, 2013,