I've been trying to learn intervals and I'm stumped on the lesson that I've been working on. Here's what I understand so far, an interval is the distance between a root note and a major value in a scale. now I get that but when it's diminished or augmented does that just mean you play half step below or above a value? Say for instance I'm playing a C major scales which goes


The root is going to be on the 3rd fret on the 5th string now I can play a Major second interval by playing the root note and then play the next note on the 5th fret in the scale but how do I make that note diminished or augmented. Please help,

P.S: I'm working out of a music book entitled "Chord Tone Soloing" by Barrett Tagliarino so if anyone has read it and has read the section on intervals and can shine some light on the subject please feel free to share your opinion.


diminished and augments just mean lowered and raised, respectively, by a half note. So the diminished major second would essentially just be a minor second. The augmented major second would just be the minor third.

I think that's what you were asking?

edit: jazz rock said it much better, and actually right. So yeah, read his post, not mine
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Last edited by Baby Joel at Sep 8, 2014,
An interval is the distance between two notes. This concept exists outside of the concept of scales and keys.

Here's how it works:
For non-perfect intervals (2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th)
Diminished < Minor < Major < Augmented (Note that major/minor here simply refers to the size of the interval not which scale they belong to. Major intervals are one half step larger than minor intervals.)

For perfect intervals (unison/prime, 4th, 5th, octave)
Diminished < Perfect < Augmented

C-Ebb is a diminished 3rd (same as a major second if written C-D)
C-Eb is a minor 3rd
C-E is a major 3rd
C-E# is an augmented 3rd (same as a perfect 4th if written C-F)

C-Gb is a diminished 5th (same as an augmented 4th if written C-F#)
C-G is a perfect 5th
C-G# is an augmented 5th (same as a minor 6th if written C-Ab)

So in your example, you described playing a major second from C-D. If you played C-Db you would be playing a minor second. To play a diminished second you would play C-Dbb (which is the same as a unison C-C).

I'm sure 20Tigers will be along shortly with a super long post that will be more thorough and clearer.