#1
Hi, as part of helping me to learn intervals better, I've been tasked with finding songs with disinct intervals in the riffs or the melody. For a minor 7th interval, the Hendrix song All Along the Watchtower seems to have one in the main vocals in the verse. The part that goes "there must be some kind of way out of here" . Being the flat 7 it may be technically a minor 7th although its the lower note, as apposed with the octave which is definitely a minor 7th.

I'm a little confused if this is right, so please offer your advice!
#2
There's two kinds of intervals - or rather two ways of using and hearing each interval.
Melodic intervals = one note followed by another, higher or lower.
Harmonic intervals = two notes sounded together

A melodic minor 7th is rare, and a famous example is the first 2 notes of the old Star Trek theme.

The phrase in All Along the Watchtower - "There must be some kind-a way..." is a series of melodic 2nds. ("must" is a minor 2nd down, the others are major: C-B-C-Bb-C-Bb-C).
But the upper note in each case is the tonic or keynote, so the lower notes can be said to be "inverted 7ths".
A major 2nd inverted is a minor 7th.

Another b7-up-to-keynote interval is the first notes of the opening riff.

Here's a riff with a more extensive use of major 2nds between b7 and tonic (moving on to b7s relative to the other chord roots):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2GmzyeeXnQ
Last edited by jongtr at Sep 10, 2015,
#3
Sonically, an interval is a sound produced by combining two pitches some number of semitones apart. When they are 10 semitones apart, they form an interval known as a minor 7 (written in scale formula as b7).

From that point of view, doesn't matter which is the higher or lower pitch.

But if you're asked specifically to play an interval, e.g. a b7, above some pitch, then the other pitch is is 10 semitones higher. Asked to play an interval that is a b7 below a given pitch, that is 10 semitones lower.

If, on the other hand, you're asked to play the b7 of a scale or chord, this implies the relationship of 10 semitones above a scale or chord root ... here is where you then can think about "pitch classes". A pitch class is the set of all pitches that are (multiples of) an octave apart ... so, all the E's on guitar, for example, or all the A's.etc

Suppose you want to play a b7 from the A blues scale. Let's initially choose "A" at the 7th fret, D string. 10 semitones higher is the pitch G (at the 17th fret, for example). But if we now think of pitch classes, there is another A at the 5th fret, bass E string. 10 semitones above that is another G (15th fret, bass E string. ... the exact same G pitch can also be found at the 5th fret, D string.

So now, we could choose either of these G's to be playing a b7 from the A blues scale ... they are just in different octaves. Strictly, relative to the specific A at the 7th fret, D string, the G at the 5th fret is 2 semitones lower. (aka a "2" lower).

But when talking generically about the b7 of a scale, or chord, any one of its pitch class will suffice. That's your choice as a player/writer.

(At some stage, if you learn about concept of interval roots (rather than roots of scales or chords), you'll learn that the root of a b7 interval is the lower pitch, whereas the root of a 2 interval is the upper pitch. When the same pitch classes are involved (as above, As and Gs), and in next example, the same pitch (class) is more prominent in both of these intervals. Reinforcing the idea that exact choice of octave doesn't interfere with the relationships to a particular pitch (such as a key note)

Try playing

- 5 - 5 - -

and

8 5 - - - -

with eyes shut, and try and hit both pitches at equal strength, and listen closely.

Does one of these stand out more to you?

)

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Sep 10, 2015,
#4
Thank you very much, this makes a lot of sense actually. I guess in this case my example isn't very good, because we were dealing with melodic intervals, but its very fascinating to know about pitch class - never really delved too deeply into it really.
#6
Minor 7th interval between two notes and the minor 7th scale degree are different things. The Jimi Hendrix song uses the minor 7th scale degree, but there are no minor 7th intervals between any notes in the melody. As said, it's pretty rare to have that big of a jump in a melody.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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#7
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Minor 7th interval between two notes and the minor 7th scale degree are different things. The Jimi Hendrix song uses the minor 7th scale degree, but there are no minor 7th intervals between any notes in the melody. As said, it's pretty rare to have that big of a jump in a melody.


Rare, but achievable if you kick the vocalist hard while (s)he's reaching for a drink on the floor.
#8
Quote by MaggaraMarine
As said, it's pretty rare to have that big of a jump in a melody.


Like that Steelheart song where the guy jumps like 3 octaves in one syllable?
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#9
Nah, it's not that rare to see a minor 7th interval in a vocal melody. I could list a hand full of tunes off the top of my head actually.
#10
Quote by GoldenGuitar
Nah, it's not that rare to see a minor 7th interval in a vocal melody. I could list a hand full of tunes off the top of my head actually.
Well, "rare" is a relative term. It's one of the rarer intervals. A "handful" is not a lot.

Star Trek theme
Somewhere (West Side Story)
The Winner Takes It All

Others?
#11
Quote by jongtr
Well, "rare" is a relative term. It's one of the rarer intervals. A "handful" is not a lot.

Star Trek theme
Somewhere (West Side Story)
The Winner Takes It All

Others?


In Japanese pop/rock/punk, they are literally everywhere (including minor 6ths, major 7ths and even 9ths in melodies).
First example from memory: the 2nd and 3rd note in the chorus of Yanagi Nagi's Strange Attractor is a minor seventh apart.
This is mainstream pop too, not indie.
#12
Quote by GoldenGuitar
they are literally everywhere


literally
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#13
Fine, my bad. That wasn't exactly great use of language, but they are used all over the place.
#14
That's much better.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#15
Quote by GoldenGuitar
In Japanese pop/rock/punk, they are literally everywhere (including minor 6ths, major 7ths and even 9ths in melodies).
First example from memory: the 2nd and 3rd note in the chorus of Yanagi Nagi's Strange Attractor is a minor seventh apart.
This is mainstream pop too, not indie.
Mainstream in Japan, maybe.

And yeah "literally"...? Even "all over the place"? No need to exaggerate.

Like I said "rare" is a relative term. It doesn't mean non-existent, or even hard to find. Being able to point to a few doesn't mean they're not rare. Just means you know a lot of music! Would you say 2nds, 3rds, 4ths, 5ths are less common? Even in Japanese pop, I doubt it. If not, then 7ths are by definition rare in comparison.

(Apologies for not being up to speed with Japanese pop/rock/punk. A 9th in a melody does sound interesting, and I'd like hear one of those.)
Last edited by jongtr at Sep 11, 2015,
#16
Quote by jongtr

(Apologies for not being up to speed with Japanese pop/rock/punk. A 9th in a melody does sound interesting, and I'd like hear one of those.)


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