#1
I'm currently studying music theory (reading a book on theory especially for guitarists), and I have a two-part question.

First, an interval is the distance between two notes. I know that, so i'm assuming between any two notes anywhere on the fretboard. My question is, how should I try and learn and memorize the interval shapes? Distance between 1st and second fret is a minor 2nd, but how I should I learn and practice them? Any help would be great, thank you.

P.S. -- I hope I explained that right...
Quote by Wannabehippie
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Quote by Still Life
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#4
Thank you Silent, but I was kinda asking how should I learn interval shapes? lol.
Quote by Wannabehippie
Thats as far as my knowledge of Clapton goes.


Quote by Still Life
I hear he also played guitar
#5
Thank you coffeeguy9, i'm merely beginning my theory studies. I don't really know much yet, am I gonna have to learn more before I read your article or not?

And thank you SilentDeftone as well.
Quote by Wannabehippie
Thats as far as my knowledge of Clapton goes.


Quote by Still Life
I hear he also played guitar
#6
its almost impossible to learn interval shapes, but you can learn the intervals between notes, which can then transfer to the fretboard. For instance: if you moved from a "B" to a "C", you would have one half step, as compared to the distance between "C" and "D", which has two half steps. Applying interval theory to the fretboard is commonly referred to as learning scales and modes.
#7
well, with interval shapes, you're just memorizing patterns on guitar. I suggest listening carefully to intervals and remembering what they sound like so that you can identify them on other instruments. Also, the shape of intervals can change on the guitar. for example... if you play a perfect fifth with e....


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but if you play it on g...

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if you play the same shape on g, then it will turn into a diminished 5th, and probably wont be to your desire. Hope I helped.


oh, this is also a perfect 5th (A-->E inverted..... right?)

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and this:

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Last edited by poochy at Jun 14, 2006,
#8
I agree with vampwizzard to a large degree here; learning intervals as shapes on the fretboard is a really good way to hurt your understanding of intervals from a theory perspective. If you want to learn them on an instrument, learn them on a keyboard. It will transfer to guitar, but not the other way around.
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#9
Quote by Corwinoid
I agree with vampwizzard to a large degree here; learning intervals as shapes on the fretboard is a really good way to hurt your understanding of intervals from a theory perspective. If you want to learn them on an instrument, learn them on a keyboard. It will transfer to guitar, but not the other way around.


I'm sorry, but for my benefit, can you explain your logic here? I learn my intervals best on guitar. When I think of an interval, I automatically think of the shape, or the interval on a Staff (depending on situation). It also makes it a LOT More practical when building chords, especially jazz chords. Instead of counting up on a major scale, automatically knowing where it is is usually a plus.
#10
Quote by poochy
oh, this is also a perfect 5th (A-->E inverted..... right?)


I was going to rant on saying how that it was a perfect fourth until I read the inverted bit.

My suggestions for learning are thus: start on a root note of your choice, for now start on the low E. Now, figure out all the intervals around this note. For harmonic intervals go to the next string and then play it. Once you know the intervals around this note(the shape for them will be the same all the way along the string) move onto the next string and so fourth.

Moving strings will help when you are measuring between the G B and E stings, due to the major 3rd interval, rather than perfect fourth.

Then, once that is all mastered, do it backwards, starting on the high e and finishing on the low E.

Once again, this will work all the way along the fret board so there are all your intervals!

Hope you understand this, its explained rather craply but oh well.

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#11
Sorry, Cor. I'm with coffeguy on this one. I think it's a good thing knowing the interval shapes on a guitar. I'm not saying that it's the best way to learn about intervals but it surely can't hurt. I, too, use interval shapes when figuring out chords and scales. And it's still a good way to train your ear to recognize the intervals. To each his own though I guess.

And about the perfect 5th inverted. I'm pretty sure you figure out intervals from bass note to upper note. So E -> A would be a perfect 4th because that's how far apart they are. It is an inverted P5, yes, so now now it's a fourth. Am I wrong?

You wouldn't say this is a minor second inverted. It's a major 7th.

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#13
Quote by coffeeguy9
I'm sorry, but for my benefit, can you explain your logic here? I learn my intervals best on guitar. When I think of an interval, I automatically think of the shape, or the interval on a Staff (depending on situation). It also makes it a LOT More practical when building chords, especially jazz chords. Instead of counting up on a major scale, automatically knowing where it is is usually a plus.

To think of it as the interval on the staff is the correct way to think about it when studying theory, as the OP said he was. For theory study, it's incredibly important to know what the intervals look like on paper, and what they sound like without an instrument. And it's important to not have to think about it on the fretboard first.

Like you said, you think of it on the fretboard, or on the staff, depending on the situation. In this situation, for learning theory, he should be thinking about them on the staff, not on the neck, because there are a lot of places, especially if he goes anywhere past what his guitar book will teach him, where you can't build certain intervalic patterns on the neck.

That being said, knowing them first on the staff, and THEN learning them on the neck is fine; it transfers directly to the guitar. Learning intervals on the neck does not transfer from the guitar (guitar is very illogical, when compared to a staff).

I'm not saying that you shouldn't know them on the neck, I actually think knowing all of the chromatic intervals, through two octaves (when possible), is more important than knowing various scales and scale patterns. What I said pertains specifically to learning and studying theory; they should be learned independantly of an instrument, or with a theory-centric instrument (keyboard), and then transferred to guitar. Not the other way around.
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#14
I would like to thank everyone for their contributions, even if we did spark an argument, lol.

Quote by Corwinoid
To think of it as the interval on the staff is the correct way to think about it when studying theory, as the OP said he was. For theory study, it's incredibly important to know what the intervals look like on paper, and what they sound like without an instrument. And it's important to not have to think about it on the fretboard first.

Like you said, you think of it on the fretboard, or on the staff, depending on the situation. In this situation, for learning theory, he should be thinking about them on the staff, not on the neck, because there are a lot of places, especially if he goes anywhere past what his guitar book will teach him, where you can't build certain intervalic patterns on the neck.

That being said, knowing them first on the staff, and THEN learning them on the neck is fine; it transfers directly to the guitar. Learning intervals on the neck does not transfer from the guitar (guitar is very illogical, when compared to a staff).

I'm not saying that you shouldn't know them on the neck, I actually think knowing all of the chromatic intervals, through two octaves (when possible), is more important than knowing various scales and scale patterns. What I said pertains specifically to learning and studying theory; they should be learned independantly of an instrument, or with a theory-centric instrument (keyboard), and then transferred to guitar. Not the other way around.


You're suggestion is that I should learn intervals in this way: from B to C on 6th string is half-step, or minor 2nd. From a C to G on 6th string is perfect 5th. That is how I should be learning the intervals, ignoring their shapes until I'm more advanced into theory? Sounds reasonable, will make my studies easier, too. Thank you for the quick responses.
Quote by Wannabehippie
Thats as far as my knowledge of Clapton goes.


Quote by Still Life
I hear he also played guitar
#15
You should learn intervals 3 ways.

First you should know them on paper by sight, and relative distance, without any instrument in mind. Second, you should know how they sound. You should be able to identify, recall, and produce (vocally) any relative interval, in either direction. Finally you should know how they apply to your instrument; on one string, and across multiple strings as it is for guitar. And that's the order you should learn them in.

For instance, you should know first that Bb to C is a major second, and that F to B is a tritone, and be able to recognize that instantly on paper. You should be able to vocalize them; and be able to recognize them by ear. And then you should know that Bb to C is two frets on one string, down 3 frets (or up 7 going the 'wrong way') across two, etc.
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