All is going well, I'm so happy to be learnign it, but I'm up to intervals now. I pretty much understand them, I'd just liek to know basically, WHAT ARE THEY? I mean I know pyshically what they are and how to recognize them on a staff, but what are they used for...why am I learning them, what is going to be the use of knowing what an augmented unison is?

And jsut BTW, I'm not complaining or anything, I jsut don't know and would like to knwo...
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It's used a lot in scales, chords and many other things... progressions/tensions/resolutions/etc.

Actually, intervals are the base of theory!
Note: Sorry if my grammar and/or vocabulary isn't very good, English is my 2nd language!

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intervals help with chord building and multi part melody writing
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Intervals are what things like chords are built off of. A major chord has the 1, 3, and 5 interval of a major scale. If you take that 3, and flat it, you get a minor chord because you will have the intervals of 1, b3, and 5. Those are all intervals.
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Intervals are pretty much the base of all music theory. It's the tonal difference between two notes. With out 12-note octaves and equal temperment tunings, intervals are what decide how the music will sound. So if there is a beautiful piece written in C# major, it will sound just as good if every instrument is transposed down to D major, because the intervals are preserved, and the tuning is equal.

As you move on in theory, you'll realise that great music isn't about the notes you play, it's about the intervals and the rhythm.
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Mr. T says he pittys the fool who dont learn his intervals

actually, their the base of all theory, you'll need em a bunch... so learn yo intahvals fewl!

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Thanks guys.
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Might I suggest http://www.musictheory.net/ ?

It's a good site, and has a REALLY logical flow of lessons... unlike most other sites..... including this one :p ( jokes )

Thanks so much for the link. I'm not gonna deviate from my previous self taught lessons as they seem to be working, but it's great to have key, interval, and triad trainers to make sure I got this stuff down.

Thanks again.
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An interval is a note out of a scale. Lets take C major for example:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Starting from a C note and using the WWHWWWH pattern, you can find all of the notes in the C major scale. Each note is called a scale degree, or interval. The first note is the root and the last note is the octave, which could also be counted as "1" instead of "8" since it's right back to C. One way you could use intervals is in triad construction.
To build a triad, you take the 1st, 3rd, and 5th intervals in the scale:

1 3 5

There's your C major chord. If you wanted to make it a Cm chord, you flat the 3rd interval (Just lower it by a half step on the fretboard). Also, you could make it a Cdim chord by flattening both the 3rd and 5th intervals.

1 3 5 = Major
1 b3 5 = Minor
1 b3 b5 = Diminished
1 3 #5 = Augmented

Try it out with other scales, such as G major. Hope that gave you a pretty good idea of what they are and how they're used.
Last edited by GetOutOfMyYard at Jul 6, 2007,
my general definition of an interval is:

the heard relationship between one note and another, expressed in distance between notes. therfore, an interval is a distance between two notes. for practical purposes, an interval is the name you give a note in relation to the root note of the key you are playing in. ex: when playing in G, the note of B is a major 3rd. When playing in B, the note of G is a minor 6th. naming intervals is entirely to do with what your root note is.

here's a helpful way to look at intervals with respect to the guitar...

the guitar is tuned to 4th's, which means that if you play any note on the 6th string, and then play the same fret on the 5th string, you are playing a root note and then it's 4th. If you play a note on the 5th string and then the same fret on the D string, you are playing a root note and it's 4th. the pattern is the same for all strings, except the B string, which is tuned to a minor third.

The relevance of this is as follows: if every guitar player knows how find their perfect intervals, (octave, fifth, fourth) it becomes a simple matter to find all your other intervals, and make mental pathways to finding any interval you please. This allows you to play any scale provided you know it's intervals, and in any key, provided you can find the root note.

If you know your 4th is the same fret on the next highest string, you know your major third is one fret back from the 4th, and your minor third is two frets back. if you know your fifth is just the second note in your standard power chord, or is two frets up from the 4th, then you know your minor and major 6th's are the next two notes from there. And if you need to find a seventh in a hurry, remember that a 4th of a 4th (skip a string but play the same fret) is a minor seventh, so therefore the next fret from there is a major seventh. your minor and major seconds are just the next two frets from your root note or your octave.

if playing intervals on one string, remember that there are 12 intervals, just as there are 12 notes. if the open string is your root, the first fret is your minor 2nd, the second fret is your major 2nd, etc etc etc... just remember that aug4 and dim5 are the same fret, and that roots, 4ths and 5ths are neither major nor minor.

remember that all theory is built on intervals. this means that intervals need to be able to explain ANY situation in western music. you may never need to do an augmented unison or play a fully diminished chord in a song... but most of the intervals you learn about are vital...

you derive a scale by taking a unique pattern of intervals. you build a chord by choosing three or four intervals to play at once. You determine what chords work in your key by using the intervals of your scale as root notes. You can give direction and mood to a riff or solo by focusing on or eliminating certain intervals. you can spice up chord progressions by inverting the chords, something that is easier to understand using intervals.

hope this helped
Last edited by frigginjerk at Jul 7, 2007,