I've learned a few scales and got good at useing them, but I'm really clueless when it comes it intervals..

Can someone explain them to me? like what does the "b" mean? And fx. if one is on the first fret, is three then one the third fret? Or does it go by note? So if 1 is A then 3 is C?

b is Flat. It's supposed to look like this:

It means a half-step (one fret) below a natural interval (an interval without sharps or flats)
Oh ok, now I get it. Thanks a million!
if A is the root note aka the I note. then C is the III note and so on.

In terms of interval, A is the root note and C will be the minorthird interval because it is 3 semi tones away from A.

use this table as a reference

all the best!
Last edited by disillusia at Jul 1, 2008,
You cant really explain intervals in a thread. But ill try.

Musical Notes - Chromatic Scale
Remember, these are the musical Notes:

A - A#/Bb - B/Cb - C/B# - C#/Db - D - D#/Eb - E/Fb - E#/F - F#/Gb - G - G#/Ab - A

# = Sharp.
b = Flat.

Where it says something like A#/Bb, that means A sharp (#) and B flat (b) sound exactly the same. This is called enharmonic.

Tones and Half Tones

First of all, you need to understand the major scale. The major scale is a set of 7 different ntoes based on a set "pattern". The pattern, you can use:

W W H W W W H

W = Whole tone
H = Half Tone.

Now going back to the music notes, a whole tone means you start on one note, skip the next, and use the one after.
IE:

A - A#/Bb - B
R W

So a whole tone up from A, would be B.

A half step, is going from one note, to its neighbor.
IE

A -> A#/Bb

Simple yea?

Next. You need to use your whole tones and half tones to construct a major scale. That pattern of W and H's can be used on any note to create the relative major scale. IE if you start on C, you will make the C Major scale. Which is what we'll do now:

W W H W W W H
C D E F G A B C

See how its done?

Now you know how to make the major scale, its time to use intervals.

Intervals are a way of creating any scale, any mode, any chord you want, all from the major scale. The major scale is used to create pretty much everything.

The numbers indicate which note to use from the major scale. For example, if you have a number 1, and you use the C Major scale, that would would mean "C".

If you saw 5, you would use the note "G".

Now. you can add sharps or flats to intervals to create different scales.
So now, look at this:

C D E F G A B C <== C Major Scale
1 2 b3 4 5 6 7 1 <== Intervals being used

| | | | | | | |
v v v v v v v v
<== Converted
C D Eb F G A B C <== New Scale

As you can see, the b3 interval means you take the third (3rd) note of the C Major scale, and flatten it. In this case, it would take the note E and change it to Eb.

Using this you can find out any scale.
Take the Aeolian mode. (Also called the natural minor scale).
the intervals for this is 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 1

So lets apply that to the C Major scale.

C D E F G A B C <== C Major Scale
1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 1 <== Intervals being used

| | | | | | | |
v v v v v v v v
<== Converted
C D Eb F G Ab Bb C <== Natural Minor Scale

See, using those intervals you can get the C Minor scale.

If you have any questions, ask away.
Been away, am back
Wow Awesome post Logz. That really helps me.

I have a question though, in the major C scale, why are both C's called 1?
Are they kinda considered the same or could you call the second C 8?
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^ Thanks
In all scales, the scale should end with the root note.
the root note is the first note you play in the scale, and also defines what key the scale is in.
IE, you start on C, you can call it the C Major / Minor / Pentatonic scale etc.

In a 7 note scale (Such as the minor scale), the end note, which should be the exact same as your root, can also be called an octave note.

In effect, calling the end note 1, implies you start the scale again.

In otherwords, they're considered the same note, an octave apart.

You can use intervals larger than 7, but they're used for scale with more than 7 notes, or advanced chord construction.

Hope that helps.
Been away, am back
i guess u could call the second C 8

its an octave.
disillusia, i dont know why but something tells me your not supposed to do that
Okay, so here's another newb question

Do we use "Middle C" on Guitar? Like we do on the piano

And in terms of general music theory, what is middle C, How do we relate these octaves together?
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Quote by 4jacks
Okay, so here's another newb question

Do we use "Middle C" on Guitar? Like we do on the piano

And in terms of general music theory, what is middle C, How do we relate these octaves together?

Im pretty sure most guitarists dont, but I can see how someone who came from a pianist background may use it more often.

Middle C on the guitar is:

``````e|-----|      e|-----|
B|-----|      B|-----|
G|-----|  OR  G|-----|
D|-----|      D|-----|
A|-----|      A|--3--|
E|--8--|      E|-----|
``````

However, its more accurate to say middle C is:

``````e|-----|      e|--1--|
B|--5--|      B|-----|
G|-----|  OR  G|-----|
D|-----|      D|-----|
A|-----|      A|-----|
E|-----|      E|-----|
``````

Im not entirely sure why, Its something I read a while ago. Something about the guitar being a transposing intstrument.
Been away, am back
Hmmm, interesting...

If you use the second C as middle C though, it doesn't give you much room to play typical sheet music. (if you wanted to just pluck out the melody)

Antoher dumb question, kinda technical.

Do all C notes vibrate at the same frequency? Or do the higher notes vibrate faster? I'm just curious. I thought they might all vibrate at the same speed, and it was the mass of the string that made the octave, but reading about the pickups of the electric guitar, they wouldn't be able to read the mass of the string, so I guess a higher C will vibrate at a Faster rate?
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The sound is produced by the size of the string.

The longer the string, the deeper sound it will make, the shorted the string, the higher pitched the sound will be.

Thats why when you push down on frets, your effectively making the string shorter or longer, and changing the pitch.

The gauge, or thickness of the strings come into it greatly. thicker strings can take alot more tension than thinner strings. Because of this, thicker strings can take much lower tuning.
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Quote by Logz
The sound is produced by the size of the string.

The longer the string, the deeper sound it will make, the shorted the string, the higher pitched the sound will be.

So how is it possible to create the same note on two different strings.
Like a C on the 5th string versus a C on the 6th String. One string is effectively longer and thinner, but sounds the same as the shorter thicker string.

Is it the extra tension on the thicker string, or just the fact that it's thicker?
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Its because of the tension in the strings.
For example, if you took a normal Low E string straight out the packet, and hold it really loosely, so its not tight at all. When you pull it, it wont make a sound because its so floppy.

However, if you pull it as hard as you can, then pluck it, it'll make a higher pitch.
Its all to do with tension.

Because the neck of the guitar is a fixed length, if all the strings were the same thickness, some would be super tight, and some would be really loose and unplayable.

The thickness of the string just allows the string to stay the same length, just looser.

I hope that made sense.
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