Play Your Scales, Modes And Virtually Everything Using Intervals

This is a uniform way to look at your fretboard. By seeing everything as intervals you don't have to reinvent the wheel when you need to play something on the guitar matrix.

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Ultimate Guitar
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Hey guys, I decided to join the forum and for my first post to reveal how I look at the guitar fretboard. Most of us when we start learning we get confused cause we presented with many block shapes of chords arpeggios and scales we need to memorize and use. My suggestion to save ourselves from frustration is to find one way to view everything instead of 100 ways for 100 different things. My way of viewing everything on the fretboard is simple: Intervals. Intervals are plain and simple the building blocks of music just like syllables are the building blocks of words. Just like children at the beginning we struggle with our syllables and later on we view them so fast that we see even whole sentences on the fly. What I am proposing is to see everything on the fretboard as a sea of intervals. If you check out this image here - this is what I mean. If you fret a random note at the fifth string for example, you must be able to tell immediately that the note on the lower string, same fret is a perfect fifth apart, that the note next to it is a flat second etc etc. And all that by heart without counting. Take your time and save a few minutes each day to learn how a flatten third appears on the fretboard or a major seventh etc etc etc. It doesn't need to happen by tomorrow. After you see visually all the intervals on the fretboard or at least getting good enough you ll realize that you can play virtually anything IF you know their construction. Example: You want to play a diminished chord at a position completely unknown. No fixed block shapes in your memory nothing... But if you actually know the construction of diminished chords its like you already know how to play it. You simply see the root, the flattened third and the flattened fifth cause you spend some time to memorize the interval shapes on the guitar visually. As you can imagine that is true for everything. Maybe its not a diminished chord maybe its the D phrygian mode on a certain position. All you need is the construction.If you know it by heart (root, flat second, flat third, fourth, fifth, flat sixth, flat seventh) the intervals just flash before your eyes on the fretboard. All you need to do is find the fingering you like and press them. So practical stuff, how you proceed:You start by learning to play your major scale without prearranged boxed shapes, each time you play a note say its interval out loud in relation to the root. No shredding here folks. Spell the intervals slowly as you play them. Doing these sort of drills will make you better and better and you'll reach a point that you wont even think about em. Take a note for example in the b string. Can you see the major third, perfect fifth and major seventh around it? Congrats you can play the Major seventh chord of that root etc etc etc. You basically stack intervals to create anything you want on the fly. Make your own charts on a piece of paper and do them on the fly but don't rely on fixed positions. This way when soloing for example you can target the important intervals of a certain mode easier cause you see them clearly on the neck. You don't need to reinvent the wheel a billion times to play different things. Everything is played for a reason not randomly. So if you actually replace the dots you see so far on your charts with interval names, you ll soon find out that this is the key of fretboard freedom. Learn them as well as your sullables and you have everything you want on the fretboard flashing before your eyes. I hope my lesson helped you... Cheers.

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    ALnecUltra
    Nice lesson. This conveinced me to take that path. Thank you. Altough it may be harder and longer to learn then actual shapes, this approach pays way more in the long run.
    Dreamdancer11
    Thx.Actually it really doesnt take you long.If you learn the intervals around the distance of 4 or 5 frets only the rest is just linking them together.In the example above if you knew the construction of the phrygian by heart,you see immediately 1,2,4 for example the first three notes of the phrygian in one one string(finger per fret)root,flat second,flat third...You ll soon find out that you ll subconsiously combine this knowledge with your box shape knowledge so seconds after you start playing scales by intervals you realize that you actually in the shape number x.So you dont forget your box shapes instead you rearrange them and find your own pathways.
    Virtuosofreak
    Ya know,mate... If you started talking about modes,then you should have made some tabs to it,and should have at least shown a few other modes of the major scale IN those tabs.
    Dreamdancer11
    This is not just about modes mate.Its about everything...chords,arpeggios etc etc.The whole point is to use that information to build your own charts.Or use the patterns you already know but replace the dots with interval distances.If you play for example your scales but say the name of the intervals out loud as you do it...you ll learn them in no time.Basically what i did here is teach people how to..."fish" so to speak which is far more important. By the way if you read the comments you would know that in my youtube channel in the lesson about intervals i have a photoshop file that can help you make any chart you want about any mode chord or arpeggio if you still cant do it....
    Hypocrisy95
    "If you fret a random note at the fifth string for example, you must be able to tell immediately that the note on the lower string, same fret is a perfect fifth apart" Im new to intervals,but i thought that was a perfect fourth?
    Dreamdancer11
    When i say lower string i mean lower in pitch so the "bassiest" one, thus the one above using physical terms.
    Scramblinman
    OK, I got it. Made it my desktop picture. I think your suggestion is going to work for me. Its the right kind of visual.
    Dreamdancer11
    Thats cool.I have it also as a photoshop file which is even better cause you can show/hide layers and build any chart you want of scales,modes,arpeggios etc etc with just one file.I dont know how i can post it here but if you search my username on youtube and my lesson on intervals there, you ll find that too...
    Scramblinman
    Actually, I googled 'Guitar Fretboard Interval Chart' and didn't see anything like you linked to here. Not much of a Facebanger, but I'll check you out.
    MidnightUsurper
    I'm in the middle of trying to learn this but I'm a tad confused, is there a particular reason you mention b5-5-#5 on the chart? Why just there? Thanks for the lesson though!
    Dreamdancer11
    You are right....the raised fifth makes no sense especially if you look at all the other intervals.Think of it as b6 or make a photoshop layer and correct it if you want....This was done ages ago for personal use so i havent corrected it.
    Fallenoath
    So, would it be better to learn this way and not focus on shapes to much at all? Or do a little of both?
    Dreamdancer11
    Both.Its good to be aware of shapes but not see them only as dots.You just replace the dots with intervals: b3,perfect 5th etc etc.If you want to learn the fretboard well do the following: Learn just the natural notes until the 12th fret everywhere on the fretboard Learn as i said the intervals visually on the fretboard Use the previous knowledge to learn the 4 basic triad families all over the neck(major,minor,diminished,augmented). Harmonize the major scale and play it like a chordscale all over the neck. Seems like a lot of work but really isnt and its worth it.Check out my youtube channel with the same name.I have uploaded videos there for each step.Good luck.
    dalek3
    Hi, I am struggling to get the basics idea here? Surely the chart you have given must be relative to something; otherwise it makes no sense? For example, if the first fret of the 6th string (F) is #5, what is it the #5 of? A? it can't be the #5 of everything! As I understand Intervals, they are just whole and half steps within scales (I.E WWHWWWH in the major scale). When you mention about 'box patterns', do you mean scale box patterns or chords? Also, what do the red notes signify (I understand that they are all A notes)?
    Dreamdancer11
    Well let me clarify it then.All of these intervals are relative to the root.Its the way you ultimately have to view the fretboard.Of course the relationship between the notes other than the root is different.For example if you play a scale up and down you always play a series of major and minor seconds since each time you play the very next note.Bottom line:You must learn every relationship between fret distances so scales arpeggios chords become one thing.So when you play a note you must instantly know its relatioship to the root(lets say perfect fifth) but also its relationshipt towards the last note you played(for example minor second if its on the very next fret). When i mention box patterns i mean the scale box pattern that most just learn visually. Last but not least the red notes signify the root.So think the fretboard as an endless one.In that photo its seems like its the 5th but it could very well be the 155,it doesnt matter so its not the A note.
    hillbillysamuri
    I'm sure it would be an even better lesson if I could open the diagram that your directing people to " here " appearantly you need flash which isn't supported by my device
    hillbillysamuri
    I'm sure it would be an even better lesson if I could open the diagram that your directing people to " here " appearantly you need flash which isn't supported by my device