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What is an Interval?



This is the second installment of the "Music Theory Basic's" series. My aim is to arm you with the knowledge you can apply to your playing technique & add add spice to your song repertoire.


An interval is a stripped back chord using two notes.


When playing the C Major scale in chords, as discribed in the "Music Theory Basic's" post, we played the open chords relating to the key of CMaj. Now we are stripping the sound back further by outlining the chord by the Root note and the 6th degree of the chord, which will describe the quality of the chord as Major or minor.


Note: The distance from C to A is six notes.


The dodgy hand drawn diagram shows how the chords of the C Major scale can be played using two notes only.


Notice that there is also a "finger pattern" for Major & minor chords.


The finger pattern will change when using different string groups on the neck, but will remain consistent throughout the scale & the string group being played.


This will allow you to memorise certain string group patterns and navigate aspects of the scale over chords to add colour and spice to your playing.


This formula applies to all Major chords in all keys.




This concept is a "GAME CHANGER"

In terms of opening up your playing and giving your guitar game a boost, playing small bite size pieces of the song key, in a two note form, will provide your songs with a lively little kick, as well as, a bit more form from a melodic point of view.


Initially, start by going up and down the scale, as shown, & become familair with the scale shapes. Play a C Major or Ami groove on a looper & practice the intervals over the top.


On the diagram, you will notice there is a half step between the chords E & F / B & C. These are called Semitones as apposed to other distances, which are called Wholetones....AHHHRRRRR MORE THEORY !!!!!

Dont worry, this is all quite digestable & you will be rattling it off to others before too long.


A Beginning , a middle & an end.

The key with playing intervals, is to not "over play" as it makes it sound too scalar. Use tastful little bits of the scale & find the openings, where you can slot in a little fill, not step on anyones toes and compliment the song.


As a form of refernce, listen to how intervals are used in the Van Morrisons song , Brown Eyed Girl. I know the song has been played to death, but the interval fill is still a great piece of work. BTW - It's in the key of Gmajor.


OK, well I hope the interval lesson makes sense. I think if you work on the scale and use your ears to navigate what sounds good & what doesn't , you will be on the right track.


Take care & look out for the next post.








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