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Guitar Intervals

Guitar Intervals

What are the guitar intervals ?

The working structure of music begins with guitar intervals. They are the building blocks of all the larger musical structures. Every musical structure may be defined by its intervals.

A guitar interval represents the distance between 2 pitches. Guitar intervals define every possible relationship between pitches.

Let’s consider a few guitar intervals for example:

Two pitches that are the same are said to be in unison.  This means that there is no distance between the notes. When you tune one string to another on the guitar by the standard relative tuning method you are employing unison intervals.

Next comes the one fret distance between any notes on the fretboard.  This is called a guitar interval of half step.

The distance of two frets is an interval called a whole step.

There are many more interval names.  But first consider these things:

- Every guitar interval has its own unique name

- Every guitar has its own unique sound.

- Every guitar interval has its own unique shape on the fretboard.

- All guitar intervals are calculated in half steps and whole steps.

The basic 13 intervals defined. For this example concerning the guitar intervals we are going to use the key of E.

The unison

As I told you above this guitar interval is one and the same pitch.

The Unison

guitar intervals

The minor 2nd

This is the equivalent of a half step which is also called the minor 2nd

The minor 2nd

guitar intervals

The major 2nd

This is the equivalent of a whole step which is also called the major 2nd

The major 2nd

guitar intervals

The minor 3rd

the distance between the pitches is composed from 1 WS and 1 HS.

The minor 3rd

guitar intervals

The major 3rd

the distance between the pitches is composed from 2 WS.

The major 3rd

guitar intervals

The perfect 4th

the distance between the pitches is composed from 2 WS and 1 HS

The perfect 4th

guitar intervals

The augmented 4th or diminished 5th

the distance between the pitches is composed from 3 WS.

The augmented 4th of diminished 5th

guitar intervals

The perfect 5th

the distance between the pitches is composed from 3 WS and 1 HS

The perfect 5th

guitar intervals

The minor 6th

the distance between the pitches is composed from 4 WS.

The minor 6th

guitar intervals

The major 6th

the distance between the pitches is composed from 4 WS and 1 HS.

The major 6th

guitar intervals

The minor 7th

the distance between the pitches is composed from 5 WS.

The minor 7th

guitar intervals

The major 7th

the distance between the pitches is composed from 5 WS and 1 HS.

The major 7th

guitar intervals

As you can see every minor interval is one HS lower then it’s major corespondent and in general they have a sad sound, compared to the major ones which sound more bright.

From intervals to scales

As i told you in the guitar scales article the major scale is composed out of the following note distance: WS WS HF WS WS WS HF.

These note sequence can be defined in intervals to.  The major scale is composed out of: unison – major 2nd – major 3rd – perfect 4th – perfect 5th – major 6th and major 7th.

As i told you in the beginning of the article, every musical structure may be defined by its intervals.

Guitar Intervals conclusion

Guitar intervals are the fundamentals of music. It is important to know them by heart because each one of them has it’s unique sound and emotion attached to it.

Getting used to the sound of the intervals is crucial of you want to get to the point were you want to send a specific state or emotion when you write a song or a solo.

If you really want to express yourself when you play your guitar, master the guitar intervals and guitar scales you should take a look here.

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