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Ha ha ha, intervals are baby chords!

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by BusyFingers, Dec 21, 2016.


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  1. BusyFingers

    BusyFingers

    Nov 26, 2016
    Well, I mean, I understand an interval is the distance between two notes, but in practical application some of them can be played like a little two note chord. And they're a great way to add color to a melody/composition. Pardon my enthusiasm, this stuff is new to me.

    If you have any insight or ideas you'd like to share about intervals, please feel free to do so. Here is the video I was watching when the lightbulb went off as I was applying the idea to some phrases while playing along.

     
    vishalicious likes this.
  2. BusyFingers

    BusyFingers

    Nov 26, 2016
    By the way, that dude's bass is awesome. It looks like Jaco's bass toured posthumously and caught a pickup mod along the way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
  3. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    central NY state
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Intervals are chords are arpeggios are scales are basslines are intervals are chords are.....
     
    Lownote38 and hrodbert696 like this.
  4. LeeNunn

    LeeNunn Supporting Member

    Oct 9, 2012
    Charlottesville, VA
    When we play two notes simultaneously, many bass players call it a double stop. Stop refers to where the string quits vibrating (i.e., the fretted note). Octaves and fifths add a little meat to the sound. A famous use of double stop fifths is Stanley Clark's School Days. Another popular double stop is the tritone, which is often the major 3rd and minor seventh of a dominant 7 chord. Check out Alphonso Johnson's line on Weather Report's Cucumber Slumber. There's a slide up and then he plays the G# and D of the E7 chord. Tritones are best played high on the neck, because they sound too muddy down low. Finally a major 10th is popular. It's like a major third, but the third is up an octave. Check out Watermelon Man from Herbie Hancock's Headhunters album. If you do a search on double stops here on TB, you'll find lots of discussion and examples.

    Like many of the best things in life, double stops are best in moderation.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  5. Love those Aha moments. Intervals and all that R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 stuff we've been talking about should now be making since. R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 is the natural minor scale, or think of it this way the natural minor scale is the major scale with the 3, 6 & 7 scale degree flatted. Want the major pentatonic scale take the major scale and leave out the 4 and 7. Want the minor pentatonic take the natural minor scale and leave out the 2 & 6...... Yep those patterns work all over your fretboard.

    A whole new World is waiting on you,

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  6. BusyFingers

    BusyFingers

    Nov 26, 2016
    Thanks for chiming in, guys.
     
  7. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    I think the term is "chord fragment," but "baby chord" is a nice way to think of it too. Any two notes make a chord fragment, add a third and you have a chord.
     
    mambo4 likes this.
  8. joebar

    joebar

    Jan 10, 2010
    I use intervals and double stops a lot in my playing. A signature move of mine is 6th's- played on the A and D strings
     
  9. BassAndReeds

    BassAndReeds

    Oct 7, 2016
    Nice post. I think this is similar to something I've been working on.

    I watched the video. I will say for myself, I was a bit underwhelmed that there didn't seem to be some usable context for his lesson. But not to say the context isn't interesting. To continue to your point...

    For myself, an interval is an interval, but some intervals when played together can allude to certain tonalities, which you can probably then call a "baby chord". Here's a simple progression that can show my point:


    First, you can vamp on a ii-V, in the key of G, which would be Am-D7:
    For the Am chord, you can play A on the down beat, and then the interval of G-C (5th fret of D and G string) in the middle of the phrase
    For the D7 chord, you can play D on the down beat, and then the interval of F#-C (4th fret of D, 5th fret of G string) in the middle of the phrase
    Repeat ad naus...


    Then you can move on to a ii-V-I-VI in the key of G, which would be Am-D7-G-E7:
    For the Am chord, you can play A on the downbeat, and then the interval of G-C (5th fret of D and G string) in the middle of the phrase
    For the D7 chord, you can play D on the downbeat, and then the interval of F#-C (4th fret of D, 5th fret of G string) in the middle of the phrase
    For the G chord, you can play G on the downbeat, and then the interval of G-B (5th fret of D, 4th fret of G string) in the middle
    For the E7 chord, you can play E on the downbea, and then the interval of G#-D (6th fret of D, 7th fret of G string) in the middle
    Repeat ad naus....


    There's so much that can be talked about just on intervals, and how the same interval can sound different, depending on the root note/chord. However, this post is already long. Hopefully this is what you were looking for.

    If you haven't checked out this video yet, it may help put some context to your interval and double-stop work:
     
  10. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe

    Jul 8, 2008
    Connecticut
    No need to redefine what an interval is ... an interval is not a chord, not even a baby one, it's a "distance" between tones (in relation to a root) ...but a chord can be represented by its intervals ... e.g., I-III-V. Redefinition of musical terms will not make anything clearer, rather, it creates confusion.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  11. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    sure...but it's nice to see/hear another musician making connections between thought and deed. conceptualization is mostly idiosyncratic. "baby chords" work on several levels, including musical context...in practice!

    just wondering what you meant by "just it creates confusion" (!?). ;)
     
  12. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe

    Jul 8, 2008
    Connecticut
    That should be clear ... ;)
     
  13. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    actually: it wasn't clear, but i understood what you meant. like the OP's thread. :D
     
  14. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    What we are talking about here are "harmonic intervals" (two notes played simultaneously) vs "melodic intervals" (two notes played sequentially).
     
  15. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I find the most useful term for these are "dyads". That way you don't run into the potential confusion of "interval" -- which can be reserved for referring to the distance between two pitches -- nor the tonal/functional implications of "chord" (be they the "mini", "baby", or "fragment" variety) -- nor the instrument-specific execution inherent in the term "double-stop".

    Two notes sounded together are simply a "dyad". It's a neutral term for referring to their simultaneity without suggesting anything else about their behavior.
     
    Lanky Tunes and hrodbert696 like this.
  16. Lanky Tunes

    Lanky Tunes

    Jun 9, 2014
    Yeah. Calling them a chord is a bit misleading, but then again everything on the bass can be a bunch of different things, which can get confusing.

    That R & M3rd could be a R & b6 or a P4 & 6 or a b2 & b5, ect, ect, ect.

    I call them dyads, but thinking of them as pieces of chords works.
     

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