1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Help with intervals within chords

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by paniak17, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. i know the 3rd and 5th to C are E and G, I know the 3rd and 5th and b3rd and 5th to any note because its a movable shape. So i know all of the Maj. and Minor Chords...but i want to know is how do you find a 6th, a 7th or any other note you need to build chords...is there a formula? please help!
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    It's based on the scale or mode, that applies at the time.
  3. pontz


    Oct 31, 2003

    The way I learned this stuff was by using the major scale as a starting point. The degrees of a major scale are 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. C major is a great scale to work with because the notes are C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C. No sharps or flats. Add a number to each note, C1-D2-E3-F4-G5-A6-B7-C1(8)-D9-ETC. You have to keep counting because some chords call for 9th, 11s, 13th, etc which are the 2, 4, and 6 above the octave. Does this make sense so far (I'm no theory guru, so please correct me if I'm wrong here)?

    Now, lets apply this to C minor (the aeolian mode). The degress of the minor scale are 1-2-flat3-4-5-flat6-flat7-8. So To turn C major into C minor all you have to do is flat the 3,6, and 7. The note become C-D-Eflat-F-G-Aflat-Bflat-C. Piece of cake.

    Here is a little chart I made that might help:

    Ionian (Major scale) degrees: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 Good over: M,M7,M6 chords
    Dorian degrees: 1-2-b3-4-5-6-b7 Good over: m,m7,m6 chords
    Phrygian degrees: 1-b2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 Good over: m,m7 chords
    Lydian degrees: 1-2-3-#4-5-6-7 Good over: M,M7,M6 chords
    Mixolydian degrees: 1-2-3-4-5-6-b7 Good over: M,7 chords
    Aeolian (Minor scale) degrees: 1-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 Good over: m,m7,m6 hords
    Locrian degrees: 1-b2-b3-4-b5-b6-b7 Good over: dim,m7b5 chords

    Remember the modes are also ordered. Ionian is the major scale and first degree of that scale, Dorian is the second degree. So If you are playing over a C major chord you can play C major (Ionian), D dorian, E Phrygian, F Lydian, etc.

    Have fun,

  4. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    I think modes are a little advanced for this thread.

    Yes. There is a formula.

    For the major scale it is:

    c d e f g a b c

    W is a whole note step

    H is a half note step

    H, half note is one fret

    W, whole note is two half steps or two frets

    Look at the piano keyboard, and see that there are not any black keys between the e and the f, or between the b and the c, because there is only one half step between those notes. So if you start a major scale on any other note, you end up with a mixture of white and black keys, but you use the same wwhwwwh formula to get the same do re mi fa so la ti do sound.

  5. tim99

    tim99 Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2003
    So a 6th is one whole step up from a 5th, and a 7th is one half step down from the octive, or root note.

    I walk around saying C E G, G B D, D F# A, A C# E...etc. all the way around.

    So then I can figure out the 2 4 6 7 from each of those notes. But that is slow, because it is figuring, not knowing. It works, but not a playing speed.

    I need to advance to saying something like "sixth: C A, A F#..." etc. for each of the intervals. Hey. Thanks. I might just work on that this summer.


    damn i love talkbass! :D
  7. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    This should help out a littel more.