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!  

Interval Training Exercises?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by GLFJ2679, Apr 20, 2010.

  1. GLFJ2679


    Apr 15, 2009
    Does anyone have any good interval exercises to share for practicing in each key? How do you practice your intervals? I want to seriously know my fretboard in whatever key I'm in like the back of my hand..Any help with this would be GREATLY appreciated.


  2. Asher S

    Asher S

    Jan 31, 2008
    Personally I like arpeggios, starting with the "main" 3:
    maj7: 1, 3, 5, 7
    dominant 7: 1, 3, 5, b7
    minor 7: 1, b3, 5, b7

    I play those around the circle of 5ths (eg A7 -> D7 -> G7 etc etc), changing the order of notes in each arpeggio (eg 1,3,5,7 vs 1,5,7,3 etc), and making sure I hit all 4 notes of the arpeggio. Sometimes I'll aim for the closest note in the next arpeggio rather than the root.

    You can focus on 1 arpeggio around circ. 5, and then when you're more familiar, alternate between maj/dominant/minor.

    Then you can work in other arpeggios (dim, augmented etc etc).
  3. KimblesNimble


    Jan 10, 2008
    Thinking of a song melody that you connect with for the interval is a good starting point. Like a root / 5th is the first two "notes" in the Star Wars theme, and root / major 6th is the first two intervals in "My Body Lies Over The Ocean", root / flat 7 is star trek, fourth is Smeels Like Teen Spirit, etc. Its a sleazy easy way to get started to get an ear for it. Heres a good site for random practice:

  4. i do arpeggios all over the neck while saying the notes out loud.....day one.... E maj 7 F#mi7 G#mi7 Amaj7 Bdom7 C#mi 7 D#mi7b5 Emaj7
    3-4 minutes each then the same for A D G

    day two F Bb Eb Ab........day 3 C Db F# B works out to twenty eight chord studies per day and once you get 'em down you can shift to 6 keys every other day etc.....initially it takes some time to work them out
  5. GLFJ2679


    Apr 15, 2009
    Thanks for all the great recommendations! I seriously appreciate the help.
  6. Fl3tch3rb0y


    May 22, 2011
    Just an addition to Ashers post to save any confusion for beginners. He's backcycling through the fourths: A, D, G because obviously in a clockwise direction building a major scale from A the 5th is E!
  7. I had never used the whole circle in my practice and have just started using the flat side. The flat side forced me into a new World. Yes the circle is a great tool. And as others have said one interval pattern around the complete circle would be a good practice session. Actually kill two birds with one stone.

    Here are some scale degree patterns - get the pattern into muscle memory then take that pattern around the circle into each key.

    Bass patterns based upon the Major Scale box.

    Major Scale Box. 
    G|---2---|-------|---3---|---4---| 1st string
    E|-------|---R---|-------|---2---|4th string 

    Basic Chords See a chord and your fingers know what intervals to use.
    • Major Triad = R-3-5 Want the G triad (G chord). Find a G on your fretboard and place the pattern's R over the G then play the R-3-5 pattern.
    • Minor Triad = R-b3-5
    • Diminished Chord = R-b3-b5
    7th Chords
    • Maj7 = R-3-5-7
    • Minor 7 = R-b3-5-b7
    • Dominant 7 = R-3-5-b7
    • ½ diminished = R-b3-b5-b7
    • Full diminished = R-b3-b5-bb7
    Scales Think of the major scale pattern as home base.
    • Major Scale = R-2-3-4-5-6-7
    • Major Pentatonic = R-2-3-5-6 leave out the 4 & 7.
    • Natural Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7 Major scale with the 3, 6 & 7 flatted.
    • Minor Pentatonic = R-b3-4-5-b7 Natural minor scale with out the 2 & 6.
    • Blues = R-b3-4-b5-5-b7 Minor pentatonic with the blue note (b5) added.
    • Harmonic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-b6-7 Natural minor scale with a natural 7.
    • Melodic Minor Scale = R-2-b3-4-5-6-7 Major scale with a b3.
    Major modes
    • Ionian same as the Major Scale. R-2-3-4-5-6-7.
    • Lydian use the major scale and sharp the 4 - yes, it’s that simple.
    • Mixolydian use the major scale and flat the 7.
    Minor Modes
    • Aeolian same as the Natural Minor scale. R-2-b3-4-5-b6-b7.
    • Dorian use the Natural Minor scale and sharp the b6 back to a natural 6.
    • Phrygian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2.
    • Locrian use the Natural Minor scale and flat the 2 and the 5.
    Generic Intervals for your bass lines.
    • The root, five and eight are generic and fit most any chord (R-5-8-5). Remember the diminished has a flatted 5.
    • The 3 is generic to all major chords. R-3-5-3
    • The b3 is generic to all minor chords. R-b3-5-8
    • The 7 is generic to all maj7 chords. R-3-5-7
    • The b7 is generic to all dominant seventh and minor seventh chords. C7 = R-3-5-b7 or Cm7 = R-b3-5-b7
    • The 6 is neutral and adds color, help yourself to 6’s. Love R-3-5-6
    • The 2 and 4 make good passing notes. Don’t linger on them or stop on them, keep them passing.
    • In making your bass line help yourself to those notes, just use them correctly.
    • Roots, fives, eights and the correct 3 & 7 will play a lot of bass.

    And as also mentioned think of inversions of the above. Then there are licks that can be made from the above. Scott Devine gave us the lick R-b3-3-5-6-R in one of his videos, look close, that's the major pentatonic with a b3 instead of a 2. Once these patterns are in muscle memory you have a zillion other ways to use them.
    HEADbass and Duke Damn like this.
  8. Khalkus


    Jan 22, 2012
    I think one of the most useful things I've ever learned about music is how to identify the intervals by ear, melodically and harmonically. If you haven't already done that, I highly reccommend it. It's pretty easy to practice but hard to get really good at. Just have a friend sit at any instrument (pianos are easy to start on) and hammer out random intervals in random octaves, and you'll get better at music in general.
  9. Start ear training using 2 tones in the same octave. Then two octaves. Then use triads in one octave and then then two octaves. And then the inversions.
    Then 7th chords in one octave, and then two octaves, and then the inversions. Also do the arppegios of the triads and 7th chords in one and then two octaves and inversions. Then you can go to drop two voicings. Etc. etc.
    There is lots of work there. Then you transfer that to your bass. Play around the circle of 4ths/5ths is a good way. Moving up/down the neck in semitones, wholetones, minor 3rds, major 3rds, etc. You have to be creative. But the circle of 4ths/5ths is good because in lots of songs the chords move in that fashion, (II-V-I progressions)
  10. martyin3d


    Sep 7, 2013
    I know this is a really old post but just wanted to say thanks for that link!

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.