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intervals = confusing...

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by bassist4ever, Apr 11, 2002.

  1. not sure where this belongs so mods feel free to move it out and about...

    am i correct in assuming that a major interval has 1 more semitone than the number that denotes it (maj3 has 4 semitones)
    and that a minor has the same number of semitones (m3 has 3 semitones)?
  2. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    no, you're not.

    a Perfect 5th has 7 semitones, minor 6th has 8, major 6th 9 etc, etc....

    there is no correlation between the quality of an interval and the number of semitones.
  3. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    here this should help you out, see what what kinda goodies you'll find when you do a search 1st?


    And no you're not right about that, I thought thats how it was too at one time.
  4. okay then... how do i know which is which???? Im trying to learn this stuff out of the book called Serious electric bass by Joel Di Bartolo....

    do i just have to learn like Emaj3 is a G? i think thats right?
    and memorize it all?
  5. Lipis Roman

    Lipis Roman

    Mar 5, 2002
    You don't have to go about it that way. All you really need to do is remember the basic formula and you'll be able to apply it to any situation easily.

    And if I'm correctly understanding what you were trying to say in your example, the distance of a Major 3rd from E would be G#, G would be a Minor 3rd from E.

    The distance of a major 3rd is two whole tones (or 4 semitones). Just for reference, two semitones equal one whole tone, they're the same distance so you can say it either way. When the intervals are larger it's just easier to think 5 whole tones instead of 10 semitones.

    E - F# is one whole tone and F# to G# is a whole tone, that adds up to two whole tones, a Major 3rd. Another way you could say the same thing is E - F is one semitone and F - G# is three semitones.
    It still adds up to 4 semitones/2 whole tones, a Major third.

    The distance of a minor 3rd is one and a half whole tones (or 3 semitones).

    E - F is one semi tone and F to G is one whole tone, making one and a half whole tones, a Minor third.

    Hope that didn't confuse you worse.

    All you need to do is study the intervals as they are explained in the thread Cassanova linked, it's a great thread. Once you understand the names for distances between tones and you know how to relate that to the fretboard you'll be in good shape.

    You'll get it.

  6. okay peeps that is what i was trying to say... major 3rds have 4 semi tones and minor 3rds have 3 semitones... i dont need to know about the 4ths 5ths 6ths and 7ths... that will come later. im focusing on the 3rds right now...

    Thanks Ya'll!
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