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Question about intervals

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by yor123, Apr 18, 2001.


  1. yor123

    yor123

    Mar 29, 2001
    New Orleans
    I am self-teaching myself basic therory and notation using libster.com material, this forum, and books from the library. One book, Music Making by Gerorge Seltzer describes intervals in terms of pitch distances akin to space distance (inch, foot,etc). Example two semitones equals a major second just as twelve inches a foot. Thus, an octave being 12 semitones and other intervals some subdivision of that.

    My question is, what happens after an octave? If I fret a G on the E string at the third fret, then fret a F# on the D string at the fourth fret, I know this is a major 7th interval or 11 semitones. But what if I fret the same G then maybe a B on the fourth fret of the G string (16 semitones) What interval it that?

    Gregg
     
  2. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Melnibone
    It's a 10th.
     
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Ok, beyond an octave, you can travel, interval-wise with 9, 10, 11, 12 up to the two octave level. In fact, an excellent bass exercise is playing scales in two octaves or chords or modes in two octaves, up and down.

    In fact, chords that have a ninth interval or a thirteenth, for example, are said to have chord extensions. However, keep in mind this point of theory: although you can keep adding on intervals such as the ninth, eleventh and thirteenth, as you begin your second octave, the second scale degree of the second octave is the ninth tone, the fourth is the eleventh, and the sixth is the thirteenth.

    In other words these notes have the same note name:

    second interval equals the ninth interval.
    fourth interval equals the eleventh interval.
    sixth interval equals the thirteeth.

    So we get this as an example:

    Two octave G major scale:

    NOTE: G A B C D E F# G A B C D E F# G

    A is the second degree of the first octave and the ninth degree of the second octave.

    C is the fourth degree of the first octave and the eleventh degree of the second octave.

    E is the sixth degree of the first octave and the thirteenth degree of the second octave.

    jo
     
  4. Lance Jaegan

    Lance Jaegan

    Dec 23, 2000
    Illinois
    Interval extensions such as these also have a different sort of "resonance" than their counterparts due to their distance from the root, and their slightly different intonation, especially if using an equal temperament system, rather than a "just" or "Pythagorean" system. An easy method of getting acquainted with the different resonance (and therefore, harmonic significance) of complementary intervals, such as 9ths, 11ths, and so on is to play to double stops consisting of the root and whatever interval you're learning. I used this a while ago to acquaint myself with the dissonance of various intervals to sound as bad as possible. :D
    When you're playing an equal tempered instrument that is tuned using an electronic tuner, and someone goes "geez, you're way out of tune" you know you've got dissonance down. You can also scare small animals.
    Some of my favorite double stops for making babies cry are: R + b2, R + b5, R + 7, R + b9. I like dissonant chords too. My favorite would have to be Db + D + Bb (R + b2 + 6th). That chord positively shimmers. The sound waves literally bounce off each other, and chatter around.
    Ugh, I'm being garrulous.
     
  5. yor123

    yor123

    Mar 29, 2001
    New Orleans
    Thanks Guys... you could not make it any clearer. Appreciate the responses

    Gregg
     
  6. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Lance, I liked the way you described the different resonance of the intervals. Oh, I'm also a big fan of root/flat five double stops. I've got to try out that D, D flat, B flat chord. Do you play it high on the neck? I'm assuming the D and D flat are on different strings. Otherwise I don't know how else you'd play it on a bass. I guess you can on a keyboard. I'll try that. too.

    JO
     
  7. Lance Jaegan

    Lance Jaegan

    Dec 23, 2000
    Illinois
    Generally, I prefer to play the Db, D, Bb chord in the low register, using the 4th fret on the A string, the open D, and the Bb at the 3rd fret on the G string. If you have a sound that has a lot of mids, especially high mids, it will avoid muddiness, and have quite a bit of growl. I generally prefer to strum it using my nails as well, to add a bit of high frequency bite to avoid mud. If you have fairly large hands, and good fretting technique, you can also play it an octave above using the 16th fret on A, 12th on D, and the 15th on the G. I find it fairly difficult to play in the higher register, although I *can* do it. When played in the higher register, rather than growling around a bit, and chattering, it gets this sort of "whump-whump" throb sound, that's very throaty. I've also found that exchanging the 6th in the higher register for a b5 actually makes it less dissonant! I'd have to say this is because of the fact that the b5 of Db is the perfect 4th of D, which although D is not the root, it is close enough to act as one temporarily for the ear. You could also exchange the 6th for a b6th in the higher register as well, which would make it MUCH easier to play, but I feel that some of the oddity of the chord is lost when using the b6. Much of the "chatter" effect of the chord is created using the natural 6, and you lose quite a bit of that changing to a b6.
    I haven't tried these suckers out on a keyboard yet, because I don't have access to one currently. Gotta get me one of those. :D
     
  8. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    D, D flat and B flat are very easy to play on a keyboard as they are so close together. The sound is extremely suspenseful, as in a Dracula movie. It is cool, too, if the same notes are played by both hands, which gives an even fuller sound and a feeling of something terrible about to happen, such as if you wake up from your sleep becaue you hear someone breaking into your house.

    JO