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approach on interval learning


STR41N

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I want to ask about the approach to learn interval. Do we have to memorize all the interval from one note to another note or just use the scale and count it up and down ????

I often visualise the keyboard controller with the scale and use it when do theory... is it okay ????

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A scale doesn't contain all of the intervals - unless it's the chromatic scale - but the major scale is a good place to start. Memorize the major 2nd (C up to D), major 3rd (C up to E), perfect fourth (C up to F), perfect fifth (C up to G), etc. Work on one or two at a time. Try to sing the interval out loud before you play it.

 

Once you get comfortable with the intervals in the major scale, work on the chromatics. There aren't very many intervals in total; you might as well learn all of them. When you move to a different key, the notes are different but the intevals are exactly the same. If you can memorize an alphabet, you can memorize a dozen intervals.

 

Are you talking about memorizing the sound of intervals or their locations on the keyboard? Either way, scales are the key (pun intended) to learning them.

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The first step in correctly labeling an interval is to get the 'gross' measurement correct.

 

An interval measured upward from a C to a Bbb, for example, is 'some kind of 7th' for starters. (You actually count the letters - C,D,E,F,G,A,B and there are seven letters, so it is some kind of 7th.) Any theory text book will explain how intervals are labeled. (The correct distance in this example is a diminished 7th ... or as a friend of mine would say, a demented 7th.)

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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This is THE key. This is how you get it so ingrained in your musical being that you can eventually imagine it before you play it - you're hearing it in your "mind's ear".

Originally posted by Dan South:

Try to sing the interval out loud before you play it.

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This has always been the hardest thing for me in music. At first I thought it was because I focused so much on reading music in my early years and ignored my ear. Over the years some people have told me I hear things differently. I used to play a lot of inverted chords which would drive the guitarist crazy. Most of all, I have trouble pulling out chords when listening to a complex piece of music. Too often what is in my mind overrides what is at my fingers and I think that I am playing something different than I really play.

 

I never had this problem as a drummer.

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Learning, in the sense of 'hearing'?

 

I would get together with a friend and play intervals and chords back and forth. You'd be surprised how that would work.

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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This really is a question about some basics of ear training.

 

Learn the intervals both ways - descending and ascending. They each have a distinctive sound that you need to "get into your head". Start with learning the major and minors. Chords (major, minor, diminished, augmented) and inversions next.

 

Why bother?

 

It helps you learn and understand new material, especially if you are transposing or transcribing. It helps your understanding of the harmonic analysis of a piece. It helps your sense of playing or singing in tune. It helps to communicate accurately with other musicians - i.e. " sing the harmony a major 3rd above my note"

 

There are plenty of easy, teach-yourself books on this at any music store that carries classical music.

 

It's time well-spent, even though it may seem a little tedious at first.

 

Good luck.

Tom F.

"It is what it is."

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As poisted earlier, always connect musical practice to singing. It not only helps strengthen your vocal abilities but really helps internalize things.

Also I personally think that you can break things, especially for starters, into different levels. This applies to all aspects of music---or indeed anything.

Begin, as in most music we encounter, with the basic divisions: octaves, thirds & fifths. That will help you recognize the general chordal structures. Next, the intervening intervals & after that, the altered pitches; learning to hear a b5 is easier in reference to your internalized perfect 5th.

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yeah I`m asking about the interval on the theory not the hearing. Thanks for the reply... m... I`m still don`t understand about the interval... We have to use interval when making chord yeah? m... in example, if I want to make F#minor7 so I visualise a F major chord and then go to the third note, put a flat on that note, then I take 5th note and then I count down a whole step from the root and then make the chord... Is it okay ???

Dan South said that overtime I should use cromatic scale for knowing interval... so I have to memorize about 11 x 12 = 132 possibilty if I did`t wrong ????

Thanks you for the reply...

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Originally posted by STR41N:

yeah I`m asking about the interval on the theory not the hearing. Thanks for the reply... m... I`m still don`t understand about the interval... We have to use interval when making chord yeah? m... in example, if I want to make F#minor7 so I visualise a F major chord and then go to the third note, put a flat on that note, then I take 5th note and then I count down a whole step from the root and then make the chord... Is it okay ???

Dan South said that overtime I should use cromatic scale for knowing interval... so I have to memorize about 11 x 12 = 132 possibilty if I did`t wrong ????

Thanks you for the reply...

Buy, borrow or steal a theory text book that is used at music schools in your country and start reading the basics.

 

The naming of 'popular or jazz' chords sometimes seems confusing and I know from first hand experience (from students) that the naming of chords can be confusing.

 

(Fm or F minor is spelled F, Ab, C. F#m is spelled F#, A, C#.) Learn the basics, get that theory book and study with someone. If you do not have an excellent foundation on which to build, things might always seem difficult. Good luck!)

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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Str41n: so you're asking how the intervals are labelled?

 

OK, here goes. Apologies to music teachers out there!!

 

For the case of an ascending interval, start with the lower note. Say, for example it's a "D". Think of the major scale of that note - i.e. D major. ( D, E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D)

 

Then examine the upper note. Say it's an F natural.

 

The interval between the D and the F is a third.

 

The major scale of D, however, has F# in it. If the upper note were F#, this would be a major 3rd. Since it is F natural in our example, a semitone lower, the interval is named a "minor third". You notice, of course, that F natural is in the scale of D minor, so this all goes together.

 

By convention, 4th and 5ths that are in the scale are labelled "perfect", not "major". (e.g. G, or A, respectively, in our example). They're the same in both major and minor scales.

 

If the upper note is a semitone above the corresponding note in the major scale, it is labelled "augmented" (ex. f double sharp)

 

If the upper note is a semitone below the minor interval, the interval is labelled "diminished". This would typically require a double-flat or some accidental.

 

This naming system, BTW, is for the intervals, not the chords. Chord naming is slightly more complex.

 

Thus, a C# above the D would be a major 7th, the C natural above the D would be a Minor 7th.

 

A above the D would be a perfect 5th.

 

When examining decending intervals, do the same process, except start with the first note (now the upper one). Thus, D descending to A would now be a "perfect 4th".

 

Hope that explains your question.

Tom F.

"It is what it is."

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IU apologize for missing the point earlier...any language problems are mine, too, not your's!

 

I'm still not sure I get what you're really after but I'll mention something that always confused me when learning & still bugs me today.

 

Many use certain terms when writing or speaking that can be confusing unless accompanied by aural examples. It's common for some theory writers to refer to "minor 7ths" or "diminished 7ths" for instance when they mean a flatted interval.

Just reading or hearing the words often suggests, to me at least, a harmonic context; for the longest time I thought a "minor 7th" was a chord spelled [1-b3-7(or b7)] ,for instance, when a flatted 7th interval was meant. Same with the way some classicists use the term diminished.

 

I don't really know if that might help in this discussion but I suggest to everyone that, for clarity, the use of the terms "sharped" or "flatted" along with scalar numerations [1-2-3-4-5, etc.] rather than antiquated terms like "do-re-mi", etc., are much more definite in any context.

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