 GOAL:

• Understand the concept of intervals
• Learn the intervals between all 12 notes
• Practice identifying the major 3rd, minor 3rd and fifth interval

Previous articles in this series – strongly recommended to read these first!

## Intervals

The next article in this series will explain how we can construct our own chords.

In order to do that, we must start with the concept of intervals. TIP:

The interval between two notes just tells us how ‘far apart’ they are.

Two houses can be (say) 3 kilometers apart and similarly two notes can be (say) a ‘major third’ apart (an interval we will learn below!

We learned the C Major scale in a previous chapter.

The C Major scale played on the 5th string looked like this. Because this is a C major scale, we refer to the C note as being the first note or “root” of the scale.

It’s easy to see that D is the second note of this C major scale.

We refer to the distance between C and D as being a major second.

E is the third note of this C major scale.

We refer to the distance between C and E as being a major third. • a major second apart = 2 frets apart.
• a major third apart = 4 frets apart. TIP:

The reason that 2 frets apart is called a major second is because the distance between the first and second notes of the major scale is 2 frets apart

## Fourths and Fifths

If we examine the fourth and fifth note of the major scale (using our example in C Major), we will see that the 4th note of the scale is F and the 5th note of the scale is G. • a fourth apart = 5 frets apart.
• a fifth apart = 7 frets apart. TIP:

It’s enough to remember 3 things for now:

• the minor 3rd interval is 3 frets higher
• the major 3rd is 4 frets higher
• the fifth is 7 frets higher

## Roman Numerals

Chord changes are often described in a roman numeral notation.

• If you see a I-IV chord change in C that just means C is the I (root) chord and F is the IV chord (a fourth above or 5 frets higher).
• If you see a I-Vm chord change in C that just means that C is the I (root chord) and G is the V chord (a fifth above). The Vm would just indicate G minor. So the chord change is C – Gm
• If you see a II-V-I chord change then this would be D (second) then G (fifth) then C (first/root). So a II-V7-I would be D-G7-C TIP: BLUES CHORDS

The I IV V chords are often use to describe the chords in a blues sequence. In C, this is the root, fourth and fifth chords which you now know to be C, F and G.

## All 12 Intervals So starting with our “root” note, we see the “most important” intervals in red above

• 3 frets higher is a ‘minor third’
• 4 frets higher is a ‘major third’
• 7 frets higher is a ‘major fifth’ TIP:

It’s enough to remember 3 things for now:

• the minor 3rd interval is 3 frets higher
• the major 3rd is 4 frets higher
• the fifth is 7 frets higher