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ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,351
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,351
03/20/2007 6:31 pm
Originally Posted by: txladykatInterval is defined as being the distance between two notes.[/quote]
Exactly. And in music intervals the basic unit of measurement is the half step (on a guitar that is a distance of one fret).
[QUOTE=txladykat]If from C to D on the Cmaj scale is a second interval..what the heck is the first interva?

The distance from C to D is two half steps or a whole step. It is called an "interval of a second", not a "second interval". The term "second" comes from scale construction.

It can be confusing because sometimes different names point to the same object. But remember the basic unit of measurement in the half step. With that in mind you can apply it to larger intervals or distances between notes.

1 half step (or 1 fret) is a minor second or flat second.
2 half-steps (or 2 frets) is a second (sometimes called a major second).
3 half-steps (or 3 frets) is a minor third or flat third.
4 half-steps (or 4 frets) is a major third.
5 half-steps (or 5 frets) is a fourth.
6 half-steps (or 6 frets) is a sharp fourth or flat fifth.
7 half-steps (or 7 frets) is a fifth.
8 half-steps (or 8 frets) is a augmented fifth or minor sixth or flat sixth.
9 half-steps (or 9 frets) is a major sixth.
10 half-steps (or 10 frets) is a minor seventh or flat seventh.
11 half-steps (or 11 frets) is a major seventh.
12 half-steps (or 12 frets) is an octave.

The trickiest part of learning to apply this idea to the guitar is that frequently the two notes you are trying to "see" the interval between are on two different strings. So, get used to learning intervals on one string, then start to apply it to multiple strings. For example, if you understand the list of intervals I wrote above, you can see that the interval between the notes G and D on the bottom E string is 7 frets, and therefore a fifth:

E |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
B |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
A |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
E |---|---|-G-|---|-A-|---|-B-|-C-|---|-D-|---|---|---|---|---|

It can more difficult to "see" the interval of a fifth if the D is on a different string, though:

E |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
B |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D |---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
A |---|---|---|---|-D-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
E |---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

I wish you success in learning all you can about music theory and how to apply it!
Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

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