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Lesson Jam Track (Key of C)

Hi everyone. Tonight we're covering intervals.

Teacher:  An interval is the difference in pitch between any two notes. These notes could be played together or one after the other.

Teacher: Understanding intervals is key to understanding chord construction, scale construction and ear training. They unlock harmony leads. They are great source to make your playing more 'open' and less 'linear' . And you will create your own chord voicings and even know what to call them!

Teacher: Go ahead and load up the jam track. In the key of C tonight for all our example.

Jam Track Chord Progression

Teacher: The progression is a simple 1 - 4 - 5 in our key of C. The numbers in naming the progression refer to the intervals within the key. 

C Major Scale - 7th Position

Here is a simple two-octave scale that works well over the progression. Run it and we'll get our fingers warmed up.

Teacher: Here are a few ideas using intervals to whet our appetite, then I will dig into a bit of the theory in this first lesson in the series.

Intervallic Sequence

Teacher: This riff uses a repeating interval sequence. Down a 2nd, down a 5th, and up a 4th. Staying 'diatonic' or within the scale.

Doublestop 3rds

Teacher: This is a typical riff harmonizing two notes, similar to what you might hear at the beginning of 'Brown Eyed Girl". It follows the chord progression so play it from the first bar.

Sixths Intervals Down the Neck

Teacher: This riff uses a repeating interval through the scale, a 'sixth'.

Teacher: Now to the names of the intervals.

Teacher: The construction of the scale on a single string. A nice way to visualize the 'distances' we are hearing.

Major Scale - Single String

Teacher: We are naming the numerically naming the notes. The starting note, C, gets the number '1', D is named '2' or '2nd', and so on. Up the scale to the '8th' or octave.

Teacher: We will use these names from the Major scale as our 'measuring stick' for the distance between two notes

Teacher: Play C to D and we have a 2nd interval. C to E a 3rd interval and so on.

Teacher: Each interval will have a certain 'quality'. Identify that and you powerful tool to learn licks by ear

C Major Scale - One Octave in Position

Teacher: Here is the same scale in a position. Same area of the neck is how we commonly play and can see the most common interval shapes

Teacher: I learned the sound of intervals by relating them to familiar songs.

Teacher: a 2nd interval is the beginning of 'Happy Birthday' or 'You Really Got Me' by Van Halen

Teacher: 3rd, the beginning of 'When the Saints Come Marching In'

Teacher: 4ths, 'Here Comes the Bride'.

Teacher: 5ths, 'Star Wars' theme

Teacher: keep in mind these can and should be played descending as well. Start on the 5th go to the root

Teacher: What does that sound like?

Teacher: Flinstones theme? Or a foghorn.

Stratman: ring of fire

Teacher: Or our friend the power chord.

thats a great way for me to train my ear.

sr: yes it is

Diatonic Intervals

sr: what is M? P?

Teacher: 2nds and 7ths tend to sound somewhat harsh or 'dissonant'. 5ths tend to be very strong and open. 3rds and 6ths melodic

Teacher: M stands for Major. P for Perfect

sr: ah

C Major Scale - 1st 3 Strings

Teacher: The second string, because of its tuning, changes the interval shapes slightly when the patterns end or cross it.

Intervals on/across B string

Teacher: Really just the higher note is moved up a fret. The sound of the interval is the same.

Teacher: Now knowing our intervals of our major scale will allow us to have a common reference for difference in pitch.

Teacher: Know your intervals and you can play a kind of musical connect-the-dots.

Teacher: So the homework this week is first, to play your major scales and find and name all the 5ths, 2nds etc. Try that with the first tab example of the night. The root notes are highlighted.

Teacher: Second to play the scale from root to 2nd, root to 3rd, root to 4th etc. And then back down the scale. Octave to root, 7th to root, etc.

Teacher: By doing these two things I suggested will make intervals part of the way you hear and play.

Teacher: Tonight was heavy on the theory. But I have to have this out there for later reference. Application of the intervals comes fast and furious next lesson.

Teacher: We should have lots to keep our fingers busy. Have an excellent week.

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