The relationship between two notes is called an “interval” and they are the most basic building block for what we call music. I firmly believe that a comprehensive understanding of intervals is a necessity to improving as a musician, songwriter, composer, and singer. It’s also invaluable for improving upon one’s appreciation for music.
What Are The Intervals?
Perfect Unison (ie the same note played with itself. An example would be on a guitar where you can play the same note many places on the fretboard.)
Minor Second (like C & C#)
Major Second (like C & D)
Minor Third (like C & D#)
Major Third (like C & E)
Perfect Fourth (like C & F)
Augmented Fourth or Diminished Fifth (like C & F#)
Perfect Fifth (like C & G)
Minor Sixth (like C & G#)
Major Sixth (like C & A)
Minor Seventh (like C & A#)
Major Seventh (like C & B)
Perfect Octave (like a C & another C one octave up.
To improve one’s musical ability, it’s important to learn the sound of the intervals by heart. You should be able to hear a C and an A played on the piano and automatically know that it’s a major sixth. You should also be able to hear a D and a B and know that is also a major sixth. You see it’s the relationship between the two notes that makes up an interval.
Relative pitch ear training is the method for learning intervals (and also learning what chords sound like, which is the next step you need to take after you master intervals).
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