View Full Version : Understanding Intervals

04-03-2003, 10:37 PM
Hello everyone. First post (thanks for the help Guni). Ok.. I have been playing 1 year. My problem is with improvisation. So I decided to get to work on some actual learning and hopefully eventually learn some tools to help me improvise/write better music. I started with the article: Intervals the Key to Harmonic Understanding. Everything was clicking great up till I got to the part where he discusses the flats within the intervals.. I for the life of me cant make sense of it. Example: At the bottom of exercise 1, the note is f.. Why is the perfect fourth of f bb and not a#? I hope this question makes sense and you guys can give me a better understanding of sharps and flats within intervals. This is kinda demoralizing having such trouble with what should be simple music knowledge so I really want to understand it and move on.


04-03-2003, 11:14 PM
Originally posted by hol0point
At the bottom of exercise 1, the note is f.. Why is the perfect fourth of f bb and not a#? Hey hol0. Welcome to iBM. Let me state first off that I know very little music theory, so don't pay any attention to me. :D Now, in case you ignore my previous sentence, I've read those articles by Guni (damn they're good!), and somewhere in there he states that you can only have each letter represented once during a scale. So for the key of F, you've got G (major 2nd), A (major 3rd), and then, since you've already got the letter "A" represented in this scale, the half step up from "A" has to be called "Bb" rather than "A#". Some here may be able to give a better explanation, but that one satisfies me at my current level of music theory knowledge. Somebody correct me if I'm misleading hol0 here.

04-04-2003, 01:39 AM
"you can only have each letter represented once during a scale"

Thanks Dan. That clears it up quite a bit. I agree that they do an excellent job here.


04-04-2003, 08:58 AM
You explained that perfectly well Danster. I think that the why and how will become more clear when we discuss the construction of major scales - an article about this will go live next week.



04-04-2003, 10:37 PM
Originally posted by Guni
You explained that perfectly well Danster. Oh yeah! I have been validated by the Master.... now my life is complete. :D

04-04-2003, 10:45 PM
Consider yourself blessed :)
GUni isn´t easy to please. I remember when I sent him the very first version of my sweeping-article, back in the G4U-days. I had a mistake in there, regarding the fingering.... and Guni sent me a message asking me about it.
It was like being back at the GIT, when you´re in the middle of a difficult class and the teacher goes "Well, Vandenberg, you´re supposed to play WHAT arpeggio over that min11-chord ?!?"

Guni, I am just pulling your leg, man !

04-07-2003, 01:41 PM
In regards to Eric's post above and Danster's post at http://www.ibreathemusic.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1190:
Originally posted by Danster
But Guni, why did you put your father's picture in your Guni's blurb article? :D :D Ya see!!! Now, you know what I have to deal with ...... :( :D :D

04-08-2003, 04:17 PM
Ok. Making progress. I finished the article on intervals and Im scoring 100% on all the excersises. Thanks for the help Danster. So onto triads. I am moving along but I can see that my lack of experience reading notation is gonna hurt me. I understand FACE(in between the lines) and EGBDF(on the lines) and the different types of basic notes (1/2, whole,eigth, sixteenth,etc). Beyond that Im lost.. For example, look at the C Maj/Min Triad diagram in the link below. I see the E and I see the G within the triad, but I cant see how I could identify the C. Hope this kinda makes sense. If someone could help explain how that works or direct me to an article or link that would be great.



04-08-2003, 06:49 PM
After doing a little searching around I found a site that has a good intro to reading. I see where I was getting mixed up now.


04-09-2003, 10:29 AM
Hi hol0point,

Glad ya imersing yourself into it!

I got quite a lot of feedback regarding the Triads article, saying that it uses too much notation and that it's hard to follow.... well, I think that I really tried to use as few notation as possible. It would be quite hard to explain without it at all.

In my view you are doing the right thing. I mean there's really not a lot of work involved to get a basic understanding of notation, so that someone is at least able to identify notes on the staff.

If you would like to share your resources, I am sure that this will be helpful to many others.



04-09-2003, 02:55 PM
Hi Guni. I think it was a good idea using notation in the triads article. It forced me to go learn how to read it. I feel like I have to learn everything I can to make me a better player and reading standard notation is very important imo. Welp, back to the triads.

---link to articles on reading basic tab and notation----


04-16-2003, 04:49 PM
Wow.. This is a brutal excersise. I get about 20% of them wrong everytime and I have done it like 5 times.. And there doesnt seem to be any pattern to my mistakes!.. Everytime I think I get something I get proved wrong in the next line. I enjoy a challenge because I know it will help in the end so I am not complaining. I am actually glad I am being challenged but wow.. this is a doosy.. Do other beginners struggle at understanding maj, min, dim, aug triads?.. One thing is for certain.. im not giving up..


Bongo Boy
04-19-2003, 04:29 AM
If you did your exercises correctly in the Intervals... course, then you don't have much to worry about. I found that making a table like the one below helped me out. I didn't make such a table and then use it as a reference, I repeatedly wrote it out (dozens of times) while working on other problems. It's a goofy approach, but it helped a little.

Hope this helps with your triad exercises.

04-21-2003, 07:31 PM
Thanks Bongo. I think it would help if I had more like that so I am going to draw up some more for G,D,A,E and B.. Seems time consuming but I believe it would aid me in understanding that excersise I was struggling with.
I suppose this is all a part of teaching myself something as technical and emense as music. Can be intimidating at times.. First it was golf and now this.. Why cant I pick an easy hobby like botchy ball or something.. ;)

Justin (hol0)

Bongo Boy
04-23-2003, 02:50 AM
Originally posted by hol0point
Why cant I pick an easy hobby like botchy ball or something.. ;)
All I can say is, do you really think you'd be happy with something like, uh, collecting Beanie Babies? :D

05-05-2003, 11:08 PM
Haha! The dreaded headache exercise. After going throught it many times and always getting at least one wrong i finally figured out what i had to do, and it worked. Just take 5 minutes to walk around when youre done with minors, then 5 when youre done with diminished.

WOrked for me!

05-06-2003, 07:56 PM
Yeah, a smoke break somewhere in the middle of the excersise seemed to do the trick for me :). I'm on the 7th Chords article now. Finally the fretboard is starting to make sense! I am starting to write songs with some confidence and direction now instead of just jumping around looking for something that sounds right(though that works pretty well too sometimes).. Anyway, big thanks to iBreathe and the killer articles. I'm a starving artist, ;) so lessons arent an option for me. If I can become a decent player with hard work and free instruction I think I have a shot.

hol0 (Justin)

05-08-2003, 08:43 PM
Yeah, thats good to hear you're havin fun. One thing that is a good thing is what Bongo mentioned about writing the chart out...over and over, it will help and a lot. I have written out scales and chords thousands of times....omg...if not thousands then at least one thousand...lol. It really does help...now I hope to have my memory work for me, and I have finally got things down to a few pieces of paper that are a great referance when I need some quick info.

Good luck and have fun...