Intervals on Guitar - How They Look On The Neck - Shapes and Theory
Whether simple or compound intervals are a very important part of music theory. Knowing them allow understand how scales, arpeggios and chords are built. Intervals are useful tools to visualize the notes and understand their relationships on the guitar fretboard. This lesson with downloadable pdf, guitar shapes and theory will help you better figure them out and play them on guitar.
An interval is the distance between two notes, it is labelled by a number and a quality. Intervals can be harmonic and melodic. A harmonic interval is when two notes are played together whereas the notes of a melodic interval are played successively.
There are five qualities of intervals namely :
- Perfect (P).
- Minor (m or b).
- Major (M or sometimes represented by a triangle ∆).
- Diminished (dim. or bb).
- Augmented (aug. or #).
An interval number represent the position of a note from the root (R) or any other note. These numbers are : 1 (unisson), 2 (second), 3 (third), 4, (fourth), 5 (fifth), 6 (sixth), 7 (seventh), 8 (octave). Exemple : E is the third of C (the third note after C), G is the fifth, etc. This intervals are called "simple intervals".
It is possible to count past 8, this is what we call compound intervals, they span more than one octave :
- 9 (ninth) actually second + octave.
- 10 (tenth) third + octave.
- 11 (eleventh) fourth + octave.
- 12 (twelfth) fifth + octave.
- 13 (thirteenth) six + octave.
Exemple, A is the thirteenth of C.
Simple intervals :
You see that a second can be major (2) or minor (b2). A third can be major (3) or minor (b3). A fourth can be perfect (P4) or augmented (#4). A fifth can be perfect (P5), diminished (b5) and augmented (#5). A sixth can be minor (b6) or major (6). A seventh can be minor (b7) or major (M7).
- 1 - Unisson (Root.
- b2 or m2 - minor second.
- 2 or M2 or ∆2 - Major second.
- b3 or m3 - minor third.
- 3 or M3 or ∆3 - Major third.
- 4 or P4 - Perfect fourth.
- #4 or aug4 - Augmented fourth.
- b5 - or dim5 - Diminished fifth.
- 5 or P5 - Perfect fifth.
- #5 or aug5 - Augmented fifth.
- b6 or m6 - minor sixth.
- 6 or M6 or ∆6 - Major sixth.
- b7 or m7 - minor seventh.
- 7 or M7 or ∆7 - Major seventh.
- 8 or 8va - Octave.
Compound intervals :
The most used compound intervals are the b9, 9, #9, 11, #11, b13 and 13. They are used to enrich / extand a chord or an arpeggio.
- b9 or m9 - minor ninth.
- 9 or Maj9 or ∆9 - Ninth.
- #9, 9+ or aug9 - Augmented ninth.
- 10 - Tenth.
- 11 - Eleventh.
- #11 - aug11 - Augmented eleventh.
- 12 - Twelfth.
- b13 or min13 - Minor thirteenth.
- 13 - Thirteenth.
Perfect Fourth (4 or P4)
A perfect fourths is built with two tones (2 steps) and one semitone (1 step). It are used in quartal harmony for building chords in fourths for comping over jazz modal tunes.
The fourths are also used for practicing scales, chords and arpeggios following what we call the "cycle of fourths" (aka circle of fifhs).
Augmented Fourth (#4 or aug4) / Diminished fifth (b5 or dim5) / Tritone
An augmented fourth is built with three tones, it is one more half-step than a perfect fourth. It can also be seen as the diminished fifth.
This interval is also known as "Tritone interval" or "Devil's Interval". It is found in dominant chords, m7b5 chords and diminished chords and obviously the basic element in tritone substitutions.
Minor Sixth (b6 or m6)
A minor sixth interval is built with eight half tones (or four whole tones) producing a melancholic sound easily recognizable in the harmonic minor scale for example. It is rarely found in chords.
Minor Seventh (b7 or min7)
A minor seventh interval is made of 10 half tones. This is an important interval in jazz music very used to turn basic triads into jazz chords as m7, Maj7, dom7, m7b5 and dim7.
Octave (8 or 8va)
An octave is the interval between two notes of the same name. It is made of twelve half tones. It is an interesting part of jazz language, a technique popularized by Wes Montgomery which consists in playing simultaneoulsy two notes separated by on octave.
Augmented Eleventh (#11)
An augmented eleventh interval is an 11th interval with a supplementary semitone, in other way it's an augmented fourth + one octave. It serves to alter (bring tension) a chord. Examples with 7#11 and maj7#11 chords.
This guitar method is a printable PDF with tabs, diagrams, theory and audio files providing 40 minor II V I jazz licks.
This pdf method for guitar contains 40 II V I jazz guitar lines with tab, standard notation, analysis, scale charts and audio files.
This guitar method is a printable PDF eBook contains 50 exercises with audio files, analysis, tab & standard notation on how to play over II-V-I chord progressions using different kind of voicings.
This package contains 3 PDF methods for jazz guitarists with tabs, audio files, analysis about the II V I progression.
This package contains a guitar method available as a PDF with tabs, audio files and theory providing 40 dominant jazz guitar lines for teachers and students.
This printable guitar method in PDF format contains 40 easy minor jazz guitar lines based on the Dorian mode.
Printable PDF eBook method containing 40 major jazz guitar licks with tab, standard notation and audio files for beginners and intermediates.
This package contains 120 jazz guitar lines based on diatonic modes as Mixolydian, Dorian and Ionian. PDF format with tabs, audio files and analysis.
This jazz guitar method about walking bass lines and chords is available as a PDF files containing 35 exercises with tabs, analysis and audio files
This printable PDF method provides 101 dominant arpeggio exercises with tab, theory and standard notation for the jazz, blues and rock guitarist.
This printable eBook method in PDF format provides 49 jazz solo transcriptions of the greatest jazz musicians of all times with TABS, standard notation, audio files and analysis both for guitar teachers and students.
This PDF method contains 11 guitar lessons with chord studies, tabs, standard notation, analysis & audio files about the main blues progressions used in jazz music.
This PDF eBook method contains 25 altered jazz guitar licks with tabs, patterns, scale charts and audio files to master, apply and develop the altered scale.
This printable method is available as a PDF file containing 40 easy dominant jazz-blues guitar lines with tabs, standard notation, analysis, audio files and scale charts.
This jazz guitar method is an eBook available as a PDF with standard notation, guitar tabs, diagrams, analysis, audio files and backing tracks. You will find in this booklet 25 easy jazz guitar lines with theory using common and rare pentatonic scales.
You will find here an eBook available in PDF containing 25 soul jazz and hard bop guitar licks in the style of Grant Green, Melvin Sparks, George Benson. These jazz lines come with tabs, standard notation, guitar neck diagrams, backing track for practice and 25 audio files for each riff.
This eBook PDF with audio files contains 25 dominant diminished jazz guitar patterns using the half-whole diminished scale and diminished 7th arpeggios.
This Printable PDF eBook available for free download contains 6 easy jazz guitar licks with tabs/notation, youtube video link and analysis about the tritone substitution.