Intervals

Warning: You must read the articles “Scales” and “Keys signatures” before you read this page. The topics discussed in this article are closely related to those found in the “Scales” and “Key signatures” articles, and an understanding of the information in those articles is crucial to the success you will have with “Intervals.” You can find the “Scales” and “Key signatures” articles on the “Theory” section of the site.

Intervals
Intervals are the distance between two notes. They are used to build up chords.
scales c intervals
Major second (M2): Two half steps apart. On the guitar, two frets.
Major third (M3): Four half steps apart. On the guitar, four frets.
Perfect fourth (P4): Five half steps apart. On the guitar, five frets.
Perfect fifth (P5): Seven half steps apart. On the guitar, seven frets.
Major sixth (M6): Nine half steps apart. On the guitar, nine frets.
Major seventh (M7): Eleven half steps apart. On the guitar, eleven frets.
Perfect octave (P8): Twelve half steps apart. On the guitar, twelve frets.

Minor, augmented, diminished
In addition to Major and Perfect intervals, we have Minor, Augmented and Diminished intervals:
scales c intervals2
Minor intervals are created by decreasing a major interval down a half step. (m2, m3, m6, m7)
Augmented intervals are created by increasing a Major or Perfect interval up a half step. (A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8)
Diminished intervals are created by decreasing a Perfect interval down a half step. (d4, d5, d8)

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