You are here

Memorising intervals

Arrangement, instrumentation, lyric writing, music theory, inspiration… it’s all here.

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby Scramble » Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:35 pm

No, you should learn/memorize them (it's really not that hard). But develop this knowledge along with playing, so that you also know, for example, that a sixth up from B played in a certain position on the guitar is not just G#, but a note in a certain position.
Scramble
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2466
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 12:00 am
 

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby BJG145 » Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:44 pm

Scramble wrote:No, you should learn/memorize them (it's really not that hard).


OK, so you think it would still be valuable for me to learn this rote-style, table-style...? I'm happy to do that if it's recommended. I wasn't sure if people did this or not.
User avatar
BJG145
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3792
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby The Elf » Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:02 pm

One useful trick is to learn a few song snippets that will tell you intervals. For example, 'Three Blind Mice' takes you down three whole tones and the top and bottom notes are a major third apart. I have a whole library of these clues in my head, from 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' to the intro of 'Eleventh Earl of Mar'! :D
User avatar
The Elf
Jedi Poster
Posts: 12592
Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2001 12:00 am
Location: Sheffield, UK
An Eagle for an Emperor, A Kestrel for a Knave.

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby Scramble » Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:13 pm

BJG145 wrote:
Scramble wrote:No, you should learn/memorize them (it's really not that hard).


OK, so you think it would still be valuable for me to learn this rote-style, table-style...? I'm happy to do that if it's recommended. I wasn't sure if people did this or not.


I didn't learn like this, and probably most didn't... we learned gradually, over the years, in a natural way, starting as kids. (The official theory lessons I had later on lagged way behind what I'd already picked up myself.)

But you want a quick fix, and that's the best way to do it -- just get it in your head, while playing the notes at the same time. (Being a musician already should make it a quicker process.)

There's only 12 fifths to learn. Then do the major thirds, only 12 of them as well. And so on.

Playing scales can also help -- as long as you learn what notes you're playing as you go up and down.
Scramble
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2466
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 12:00 am
 

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby blinddrew » Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:54 pm

Folderol wrote:Hmmm.
Quite often I don't actually know what I'm playing! My left hand sort of automatically seems to move to a chord that suits the melody... then again, sometimes not :)

If I have to stop to think about it I can get into quite a mess.

^^^ This ^^^
Well, I was like this with the guitar but when I started playing the double bass I found I was thinking about things a lot more and that has transferred across (a bit) to guitar playing.
But I am still very formulaic in my song and melody construction so probably not a great example ;¬)
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7920
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby BJG145 » Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:09 pm

Scramble wrote:But you want a quick fix, and that's the best way to do it -- just get it in your head


OK, makes sense. I can see this is useful knowledge.
User avatar
BJG145
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3792
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby The Korff » Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:37 pm

Scramble wrote:
BJG145 wrote:
Scramble wrote:Anyway, for those who know these intervals without thinking, there are no 'mental processes' involved. You just know it

Yes and no; for instance, I find it interesting that both Elf and Korff experienced hand movement when thinking about it.

But Korff says he takes a second to come up with the answer. That's not much help when improvising.

Oh, I'd play it instantly — it's the 'identifying the letter' bit that takes a moment.
The Korff
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2132
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:28 pm
Location: The Wrong Precinct

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby Sam Inglis » Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:54 pm

The Korff can actually play the notes before he thinks of them.
Sam Inglis
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2479
Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 1:00 am

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby Scramble » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:12 pm

>Oh, I'd play it instantly — it's the 'identifying the letter' bit that takes a moment.

Sure, but that's why trying to visualize, or feel in a tactile way, what the fifth is (for example), isn't that helpful when improvising. You have to already know what the fifth is, or where it is, whether or not you know the note name.

In fact, it's hard to see how you can really improvise well without already having an understanding of note relationships at some mental level, even if you can't name them, or can say nothing about them. If you're a guitarist you should know how to go up a fifth from any position (or most positions, it gets harder higher up), even if you don't know it's a fifth.

Still, getting clearer on the various note relationships, and getting quicker at playing them, will help improve your improvising, especially if you have to play in unfamiliar keys.
Scramble
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2466
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 12:00 am
 

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby BJG145 » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:18 pm

Sam Inglis wrote:The Korff can actually play the notes before he thinks of them.

Like Lister?

Image
User avatar
BJG145
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3792
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby The Korff » Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:25 pm

:D
The Korff
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2132
Joined: Fri Jan 08, 2010 12:28 pm
Location: The Wrong Precinct

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby Scramble » Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:36 pm

> If you're a guitarist you should know how to go up a fifth from any position (or most positions, it gets harder higher up), even if you don't know it's a fifth.

Or at least hear the fith in your head, even if you don't know where on the fretboard that note is.
Scramble
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 2466
Joined: Wed Sep 11, 2002 12:00 am
 

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby petev3.1 » Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:10 pm

The Elf wrote:One useful trick is to learn a few song snippets that will tell you intervals. For example, 'Three Blind Mice' takes you down three whole tones and the top and bottom notes are a major third apart. I have a whole library of these clues in my head, from 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' to the intro of 'Eleventh Earl of Mar'! :D

+1
petev3.1
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1151
Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 12:00 am

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby Random Guitarist » Fri Jan 29, 2016 7:35 pm

Personally I think for improvising guitar knowing the names is not as important as knowing the patterns and relative positions. For any root note on the third string the fourth is one fret higher on the two, always. For any other string the fourth is on the same fret of the next string along. Translating it to something else just slows you down.
Random Guitarist
Frequent Poster
Posts: 601
Joined: Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:00 am
Location: West Sussex UK
I've never liked a solo violin, you need at least five for a proper fire.

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby alexis » Fri Jan 29, 2016 10:09 pm

petev3.1 wrote:
The Elf wrote:One useful trick is to learn a few song snippets that will tell you intervals. For example, 'Three Blind Mice' takes you down three whole tones and the top and bottom notes are a major third apart. I have a whole library of these clues in my head, from 'Somewhere over the Rainbow' to the intro of 'Eleventh Earl of Mar'! :D

+1

Darryl Strawberry was a great hitter in the 80's for the Mets and the Yanks, but there was a time that the crowd would mock him in unison, all 60,000 of them, "DAAAAA..... RRYLLLLLL". It was a major third down, much easier for me to remember than even "3 blind mice"!
User avatar
alexis
Frequent Poster (Level2)
Posts: 3688
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 1:00 am
Location: San Antonio, TX USA
Cubase 9.0.1; i5-4570 3.2GHz,16GB RAM;W10 64bit on Samsung SSD840 Pro256GB;Seagte 1TB SATA600 Audio;UR28M;Motif8;UAD2Solo;Jamstix 3.3;BCF2K;TC Helicon VoiceOne;RevoicePro3.2

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby damoore » Sat Jan 30, 2016 2:45 am

Same thing for me - I feel the hand motion and the feel of the keys. Plus I hear the actual notes.

Its well worth working on being able to identify the intervals by ear. There is software to drill on this. Then you should drill on chord quality (major/minor and major/minor sevenths to start with). Jamming with people really helps too.
damoore
Frequent Poster
Posts: 988
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2009 12:00 am
Location: New Hampshire

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby DC-Choppah » Thu Feb 04, 2016 6:39 pm

Indeed!

I learned jazz guitar from Mr Mike Overly and he is a very deep thinker regarding learning guitar. His method STARTS with the intervals. I remember he said that the highest level of playing is intervalic. When advanced jazz musicians play, they are actually fundamentally jumping from one note to the next by visualizing the interval.

So on guitar you want to internalize the intervals.

You can get Mike;s stuff here: http://www.12tonemusic.com/

Or check out his video on creating songs with just intervals: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssDulhJOwGI

I am conscious of the fact that I can visualize on the guitar where all the intervals are from the note I am on. Either on the same string or on the other strings. It's that pesky B string that upsets the simplicity of it though. The B string is just a 1 fret shift down.

Joe Pass I am told generalized intervals on the guitar so that he could play in different tunings easily. I think Don Ross can do that do and shift to any new tuning instantly.
User avatar
DC-Choppah
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1183
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:00 am
Location: MD, USA

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby Guest » Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:21 am

Glad I'm not the only one, at the moment I'm using the fret dots to guide me to the appropriate note, but only half heartedly, too busy learnig/practising other stuff, but i think maybe that's a way forward, as when i play a scale those dots are informing me, even a scale on a single string gets you to the intervals then they repeat at 12th fret, i've always felt the same, i can find a note instantly obviously on a keyboard, at the mo' guitar wise i'm not too bothered cos i'm not improvising in front of an audience, so i can work out my riff with the notes i can find in the near vicinity, then i just hunt around for other suitable notes, that's kinda ok wiv me cos you also find real good stuff when you're looking for the notes you think you want. My guitar playing also improved after 10 years of keys only by virtue of playing keys and dissecting, i think the fret markers might offer some guidance, and i remember telling my self as i found stuff on the keys, A C E is the 1 3 5 of a minor and so on C E G is 1 3 5 of C major, etc, also, playing fiths with two string, gets you to all the fiths, from a fith i can backtrack or forward track my fingering, a fourth is behind it and a sixth is in front, sorta thing? if'n you get my drift?
Guest

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby CS70 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:05 pm

BJG145 wrote:Most of my life I improvised stuff without ever knowing what notes I was playing, but with the guitar that just never worked for me for some reason. So I'm approaching it from a more theoretical level.

I'm just trying to get to grips with some stuff, like...have people memorised intervals, so you just know that a fourth up from D is G, or a fifth up from G is D, without thinking about it?


My $.01 is that with the guitar I find there's two sides: first, one has to know where notes on the fretboard are. When someone mentions the key you're in, or you read the chord it's playing, that allows you to know where to start, or, if you want to jump between distant parts of the neck, where to move to.

But once you know where to start or go, the "right" notes (i.e. intervals) are associated to geometric figures on the fretboard more than specific note names. I.e. your sense of where (the note at) the interval you want to hear is, is attached to a geometric position and the shape your hand is going to make or reach, rather than exactly which note it is.

That's because it's much more economic - shapes transpose identically over the entire fretboard; notes, obviously not - they do only every 12 frets.

That's also why markers are very handy - especially if you move between guitars with different neck scales, where your muscle memory doesnt help.
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4082
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video  and the FB page

Re: Memorising intervals

Postby CS70 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:13 pm

DC-Choppah wrote:When advanced jazz musicians play, they are actually fundamentally jumping from one note to the next by visualizing the interval.


This!

It's no different than whistling or singing, really. You don't think "I'm going to move to D" but simply move your muscles to produce the interval you want to hear, from where you are now.

The guitar is the same - only your muscles are in your arm and hand and, since you have a long fretboard it pays off to have some help with long intervals, in terms of knowing where notes are, and markers.
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 4082
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video  and the FB page

PreviousNext

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users