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Contents:
I. Welcome
II. Announcements
III. Online Classroom:
"How to correctly identify intervals! Part 2"
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Dear Musician,

In this month's classroom lesson, we're going to start where we left off in February.

By now, you should be a pro at determining generic intervals.

If you see F and A, you should know right away that they are a third apart. If you see a G and C, you should know that they are a fourth apart. If you see Db to F#, you should know that the relationship between these two notes is a third interval.

If you don't understand this concept, I invite you to study my February newsletter and return to this lesson later.

Note: Determining generic intervals is a lot different than specific intervals. I highly recommend reading the February 2006 newsletter first.

Meanwhile, for those of you who are ready, let's dive right in!

Enjoy.

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Online Classroom:

"How to correctly identify intervals! Part 2"
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Note: You might want to print this lesson out for easier

Last month, you learned the fundamentals to determining the name of an interval. Just to recap, here's the chart I posted in my last online classroom lesson.

 Number of letters counted Generic interval name 1 unison 2 second 3 third 4 fourth 5 fifth 6 sixth 7 seventh 8 octave (eighth)

Notice, with generic intervals, we're not concerned with sharps, flats, key signatures or anything. We are just concerned with the simple alphabet.

How many ever letters it takes to create the interval is the name of the generic interval. It's that simple.

Now, here's where we move on.

With the generic name alone, we cannot fully build chord structures because it's too broad. For example, all of these are thirds:

C to E
Cb to Eb
C# to E#
C to Eb
Cb to E
C to E#

...I think you get the point.

By the way, I'm not trying to confuse you. All of the notes above are real. Yes, there is a Cb and an E#. You won't see them often in the top 12 key signatures found on the circle of fifths chart, but they do EXIST!

The point is that you can't just say third if you want me to play a particular set of notes. While third is a way to DETERMINE what to name an interval, more specificity is needed to really know what exactly to play.

This is where we get into specific intervals.

You've probably heard the use of specific intervals a lot. These are names like "major thirds," "major seconds," "perfect fifths," and others.

The "titles" you see in front of the intervals are what we call QUALIFYING TERMS. They change generic intervals into specific ones, which tell you exactly which notes to play (unlike the long list of THIRDS I described above).

Now counting specific intervals is a little different than counting generic intervals.

Recall that generic interval counting simply involves the number of letters (or notes) it takes to create the interval. From C to E, we'd count C as 1, D as 2, and E as 3, which means that this is a third interval.

With specific intervals, we will be counting differently. I'll make it easier for you...

This is my own analogy. This isn't meant to get you into the Julliard school of music but it'll help ya!

Generic intervals, to me, are shapes.

Unisons are certain shapes.
Seconds are another set of shapes.
Thirds are shapes.
Fourths, fifths, sixths, and sevenths are different shapes.

Now, by just knowing that second intervals are CIRCLES, for example, doesn't tell me what color the circle should be... or how big the circle should be. All I know is that they're circles. Of course, I'm making up the whole "circles" thing. Don't go around telling people that I said seconds are circles. :)

Now, you wouldn't call a square a circle, so it's very important to know that seconds are circles, right?

Then comes specific intervals. We take all the circles (that would be all "second" intervals) and now we further separate them.

Some circles are bigger. Some are smaller. In music, we'd call this minor seconds versus major seconds.

You get it?

Specific intervals tell us EXACTLY what's going on. They don't undo the "generic" techniques we learned --- they simply add to it.

It is impossible to have a generic second but then get a major third from the same interval. So, it is important that whatever you determine during "generic" naming holds true when you are using qualifying  terms to create specific intervals. Ok?

There are different qualifying terms. I'll list them:

Perfect

Major

Minor

Diminished

Augmented

How do we know which one of these terms is suppose to go with our interval? It's simple.

We count half steps.

(If you're new, a half step is also known as a semitone. It is pretty much the smallest interval. From key to key is a half step. C to C# is a half step. E to F is a half step. Notice I'm not skipping any notes. If you skip a note, you aren't moving in half steps. You'd actually be moving in whole steps. In this case, we want HALF STEPS ONLY!)

Also, here's a poem that'll help you remember half steps vs whole steps:

Half steps are from key to key
with no keys in between,

Whole steps always skip a key
with one key in between.

Before we do some quick exercises, it is important to know that the counting DOES NOT START on the first note like it did with generic counting. We are counting the actual steps now.

Picture going up a stairs. In this case, we aren't counting the ground floor. We will, however, be counting the actual steps it takes to get to the upper floor. Same applies here.

Let me show you below:

How many half steps are in between C and E?

C to Db is 1 (notice I start counting the half step in between C and the next note).

Db to D is 2

D to Eb is 3

Eb to E is 4

Answer: There are 4 half steps between C and E.

Note: Over time, you start to get really good at counting half steps pretty fast and will even make up your own little tricks. For now, stick with my basic version above and you'll never get the wrong answer.

How many half steps are in between F and Bb?

F to Gb is 1

Gb to G is 2

G to Ab is 3

Ab to A is 4

A to Bb is 5

Answer: There are 5 half steps between F and Bb.

The table below shows the interval names and the number of half steps associated with each type of interval.

 Interval name No. of half steps unison 0 minor second 1 major second 2 minor third 3 major third 4 perfect fourth 5 (tritone) (6) perfect fifth 7 minor sixth 8 major sixth 9 minor seventh 10 major seventh 11 octave (eighth) 12

Notice from the chart above:

The terms "major" and "minor" are reserved for second, third, sixth, and seventh intervals.

The term "perfect" is reserved for unison, fourth, fifth, and octave intervals, though you really don't hear it a lot with unison and octave. So, fourths and fifths, for sure, get the "perfect" term. You won't ever hear perfect second or perfect third because the perfect term only goes with unison, fourth, fifth, and octave, as I noted above.

Later, you'll learn about augmented and diminished terms. They have purposes as well.

Here's the tricky part though.

You now know that an interval with 4 half steps separating the notes is called a major third. An example of this would be C to E. This is the same interval that helps to create the major chord.

Let's look at an interval like C to Eb.

What would this be called? Just count up the half steps:

C to Db is 1
Db to D is 2
D to Eb is 3

3 half steps = minor third

Keep in mind that your answer must also pass the "generic interval" test. Is C to Eb a third?

C is 1
D is 2
E is 3

Yes, it passes!

C to Db is 1
Db to D is 2
D to D# is 3

Hmmm, it has three half steps. Three half steps means a third sure enough, but would this pass the "generic test?"

C is 1
D is 2

According to what we know about naming intervals, this should be a second. ANY C to ANY D is a second --- no doubt about it!

This is where you will need to use the qualifying terms: Augmented and Diminished.

Augmented means to make bigger.
Diminished means to make smaller.

In this case, we have a second that is three half steps apart. Since we can't call it a third, we will have to call it an augmented second... in other words, a "second made bigger."

So basically, when an interval is a half step larger, it is said to be augmented.

When an interval is a half step smaller, it is said to be diminished.

I'm going to quiz you on this but first, let's do a practice question together.

What is a major third up from D?

Step 1: Determine generic interval:

D is 1
E is 2
F is 3

So far, I know that a third up from D is going to be SOME kind of F. I don't know which F at the moment but because I have a good education in "generic intervals," I know that a third up from D can be nothing other than some kind of F.

Step 2: Determine specific interval:

Once we've determined some kind of F, we need to figure out what kind of F it would need to be to create a major third interval.

From our chart above, we know that major third intervals always have 4 half steps in between the lower and upper note.

So start at D:

D to D# is 1
D# to E is 2
E to F is 3
F to ____ is 4

This is the big question. Do we say F# or Gb? Well, since we've already done step 1 and we know we're looking for SOME KIND OF F, it would make absolutely NO SENSE to choose Gb. Therefore, the answer is F#.

Answer: From D to F# is a major third interval.

Now, this gets so much faster over time. Trust me. You'll be identifying intervals in seconds as you rehearse these concepts more and more.

Let's complete these questions:

1) A perfect fifth up from B
__________________________________

2) A perfect fifth down from C

__________________________________

3) A minor third up from Eb

__________________________________

4) A major sixth up from A

__________________________________

5) A major third down from G

__________________________________

6) A perfect fourth up from F

__________________________________

7) A major second down from C

__________________________________

8) A minor seventh up from A

__________________________________

9) A major sixth down from D

__________________________________

10) A minor third down from F

__________________________________

1) A perfect fifth up from B

Generic:

B is 1
C is 2
D is 3
E is 4
F is 5

Specific:

B to C is 1
C to C# is 2
C# to D is 3
D to D# is 4
D# to E is 5
E to F is 6
F to F# is 7

Answer: B up to F# is perfect fifth

2) A perfect fifth down from C

Generic:

C is 1
B is 2
A is 3
G is 4
F is 5

Note: Counting down generically is the same thing. Just count alphabet backwards.

Specific:

C to B is 1
B to Bb is 2
Bb to A is 3
A to Ab is 4
Ab to G is 5
G to Gb is 6
Gb to F is 7

Answer: C down to F is a perfect fifth

3) A minor third up from Eb

Generic:

E is 1
F is 2
G is 3

Specific:

Eb to E is 1
E to F is 2
F to Gb is 3

Answer: Eb up to Gb is a minor third

4) A major sixth up from A

Generic:

A is 1
B is 2
C is 3
D is 4
E is 5
F is 6

Specific:

A to A# is 1
A# to B is 2
B to C is 3
C to C# is 4
C# to D is 5
D to D# is 6
D# to E is 7
E to F is 8
F to F# is 9

Answer: A up to F# is a major sixth

5) A major third down from G

Generic:

G is 1
F is 2
E is 3

Specific:

G to F# is 1
F# to F is 2
F to E is 3
E to Eb is 4

Answer: G down to Eb is a major third

6) A perfect fourth up from F

Generic:

F is 1
G is 2
A is 3
B is 4

Specific:

F to Gb is 1
Gb to G is 2
G to Ab is 3
Ab to A is 4
A to Bb is 5

Answer: F up to Bb is a perfect fourth

7) A major second down from C

Generic:

C is 1
B is 2

Specific:

C to B is 1
B to Bb is 2

Answer: C down to Bb is a major second

8) A minor seventh up from A

Generic:

A is 1
B is 2
C is 3
D is 4
E is 5
F is 6
G is 7

Specific:

A to A# is 1
A# to B is 2
B to C is 3
C to C# is 4
C# to D is 5
D to D# is 6
D# to E is 7
E to F is 8
F to F# is 9
F# to G is 10

Answer: A up to G is a minor seventh

9) A major sixth down from D

Generic:

D is 1
C is 2
B is 3
A is 4
G is 5
F is 6

Specific:

D to C# is 1
C# to C is 2
C to B is 3
B to A# is 4
A# to A is 5
A to G# is 6
G# to G is 7
G to F# is 8
F# to F is 9

Answer: D down to F is a major sixth

10) A minor third down from F

Generic:

F is 1
E is 2
D is 3

Specific:

F to E is 1
E to Eb is 2
Eb to D is 3

Answer: F down to D is a minor third

We're done for this lesson. I hope you enjoyed it! Coupled with last month's newsletter, you should have a good knowledge of intervals and will never quote a major or minor chord wrong again.

Remember:

Major chord = Major third plus perfect fifth interval

Minor chord = Minor third plus perfect fifth interval

Explore these chord types to prepare for future newsletters:

Well, I hope you enjoyed this newsletter and I'll be back soon! Take care!

This concludes your Online Classroom Lesson

If you were intrigued by the online classroom lesson above,
then you would definitely benefit from my course!

*** “The Secrets to Playing Piano By Ear” 300-pg Course ***

With 20 chapters and over 300 pages, the home piano course provides several resources, techniques, tips, principles, and theories to playing the piano by ear. Along with hundreds of chords and scales, you'll also learn how to turn them into gospel, jazz and blues chord progressions and better yet, how to use them to play ABSOLUTELY any song you want ... IN VIRTUALLY MINUTES!

Again, don't miss this opportunity. I've even added an additional bonus if you purchase the course this week --- You can read more about the course at:

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Yours Truly,
Jermaine Griggs
www.GospelKeys.com

## Further References

"The Secrets to Playing Piano By Ear" 300-pg Course

## [5] Chords & Progressions: pgs 65-78, 105-130, 147-165, 182-227.

Do you know what a2-5-1” or "3-6-2-5-1" progression is? Or perhaps the famous 12-bar blues chord progression? In this piano course, you will not only learn how to play gospel, blues, and jazz progressions, but how to recognize them in songs. In addition, you will learn the simple techniques to playing these progressions, hymns, and songs in all 12 major keys! ... Enjoy learning:

The famous "2-5-1" Chord Progression: pgs 114-120, 153-156, 208, 235-236.

I - IV - I - V - I Chord Progressions: pgs 66-70.

I - IV - V - IV - I Chord Progressions: pgs 77-78.

Techniques behind the famous "5-->1" progression: pgs 68-72.

I --> IV,  I --> V Chord Progressions: pgs 74-75.

"Circle of Fifths" Chord Exercises: pg 78.

Major and Minor Chord Progressions: pgs 105-130.

"6 - 2 - 5 - 1" Chord Progressions: pgs 121-122, 157-159.

"3 - 6 - 2 - 5 - 1" Chord Progressions: pgs 122-123, 160-162.

"7 - 3 - 6 - 2 - 5 - 1" Chord Progressions: pgs 124-125, 190-191.

Gospel Chord Progressions ... ranging from "up-tempo praise" chord Progressions to "worship-oriented" chord progressions: pgs 65-78, 105-130, 147-165, 182-227.

Various Blues Progressions ... 12-bar, seventh chords, diminished chords ... and others: pgs 163-165, 192.

Jazz Chord Progressions ... using dominant ninth, eleventh and thirteenth chords: pgs 193-240

Study the different types of Root Progressions --- closing, opening, circular and other types of progressions: pgs 121-122.

Study how chord tones and scale degrees relate to each other [which chord progressions are most likely to be compatible]: pgs 122-130.

Learn various "turn-around" progressions [used in gospel music]: pg 213-214.