• Four Things You Can Transform The Perfect Fifth Interval Into

    in Beginners,Chords & Progressions,Piano,Theory

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    In today’s lesson, I’ll be showing you four things that you can transform the perfect fifth interval into.

    So many people look down on intervals and this is because intervals are not actually chords.

    When intervals are played, they don’t have the full harmonic power that chords have because they are a combination of two notes on the keyboard. Consequently, they cannot be used to accompany songs.

    To get started with this study, let’s take a look at the perfect fifth interval.

    “What Is A Perfect Fifth Interval?”

    An interval is the relationship between two pitches that are either heard or played at the same time or separately.

    Intervals that are heard at the same time are called harmonic intervals while intervals that are heard separately are called melodic intervals. For the purpose of our study, we’ll be using harmonic intervals which are the intervals that are heard or played together.

    The perfect fifth is an interval. The term fifth qualifies an interval that encompasses five degrees of a scale.

    The perfect fifth interval is the relationship between the first and the fifth tones of the major or minor scale. Therefore, in any known major or minor scale, the relationship between the first and fifth tones produces the perfect fifth interval.

    In the C major scale:

    …the relationship between C and G:

    …which are the first and fifth tones, produces the C perfect fifth interval.

    In the C minor scale:

    ….the relationship between the first and fifth tones:

    ….produces the C perfect fifth interval.

    Irrespective of the traditional scale used (whether major or minor) the relationship between the first and fifth tones produces the perfect fifth interval.

    For your reference, here are all perfect fifth intervals for all twelve keys…

    C perfect fifth interval:

    C# perfect fifth interval:

    D perfect fifth interval:

    D# perfect fifth interval:

    E perfect fifth interval:

    F perfect fifth interval:

    F# perfect fifth interval:

    G perfect fifth interval:

    G# perfect fifth interval:

    A perfect fifth interval:

    A# perfect fifth interval:

    B perfect fifth interval:

    In the next segment, I’ll be showing you four things that you can make out of the perfect fifth interval.

    “What Can I Make Out Of The Perfect Fifth Interval?”

    According to Jermaine Griggs, “intervals are the building blocks of chords.” If you want to make anything out of an interval, the first thing that should come to your mind is chords.

    In this segment, we’ll be putting the perfect fifth interval to work in the formation of chords. Therefore, I’ll be showing you four things that you can make out of the perfect fifth interval.

    #1 – The Major Triad

    You can make the major triad out of the perfect fifth interval. To form a major triad with a perfect fifth interval, add a note that is a major third above the root of the perfect fifth interval.

    In the D perfect fifth interval:

    …which consists of D and A, adding F#:

    ….which is a major third above D:

    …which is the root of the D perfect fifth interval produces a D major triad:

    Attention: The major third interval is the relationship between the first and third tones of the major scale.

    Let’s take two other examples…

    Example #1 – The G major triad

    Given the G perfect fifth interval:

    …which consists of G and D, adding B:

    ….which is a major third above G:

    …which is the root of the G perfect fifth interval produces a G major triad:

    Example #2 – The Eb major triad

    Given the Eb perfect fifth interval:

    …which consists of Eb and Bb, adding G:

    ….which is a major third above Eb:

    …which is the root of the Eb perfect fifth interval produces a Eb major triad:

    #2 – The Minor Triad

    The second thing you can form with the perfect fifth interval is the minor triad. By adding a note that is a minor third above the root of any perfect fifth interval, you’ll form the minor triad.

    In the case of the A perfect fifth interval:

    …adding the third tone of the A minor scale:

    …which is C:

    …to the A perfect fifth interval:

    …produces the A minor triad:

    Attention: The minor third interval is the relationship between the first and third tones of the minor scale.

    Using any known perfect fifth interval, you can form the minor triad by adding a note that is a minor third above the root of the perfect fifth interval.

    Let’s take two examples…

    Example #1 – The Eb minor triad

    Given the Eb perfect fifth interval:

    …the Eb minor triad can be formed by adding a note that is a minor third above Eb. A minor third above Eb is Gb:

    Also note that Gb:

    …is the third tone of the Eb minor scale:

    Example #2 – The D minor triad

    In the D perfect fifth interval:

    …which consists of D and A, adding F:

    ….which is a minor third above D:

    …which is the root of the D perfect fifth interval produces a D minor triad:

    #3 – The Sus2 Chord

    The third chord that can be formed from the perfect fifth interval is the suspended 2nd chord. By adding a note that is a major second above the root of any perfect fifth interval, you’ll form the suspended fourth chord.

    In the case of the B perfect fifth interval:

    …adding C#:

    ….which is a major second above B:

    …produces the B sus2 chord:

    “Take Note…”

    The major second interval is the relationship between the first and second tones of the natural major scale. Using any known major second interval, you can form the suspended fourth chord by adding a note that is a major second above the root of the perfect fifth interval.

    Here are two examples…

    Example #1 – The E sus2 chord

    Given the Db perfect fifth interval:

    …the Db sus2 chord can be formed by adding a note that is a major second above Db. A major second above Db is Eb:

    Note that Eb:

    …is the second tone of the Db major scale:

    Example #2 – The F sus2 chord

    The F perfect fifth interval:

    …consists of F and C. If we add G:

    ….which is a major second above F:

    …which is the root of the F perfect fifth interval, this produces the F sus2 chord:

    #4 – The Sus4 Chord

    The fourth chord that can be formed from the perfect fifth interval is the suspended 2nd chord. By adding a note that is a perfect fourth above the root of any perfect fifth interval, you’ll form the suspended fourth chord.

    In the case of the C perfect fifth interval:

    …adding F:

    ….which is a perfect fourth above C:

    …produces the C sus4 chord:

    “Take Note…”

    The perfect fourth interval is the relationship between the first and fourth tones of the natural major scale. Using any known perfect fourth interval, you can form the suspended fourth chord by adding a note that is a perfect fourth above the root of the perfect fifth interval.

    Here are two examples…

    Example #1 – The E sus4 chord

    Given the E perfect fifth interval:

    …the E sus4 chord can be formed by adding a note that is a perfect fourth above E. A perfect fourth above E is A:

    Note that A:

    …is the fourth tone of the E major scale:

    Example #2 – The Bb sus4 chord

    The Bb perfect fifth interval:

    …consists of Bb and F. If we add Eb:

    ….which is a perfect fourth above Bb:

    …which is the root of the Bb perfect fifth interval, this produces the Bb sus4 chord:

    Final Words

    You can make four things out of the perfect fifth interval if you understand these four intervals:

    • The major third
    • The minor third
    • The major second
    • The perfect fourth

    …in all the keys. With this, I’m sure you’ve seen the importance of intervals.

    I appreciate your commitment towards this study, and I’ll see you in another lesson where we would further our discussion.

    Thank you very much!

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    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as the head of education, music consultant, and chief content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with hundreds of thousands of musicians across the world.

    Attention: To learn more about this, I recommend our 500+ page course: The "Official Guide To Piano Playing." Click here for more information.




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