Re: 3rds, 5ths, etc.


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Posted by JerryP on December 31, 2000 at 14:53:24:

In Reply to: Re: 3rds, 5ths, etc. posted by Bob 'Skippy' Blechinger on December 30, 2000 at 09:33:08:

:
>>>can someone please explain to me how you determine a third, fifth, and seventh of a root note?<<<

<<: It's easiest to explain if we think of a piano keyboard:

: Third - 2 whole steps or 4 half steps above the root (tonic), i.e., C to E;

: Fifth - 3.5 whole steps or 7 half steps above the tonic, i.e., C to G;

: Seventh (Minor) - 5 whole steps or 10 half steps above the tonic, i.e., C to Bb

: Seventh (Major) - 5.5 whole steps or 11 half steps above the tonic, i.e., C to B

: Bob>>>


Brett,

Everything Bob told you was absolutely correct, but I don't know how much theory or other training you've had in music. To move a a whole step up or down, move TWO frets up or down. To move a half step up or down, move ONE fret up or down. Two half steps, obviously, equal one whole step.

An interval of 1&1/2 whole steps is called a minor third. An interval of 2 whole steps is called a major third. Building up by major and/or minor thirds above the Tonic creates the basic characteristic of a chord and, if applicable, the added seventh. Be careful not to confuse an interval (a Major third, e.g.) with the note value in a given scale or chord. E is the Third--which happens to
be a Major Third, or 2 whole steps, above the Tonic--in the C Major scale.

It takes three notes to comprise a chord: the Tonic (I or root), the Third (III)and the Fifth (V).

Chords have one of four basic characteristics:

*Major = Tonic, Major Third (up 2 whole steps) and minor fifth (up 1&1/2 whole
steps more). C Major = C-E-G (1st inversion = E-G-C; 2nd inversion = G-C-E).

*Minor = Tonic, minor third (up 1&1/2 whole steps) and MAJOR Fifth (up another
2 whole steps). C minor = C-Eb-G (1st inversion = Eb-G-C; 2nd inv. = G-C-Eb).

*Augmented = Tonic, Major Third (up 2 whole steps) and Major Fifth (up 2 more
whole steps). C Aug (or C+) = C-E-G# (1st inversion = E-G#-C, etc.).

*Diminished = Tonic, minor third (up 1&1/2 whole steps) and minor fifth (up
1&1/2 whole steps). C dim = C-Eb-Gb (1st inversion = Eb-Gb-C, etc.).


Sevenths can be added to further color any of the four, basic chords types; but:

*minor sevenths (1&1/2 whole steps--or a minor third interval--above the Fifth)
are often added to Major (C-E-G-Bb), minor (C-Eb-G-Bb), Augmented (C-E-G#-B)
and diminished (C-Eb-Gb-Bbb, or A) chords.

*Major sevenths (2 whole steps--or a Major third interval--above the Fifth) are
usually added to Major (C-E-G-B) chords.


IMHO, for guitarists and especially for bassists, practicing the arpeggios of these chords, seventh chords, their inversions and their related pentatonic (5-tone) scales, going both upward and downward on the neck (from open E to Eb at the 11th fret of your E string, and vice versa), is far more important than practicing diatonic (7-tone) scales. It will teach you chords, intervals and relative positions on the neck of your instrument. Combine that with learnng to read the notes that comprise those chord tones and pentatonic scales, and you'll have as wonderful knowledge of the absolute positions on your neck. At that point, only the time value of notes and some musical notation conventions are needed to become an much-envied sight reader. Don't be dissuaded until that happens, however; just learning those intervals and chord values will significantly improve your ability to undertand the key signatures in which you play and to improvise parts.

Keep layin' that groove!

JerryP


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