Posted: Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:20 pm Post subject: Interval Practice
Loads of guitarists have asked me advice on how to break out of just seeing shapes on the fretboard. They key to doing this is by seeing intervals on the neck. So I have devised 'The Ultimate Interval Workout'. This will help you see the where the intervals live within a particular scale shape and ultimately allow you to break free from the shackles of shapes!
I bet no one out there can do this straight off! To do this you will need to put some hard work in!
I'm sure on this forum, there are people who can do that! But nice way to try to help those who can't. I think Govan himselfs CDs, Advanced Techniques and Cutting Edge Techniques covers this type of thing.
An extra excersize which is kind of important if you're going to be doing this kind of thing, is being able to hear intervals and identify them through how they sound. You can practice this on piano/keyboard or guitar or most other instruments. But for you to really test yourself you need somebody else to play the interval whilst you identify them without looking. This is something you should only become an expert at if you want to be a serious musician. You develop a condition known as perfect intervals. It's similar to perfect pitch, except instead of telling whether a note is A or B, you can listen to any two notes and detect the exact interval between them. This really helps you in improvisation and most other musical skills, however, you may find yourself hearing melodies as numbers which may be detrimental to your taste in music.
Once you have mastered the intervals using the natural mode system, try it with melodic altered modes. It can be a breath of fresh air, once you think you've mastered the whole set of notes, a whole new system of notes to learn can be quite relieving and remind you that your musical knowledge never ends!
A nice simple exercise for interval recognition I found today, I did this at uni but didn't spend too much time on this particular exercise. You don't actually have to sing for this, you could sing in your head, imagine the note instead of singing.
(Doesn't only apply to jazz btw)
Thanks for sharing your article, though I don't think it's all that tricky. It's a pretty standard thing to practice, if you're into practicing different patterny things. I think it's good to get these things under your fingers, but I also think getting used to greater spanned intervals is important, or even doing octave displacement through a line.
So if you were practicing 5ths for instance, try playing straight 5ths like a line such as, A E B F# C# G# D# A# F C G D. Try playing it straight up the neck, try playing it in one position (yes that will mean playing 4ths too, but the movement is still their, octaves aren't wholly important really). Same thing for all the intervals, see how they react to different ways of playing them. To me this is a much more interesting practice, and really brings out some creative sounding lines, as opposed to just playing patterny stuff through the major scale or something.
So you need to try all kinds of intervals, and play with octaves throughout. So do your, min2nds (pretty easy) major2nds (whole tone) min3rds(fully diminished) maj3rds (augmented) p4ths, etc....
You could also try something like the "super arpeggio" where you play alternating min3rds and major3rds. When you get back to the octave it almost sounds "out" which is pretty cool really. So that would be a line like:
C E G B D F# A C# E G# B D# F# A# C# F Ab C
Play it however you can, in one position, or all over the neck.
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