There are more reliable, faster and easier methods to identify and construct intervals than counting whole and half steps. This animation will let you explore some of them. A brief description of each one:

  1. Scales - if you know the major and minor scales in your instrument, you can use scales to identify intervals. For example: from D to A we have a perfect fifth because they are the first and fifth note of the D major and D minor scales. If the A is sharp, the interval gets bigger and becomes augmented. If the A is flat, the interval gets smaller and becomes diminished.
  2. Chords - if you know the basic chords in your instrument (or the arpeggios), you can use chords to identify some intervals. For example: from D to A we have a perfect fifth because they are the root and fifth of the D major and D minor chords. If the A is sharp, the interval gets bigger and becomes augmented. If the A is flat, the interval gets smaller and becomes diminished.
  3. Inversion - This method is very useful to work with big intervals like the sixth and the seventh since after inversion they become thirds and seconds. Isn't it easier to identify a second than a seventh? See Inversion and Identifying by Using Inversions for more information.
Seconds
Thirds
Fourths
Fifths
Sixths
Sevenths



    
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
José Rodríguez Alvira.