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If you want to improve your knowledge of music theory as it applies to the guitar, then learning intervals is one of the best places to start.

Intervals are a fundamental part of Western music. And when you learn them, you will develop a much deeper understanding of what you are playing.

This will improve every element of your guitar playing, and make you a better and more skilled musician.

When you learn intervals and how they work, you will understand how scales and chords are formed. You will appreciate why different notes played either together or separately create different sound and feels.

In turn, this will empower you to target (and also avoid) certain note groupings when soloing or creating chords.

Finally, understanding intervals will also help you to understand some of the musical jargon that you might have encountered elsewhere in your learning journey up to this point.

This will help you to fill in some of the gaps in your knowledge and will make learning new material in the future both easier and more rewarding.

Throughout this course, you will learn the following:

  • What intervals are, how many different intervals there are and how they are named

  • How you can find and target different intervals on your fretboard

  • The way that intervals are used to construct both scales and chords

  • How you can target intervals when improvising to create a particular feel in your playing

An interval is the difference in pitch between two different notes.

As such, even if the concept of intervals is not one with which you are familiar, you have in fact played intervals on your guitar from the moment you first picked up the instrument.

Every time you play two or more notes on your guitar – either separately or together – you are playing intervals.

Appreciating this will help you to understand some of the most important points about intervals and how they function.

After all, playing different groups of notes on your guitar – either together or in succession – sounds quite different, depending on the notes that you are playing.

I illustrate this around the 1.50 minute mark in the video above. I first play the 5th fret on the 6th string, followed by the 7th fret on the 5th string. I then play them together.

After that, I play the same starting note, but then follow it with the 6th fret on the 5th string.

This is what the audio of that section sounds like:

As you can hopefully hear, the sound of the first two notes is harmonious. There is no feeling of tension or dissonance.

With the second two notes, the opposite is true. Here the sound is intensely dissonant.

Understanding this helps to illustrate the power of intervals on your guitar.

As you can see, altering a phrase by just a single note has a profound effect on the sound and feel of your playing.

This is because each interval has a different musical quality. They sound different to one another and they function differently in a playing context.

This is just one reason why they are important for you to learn. They provide you with a system for creating phrases and chords that you can target consciously in your playing.

So with that in mind, let’s get into it! Head over to the next lesson where we’ll cover the basics of intervals and all of the different intervals that you will encounter when playing.

See you over there!