Learn To Use Intervals For Emotion - Part 3
Example for This Lesson Look at the pattern of coloured circles on this next diagram. The solid red circle, numbered zero, is placed at an arbitrary fret. The pattern shows it uses pitches that are two, three, four and ten semitones above the solid red circle (see how they are numbered to indicate this ... check for yourself by counting the number of frets from the solid circle to these other circles). Look at the red-ringed circle, at the thirteenth fret. This is twelve semitones above the solid red circle, namely an octave above it, so it is coloured and numbered the same. The pattern then repeats from there. Try playing the coloured pitches in the first octave, a few times, and remember the sound (just play frets 1, 3, 4, 5 and 11 in that order). Each member of the pattern forms an interval with the first member of the pattern (the solid red circle). So we can locate each pitch at the appropriate number of semitones above (or coincident with) the first member, and each of these pitches forms its own unique interval sound, when paired with the start pitch. And by the way, the pattern says nothing about the order we play these pitches in a phrase ... that's our choice. Ok ... but we're not always playing the start pitch every time we play one of these pitches ... we didn't above! True, but let's suppose we have some magic that allows us and our listeners to "hear," or more accurately, "sense," the sound of that start pitch at all times, even when it's not being played. With such awareness, we then can recognise by ear the number of semitones from the start pitch to any of the others. What do you notice about this pattern compared to the one above? (Examine the semitones to each pitch from the solid red circle, and their numbering). Anyone that said "they're identical" gets a gold star. If you didn't spot this, not to worry. Just look closely at the numbers in the circles, remembering they represent the number of semitones from the red pitch to that circle. What's happened is the whole pattern has been slid, unchanged, one semitone lower (one fret lower). Again, play the coloured pitches in the first octave a few times, and remember the sound (just play frets 0, 2, 3, 4 and 10 in that order, fret 0 is the open string). Then use the previous pattern again (that starts at the first fret), and ask yourself how this sounds in comparison. Go back and forwards between the two patterns (slide it up, slide it down and so on). I hope you reach the conclusion that these sound the same, just one starts higher than the other. The reason is that the same pattern of intervals has been created relative to the "starting point." If youchange that pattern (omit some of the intervals, or add in additional ones), you create a new sound flavour ... you've changed the "sound palette" you're working with. Does this make sense?