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Thread: Rock intervals!

  1. #1
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    Rock intervals!

    Hey guys,

    what are some common rock and blues intervals? Also throw in jazz if you have time

    so I've heard solos where rock guitarists will hold some intervals and sustain them and they really stand out... Is it tritones? I'm never sure? If you guys don't know exactly what I'm talking about just list any common rock/blues and jazz (if you have time) intervals! Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Are you asking for licks? If so Google Blues licks. http://www.google.com/search?sourcei...&q=Blues+Licks
    Take your pick. Do the same for Rock, http://www.bing.com/search?q=rock+li...SOLTLB&PC=SUN1
    Jazz, http://www.bing.com/search?q=jazz+li...SOLTLB&PC=SUN1 There are lick sites all over the Internet.

    As far as what to land on, what to accent, etc. Tonic notes and mode cartelistic (SP?) notes would be fair game. The blue note in the blues scale.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 02-19-2010 at 12:04 PM.

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    I'll take a look at those!

    I googled a few of those and most of them were all tabs... Are there any standard notation ones?

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    Rock.. p5.. Jazz b5

    otherwise.. what malcolm said. It is a bit of a vague question.. kind of like "what chords sound good in bebop"....Well they all sound good if you use them appropriately.

    I'm not a big rocker. I would however suggest you investigate the harmonic minor scale. That might lead you down more of a 'metal' sounding path if you are trying to spice up your lead guitar solos. m6, half diminished, diminished chords all have a bit of a darker vibe to them. Its all valid though.

    Maybe you can give us an example of a tune or a solo that utilizes the kind of harmony you want to study.

  5. #5
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    I agree it's a vague question (we need examples of sounds you like), but here's a brief guide to intervals.

    Major 9th

    You see "add9"s much more often in rock than in jazz. They are generally easu to play (easy to discover), but also (evidently) have a sound that rock players like. Hard to characterize it, but I think of it as "yearning" sound. You hear a lot of them in U2, which ought to say enough...
    On a minor chord, possibly the saddest chord sound. More so than...

    Major 7th
    Classic melancholy, or bittersweet sound. Not sad, necessarily, but like a bg gentle sigh. Archetypal cliche ballad chord.
    On a minor chord, a strong plangent dissonance. Normally only used in passing, except at the end of some tunes. (The famous chord at the end of the 007 theme - the "secret agent chord" - is a m(maj9), major 7th and major 9th on top of a minor triad. As soon as you hear that, you can visualise Bond in his tux, narrowing his eyes and smirking...)

    Minor 7th

    THE blues interval, when used on a major chord (making a dom7). Adds a cool kind of tension to a major chord, a sort of funky restlessness. (I'm sure you know this sound very well.)
    Added to a minor chord, a minor 7th is a more subtle sound, smoother, more jazzy - you get m7 chords a lot in funk and modern R&B.

    Major 6th

    On a major chord, adds an old-fashioned kind of warmth. Some say it sounds "smug", self-satisfied.
    On a minor chord, a 6th is a very mysterious sound. End a minor key song on a m6 chord, and it's like hinting at a secret: "huh? what are you getting at?" (A more exotic, Spanish-y type secret than the above "secret agent" chord.)

    Major 13th
    Added to a dom7 chord, is the top of the stack of major key dominant tension. Like piling one more card on a house of cards... It just has to collapse back to the major tonic. A sweet tension, though, not at all like jazz altered dominants.

    Perfect 4th
    On its own, one of the most consonant intervals. But add it to a major or minor chord, and it tends to take away the solidity of the root identity - especially if you leave out the 3rd to create a "sus4" chord. The word "suspended" is quite descriptive: a sus4 chord kind of hangs in between two possible identities or states. Surrounding chords will pull it one way of the other, but on its own it's ambiguous. Smooth, but inscrutable.
    The classic pop one is the opening chord to "Hard Day's Night" - something like a G7sus4. (In fact, Harrison played an Fadd9 on his 12-string, while McCartney played a high D bass and George Martin added a piano chord with a low G in it. A real soup of a chord.)
    Sus4s are used quite a lot in rock, normally resolving down to a major 3rd (in the classically correct manner). The suspension creates anticipation, a delicious tension - which goes well with the kind of sound created with 9ths or added 2nds. (You can hear sus4s used repeatedly in "Sweet Child o' Mine" - on both intro and vocal - and they contribute to the nostalgic yearning quality of the song.)

    That'll do for now...

    These are harmonic intervals, mind: chord extensions, which change their character according to what kind of chord you add them to.
    Intervals can also be melodic, which means the vertical distance between neighbouring notes in a melody. Both types are named the same way, but their effects are different - and always subject to context.


    IOW, any single note, anywhere, can be heard in THREE ways:

    1. Key scale degree - related to our continuing awareness of an overall keynote;
    2. Chord tone, extension or alteration - related to the current chord (the kind listed above);
    3. Melodic interval - related to the melody notes before and after.

    All of these are described in interval terminology, of course, but each may have a different effect or impact, depending on contexts of various kinds. (Chord relationships are probably the least variable in their effect.)

  6. #6
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    this answer is going to suck.

    all intervals are common. except i'd say rock uses less notes out of key, and less chromaticism than say jazz does.

    every rock song is different though. rock is much more than intervals. it's tempo timbre and melody/chord progression.

    in soloing, every interval is common.

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    Thanks that really helped alot!!!! Ill try to use all the different chords you described!!!

    another thing that you may be able to help me with!!

    http://www.bossus.com/gear/productde...ProductId=1001

    If you go to this site and scroll down all the way to the bottom of the audio examples it mentions a "fretless guitar sound" as one of the examples, What is the chords and chord progression being played therE?? Thanks!

  8. #8
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeman9412@gma View Post
    Thanks that really helped alot!!!! Ill try to use all the different chords you described!!!

    another thing that you may be able to help me with!!

    http://www.bossus.com/gear/productde...ProductId=1001

    If you go to this site and scroll down all the way to the bottom of the audio examples it mentions a "fretless guitar sound" as one of the examples, What is the chords and chord progression being played therE?? Thanks!
    Nice sequence:
    |Eb(maj7) - - - |Dm7 - - - |G(maj7) - - - |G(maj7) - - - |
    The solo scale seems to be Bb major on the first two chords, and G major on the G.
    IOW, it's a VI-v cadence in G minor (aeolian) but deceptively resolving to G major.

    There's a possibility the Dm7 could be D7#9 (or D7b9), but I don't hear an F# anywhere. (If you like that minor-resolving-to-major sound, it would be more typical to go Ebmaj7-D7b9-Gmaj7, or Am7b5-D7b9-Gmaj7.)

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    Perfect!! Just what I was looking for!! Is this a common progression? Also any other ones that sound like that? IOW any other progressions that give you that kind of style?? Thanks!!!

  10. #10
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    Also Quick note...

    Does this progression work because...

    the IV is a Maj7th which creates tension... the Bb in the Eb chord goes towards the A in the Dm chord? and they both have a D which helps? So that leads to that, and because the Dm chord is the V it wants to go to the G because its the I chord? Because...

    D F A C
    G B D F# The D stays the same,
    The C goes to the B,
    The F goes to the F#??

  11. #11
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeman9412@gma View Post
    Also Quick note...

    Does this progression work because...

    the IV is a Maj7th which creates tension... the Bb in the Eb chord goes towards the A in the Dm chord? and they both have a D which helps? So that leads to that, and because the Dm chord is the V it wants to go to the G because its the I chord? Because...

    D F A C
    G B D F# The D stays the same,
    The C goes to the B,
    The F goes to the F#??
    Something like that, yes.
    The tension on the opening maj7 is not the kind that usually demands resolution. It's the fact that it's followed by a chord a half-step below that suggests a third (tonic, or key target chord) is likely to follow.
    Both these chords belong to (are harmonised from) the key of Bb major, or its relative minor, G minor. (It's the only scale that both chords occur in.) Each tone in Ebmaj7 drops a scale degree to make the next chord, and between them they spell out the whole scale.
    So we expect either Gm or Bb major to follow - maybe not straight away, but we subconsciously know that's the key, because we are so familiar with major key sounds.
    However, a IV-iii-I sequence in major is highly unusual, while a bVI-V-i in minor is more common - so Ebmaj7-Dm7 leads us to expect Gm rather than Bb major. (The fact the D chord is a m7 rather than a dom7 doesn't encourage an immediate expectation of a tonic. The mild tension of a m7 chord is not restless enough. However, if you try following these two chords with Gm, it sounds like a sensible enough destination.)
    And that's where the neat surprise of this sequence works: the next chord is G major. Logical because of the G root, but its major quality is unexpected.
    The effect is a nice surprise - a sudden brightening of the mood.

    You do get the chromatic voice-leading from Dm7-Gmaj7 that you describe. But it's by no means a normal cadence. As I said, an altered D7 (with an F# along with a higher F or even Eb) would be more normal, at least in jazz. D7 is the usual V chord in both G major and G minor. Dm7 would be quite rare even in the key of G minor.
    Although an F# is not really audible in the chord (not to me anyhow), you do get a passing b9 (Eb) in the lead line on the second pass. This suggests it could be standing for D7b9, a more orthodox V chord for G minor.

    I gave you two other sequences that would be more usual in such a situation in jazz.
    Generally speaking, you can make almost any sequence more jazzy just by adding 7ths to the chords. It matters what kind of 7th (maj7 or b7), but it's worth experimenting with both kinds (at least on major chords) rather than learning rules.

    Generally jazz does have rules of chord progression:

    1. Root cycles of 5ths within keys: pick any 7 from the full cycle: B-E-A-D-G-C-F-Bb-Eb-Ab-Db-Gb/F#-B-etc, in that order. Out of any 7 within that cycle, the major key tonic (I) will be the 6th note, and the relative minor key tonic (vi) the 3rd note. (Note the interesting reversal from how we count when going up a scale note by note.)
    Oh, and add diatonic 7ths: maj7 on I and IV, b7 on V and everything else. (7ths help "oil the machine")
    Not many songs may use a full 7-chord cycle, but the final 3 in any key are extremely common: ii-V-I. (Just remember a minor key has a major V chord, from harmonic minor.)
    (It's because such sounds are so familiar that composers can spring the kind of surprise on us that the above sequence demonstrates. It's unexpected, but we still get the logic of the G tonic. So the surprise is delightful rather than unpleasant or confusing. We're not being yanked out of our comfort zone. In fact, many listeners would find the sequence still too comfortable...)

    2. Tritone substitutes: try replacing any dom7 with one a tritone (b5) away. Eg, if you've got E7, try using Bb7 instead. (But it usually only works if the E7 is going to A or Am.)

    There are a few other tricks and formulas, but those two will get you a long way in understanding jazz sequences. (Jazz tunes often move through several different keys, but within each one they will usually follow the above rules.)
    But that's only if you do want to get inside jazz of a certain vintage (more than 50 years old). Jazz has invented - and broken - a whole lot more rules since then.
    Someone once defined jazz as "the sound of surprise" - and that's till true (or should be). Jazz that is not surprising in some way, at some point in a tune, is not true jazz. But of course surprise depends on setting up expectations - which is where those old chord sequences (not to mention conventional jazz rhythms and instrumentation) come in: musicians use them in order to subvert them.

    As with learning to play any genre of music, it's far better to study and dissect examples of that genre, rather than read lots of theories. (Theory should help if the music is very complicated or very unfamiliar. But you still need to work with actual examples.)

  12. #12
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    scales

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeman9412@gma View Post
    Hey guys,

    what are some common rock and blues intervals? Also throw in jazz if you have time

    so I've heard solos where rock guitarists will hold some intervals and sustain them and they really stand out... Is it tritones? I'm never sure? If you guys don't know exactly what I'm talking about just list any common rock/blues and jazz (if you have time) intervals! Thanks!!
    Go to utube,my lessons on lots,call sign(flatop59)

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