What Are Augmented Intervals, Learn to Build and Recognize Augmented Intervals
Mar 28 2013, 01:02 PM
Theory Instructor
Posts: 888
Joined: 8-January 13
From: Manchester UK
What Are Augmented Intervals?

In today’s theory lesson we’ll be looking at Augmented Intervals, how to build theme and how to recognize the when you see them in written music.

Though the are easier than the Diminished Intervals we’ve looked at previously, you will still need a decent handle on Major and Perfect Intervals as these are going to be the foundation of how we look at building Augmented Intervals on guitar and on the staff.

So, it’s a bit trickier than previous intervals which only had one formula, which means it might be a good idea to review those articles if this stuff is new to you.

What Are Major Intervals?
What Are Minor Intervals?
What Are Perfect Intervals?
What Are Diminished Intervals?

And, here are the formulas to work out each of the possible Augmented Intervals.

Augmented 2nd Intervals

The first interval we’ll look at is the Augmented 2nd Interval. Here, you simply take a Major 2nd Interval, such as G to A, and raise the second note by one half-step (1 fret).

So if you have G to A, a Major 2nd, and you raise A to A#, you get G to A#, an Augmented 2nd Interval.

Here are a couple of examples of Augmented 2nd intervals written out on different parts of the neck.

After you’ve learned how to build a Augmented 2nd interval, go ahead and write a number of them out and post your work below.

I will be happy to go over and check your work to make sure that you’re on the right track when it comes to identifying and writing this interval.

Augmented 3rd Intervals

The second interval we’ll look at is the Augmented 3rd Interval. Here, you simply take a Major 3rd Interval, such as G to B, and raise the second note by one half-step (1 fret).

So if you have G to B, a Major 3rd, and you raise B to B#, you get G to B#, an Augmented 3rd Interval.

Here are a couple of examples of Augmented 3rd intervals written out on different parts of the neck.

After you’ve learned how to build a Augmented 3rd interval, go ahead and write a number of them out and post your work below.

I will be happy to go over and check your work to make sure that you’re on the right track when it comes to identifying and writing this interval.

Augmented 4th Intervals

The next interval we’ll look at is the Augmented 4th Interval. Here, you simply take a Perfect 4th Interval, such as G to C, and raise the second note by one half-step (1 fret).

So if you have G to C, a Perfect 4th, and you raise C to C#, you get G to C#, an Augmented 4th Interval.

This interval is also referred to as the Tritone Interval, as G to C# is 3 equal tones apart.

Here are a couple of examples of Augmented 4th intervals written out on different parts of the neck.

After you’ve learned how to build a Augmented 4th interval, go ahead and write a number of them out and post your work below.

I will be happy to go over and check your work to make sure that you’re on the right track when it comes to identifying and writing this interval.

Augmented 5th Intervals

The next interval we’ll look at is the Augmented 5th Interval. Here, you simply take a Perfect 5th Interval, such as G to D, and raise the second note by one half-step (1 fret).

So if you have G to D, a Perfect 5th, and you raise D to D#, you get G to D#, an Augmented 5th Interval.

Here are a couple of examples of Augmented 5th intervals written out on different parts of the neck.

After you’ve learned how to build a Augmented 5th interval, go ahead and write a number of them out and post your work below.

I will be happy to go over and check your work to make sure that you’re on the right track when it comes to identifying and writing this interval.

Augmented 6th Intervals

The next interval we’ll look at is the Augmented 6th Interval. Here, you simply take a Major 6th Interval, such as G to E, and raise the second note by one half-step (1 fret).

So if you have G to E, a Major 6th, and you raise E to E#, you get G to E#, an Augmented 6th Interval.

Here are a couple of examples of Augmented 6th intervals written out on different parts of the neck.

After you’ve learned how to build a Augmented 6th interval, go ahead and write a number of them out and post your work below.

I will be happy to go over and check your work to make sure that you’re on the right track when it comes to identifying and writing this interval.

Augmented 7th Intervals

The next interval we’ll look at is the Augmented 7th Interval. Here, you simply take a Major 7th Interval, such as G to F#, and raise the second note by one half-step (1 fret).

So if you have G to F#, a Major 7th, and you raise F# to Fx, you get G to Fx, an Augmented 7th Interval.

Here are a couple of examples of Augmented 7th intervals written out on different parts of the neck.

After you’ve learned how to build a Augmented 7th interval, go ahead and write a number of them out and post your work below.

I will be happy to go over and check your work to make sure that you’re on the right track when it comes to identifying and writing this interval.

Augmented Octave Intervals

The next interval we’ll look at is the Augmented Octave Interval. Here, you simply take a Perfect Octave Interval, such as G to G, and raise the second note by one half-step (1 fret).

So if you have G to G, a Perfect Octave, and you raise G to G#, you get G to G#, an Augmented Octave Interval.

Here are a couple of examples of Augmented Octave intervals written out on different parts of the neck.

After you’ve learned how to build a Augmented Octave interval, go ahead and write a number of them out and post your work below.

I will be happy to go over and check your work to make sure that you’re on the right track when it comes to identifying and writing this interval.

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Mar 29 2013, 10:10 AM
Posts: 2.881
Joined: 26-October 11
From: Galway, Ireland
I guess my question is about context and can apply to augmented and diminished intervals.

I can see in the context of a chord where you would name the interval as augmented, like a G augmented 5th as a G major has the 5th as part of the triad, but in terms of an isolated interval what determines labelling the note as augmented rather than diminished?

Even if we are relating the interval to a particular key.

C Major C D E F G A B C, C - G# Augmented 5 or C-Ab diminished 6 which is correct or the accepted label

At the risk of answering my own question I can see that you wouldn't often have to discuss intervals in isolation, without some kind of appreciation of the harmony / accompaniment, is that just it. It depends on what else is being played and using that as a reference.

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Mar 29 2013, 10:48 AM
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From: Manchester UK
QUOTE (PosterBoy @ Mar 29 2013, 09:10 AM)
I guess my question is about context and can apply to augmented and diminished intervals.

I can see in the context of a chord where you would name the interval as augmented, like a G augmented 5th as a G major has the 5th as part of the triad, but in terms of an isolated interval what determines labelling the note as augmented rather than diminished?

Even if we are relating the interval to a particular key.

C Major C D E F G A B C, C - G# Augmented 5 or C-Ab diminished 6 which is correct or the accepted label

At the risk of answering my own question I can see that you wouldn't often have to discuss intervals in isolation, without some kind of appreciation of the harmony / accompaniment, is that just it. It depends on what else is being played and using that as a reference.

Yeah I think you basically answered your own question. If you had a Gdim chord you would use G Bb Db, so the interval between G and Db is a Diminished 5th. That sort of thing.

But, when analyzing classical music, especially melody lines, we do look at intervals in isolation if they are an integral part of the melody and need to be looked at.

So I would say that in the context of rock, pop, jazz etc., most of the time you're going to be analyzing intervals over chords, in a harmonic context. But, if you do take a classical theory class or get into that side of things, you will probably analyze intervals as part of a melody line as well.

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