Descending Minor Intervals, Learn to Recognize and Build Descending Minor Intervals
Mar 26 2013, 05:36 PM
Theory Instructor
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What Are Descending Minor Intervals?

In today’s theory lesson, we’ll be looking at the Descending version of Minor intervals.

If you are new to minor intervals in general, check out my article “What Are Minor Intervals” for a refresher on these common and important intervallic shapes.

As was the case with “Descending Major Intervals,” you can figure out any Descending Minor Interval by reversing an Ascending Major Interval.

Here is how each descending minor interval relates to an ascending major interval.

Ascending Major 7th = Descending Minor 2nd
Ascending Major 6th = Descending Minor 3rd
Ascending Major 3rd = Descending Minor 6th
Ascending Major 2nd = Descending Minor 7th

This might look a bit confusing at first, but before you give up on these intervals, check out the sections below where I go into detail for each of the 4 Descending Minor Intervals, which will make them easier to break down and learn in the process.

Here are the formulas for each individual descending minor interval to check out.

Descending Minor 2nd Intervals

There are two ways that you can figure out and write Minor 2nd Intervals.

The first way is to look 1 fret, 1 half-step, below the note you are on and you have created a Descending Minor 2nd Interval.

The other way, if you know your Ascending Major Intervals well, is to take an Ascending Major 7th and lower the second note.

So, if you have C-B, Maj 7th going up, you lower the B by and octave and you get C moving down to B, a Descending Minor 2nd Interval.

Here are a few Descending Minor 2nd Intervals to check out on paper to see how they look when applied to notation and tab.

After you’ve learned how to build a Descending Minor 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.

Descending Minor 3rd Intervals

Again, with Descending Minor 3rd Intervals we have two ways to recognize and write these notes.

The first way is to start on your root note and then go down 3 half-steps, 3 frets, to find the note you want. So, C moving down to A is a Descending Minor 3rd Interval.

The second way is to look at an Ascending Major 6th Interval, C up to A for example, and then just lower the second note by an octave, so you get C moving down to A, which produces a Descending Minor 3rd Interval.

Here are a few examples of Descending Minor 3rd intervals to see how they look on paper.

After you’ve learned how to build a Descending Minor 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.

Descending Minor 6th Intervals

The easiest way to work out a Descending Minor 6th Interval is to compare it to an Ascending Major 3rd Interval.

So, if you have the note C and you want to write out a Descending Minor 6th Interval below that note, you just look at the Major 3rd Ascending above C, C to E, and lower the second note by an octave.

This gives you C moving down to E, a Descending Minor 3rd Interval.

Here are a few examples of this interval to see how they look on paper.

After you’ve learned how to build a Descending Minor 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.

Descending Minor 7th Intervals

Lastly, we’ll look at Descending Minor 7th Intervals, and again we’ll use our knowledge of Ascending Major Intervals to decipher this interval.

If you take an Ascending Major 2nd Interval, C to D for example, and you lower the second note, making it C moving down to D, you produce a Descending Minor 7th Interval.

Here are a couple examples of Descending Minor 7th Intervals to check out and see how they look on paper in both notation and tab.

After you’ve learned how to build a Descending Minor 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.

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This post has been edited by The Professor: Mar 26 2013, 05:37 PM

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