MUSIC THEORY FOR PRODUCERS – INTERVALS – PART 3
In this lesson, we will learn about 3rd intervals. As we already know, 3rd intervals can be major or minor. Let’s start by learning how to build a major 3rd interval. After that, it will be easy to build a minor 3rd, since the only thing we need to do is to lower the major interval by a half step.
There are basically 2 ways of building major 3rds:
- You find the major 2nd and then go up a whole tone (or whole step);
- From the starting note, you go up two whole steps.
The major 3rd is a third spanning four semitones (or half steps). For example, if we play a middle C on the keyboard, how to find its major 3rd?
From method 1: we’ll first find the major 2nd, which is simply going up a whole step, that is, D. Then from D we just go up another whole step and that’s the major 3rd:
From method 2: we use middle C as the starting point and go up 4 half steps (C#, D, D#, E):
So, whenever you want to find out the major 3rd of a note, just use one of these methods.
Now, how to build a minor 3rd?
Since we know how to build a major 3rd, all we do is to lower it by a half step. For example, if E is the major 3rd of C, Eb will be its minor 3rd (Eb is a half step below E):
Another way of building a minor 3rd is just to go up 3 half steps from the starting note:
Notice that Eb is 3 half steps higher than C.
Check out a few more examples of major 3rds:
The same intervals above are written now in music notation:
You can practice by building more major 3rds.
That’s it! In the next lesson we will learn about 4ths and 5ths.