MUSIC THEORY FOR PRODUCERS - INTERVALS - PART 3
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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:

  1. You find the major 2nd and then go up a whole tone (or whole step);
  2. 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:

major3rd

From method 2: we use middle C as the starting point and go up 4 half steps (C#, D, D#, E):

major3rd-again

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):

minor3rd1

Another way of building a minor 3rd is just to go up 3 half steps from the starting note:

minor3rd2

Notice that Eb is 3 half steps higher than C.

Check out a few more examples of major 3rds:

ex2

ex3

ex4

The same intervals above are written now in music notation:

example1

example2

example3

You can practice by building more major 3rds.

That’s it! In the next lesson we will learn about 4ths and 5ths.

Happy productions!

 

 

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