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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-20-2001, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
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Lesson 11: *White Note Thirds - The secret to creating all y

Lesson 11: *White Note Thirds

OK, in lesson 10, we discussed intervals. *So, you should know that when we discuss a 3rd, we're talking about two notes, such as a C and an E or a G and a B.

The white note thirds is a little device to help you.


all of these notes are a third from each other.
only a 3rd from C, F and G are major, the rest are minor.
What this means is, you can automatically tell me what a minor third from F is. *It's A. *How did I know that? *Because it's the next letter in the sequence. *Also notice that if you skip every other note, you have fifths.
all the fifths are perfect except for B to F which is diminished. *So if I ask you, what's a perfect 5th above C, you skip one letter and say "G". *The only time the 5th is not perfect is in the case of B.

So, by using this little device we can find 3rds and 5ths, which means we can also spell out triads with it.
what's a C major triad? *A root, a major third and a perfect fifth.

well, here's our device again: C E G B D F A C
C to E is a major third
C to G is a perfect fifth
so a C Major triad is C E G

How about E Major triad?
E to G is minor third, so a major third is G#
E to B is a perfect fifth
so E Major triad is spelled E G# B

and of course, if you wanted Eb, you'd just flat each note, so the Eb Major triad is Eb, G, Bb

Practice Practice Practice!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-21-2002, 07:26 PM
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Lesson 11: *White Note Thirds


I hope it's appropriate to post a question/comment to a lesson here ?

In music theory what is the correct way to name a note if it is sharp or flat ? For example in Lesson 11 the major third from E is mentioned as being G#, why isn't A Flat used ?

Since I have long put off learning theory (15 years), I'm only comming to grasp with all that stuff I learnt in High School and College in a practical sense. I find the more I visualise theory, in terms of notes on the fretboard the more everything makes sense. Perhaps this is something others have already mentioned ?, but it can make the difference between feeling like your in a Math's lesson to actually meaning something to you.

Here's a practical example : If you want to find the Major third to any note, find the root on the E string (6th string) and then go one fret to the left on the A string (5th String). Doing this makes finding major thirds a piece of cake. eg. A at the 5th fret on the E string = Major third C# at the 4th fret A string.

Some people are visual, so they need visual triggers for a problem to be solved. If find it terribly difficult to think numerically or alphabetically at times, but if I can link those thoughts to a visual I can solve mental tasks.

I hope this alternate view helps others as much as it's helping me to open up this beautiful instrument.

Great lessons by the way jem7vwh

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-03-2002, 11:27 PM
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Lesson 11: *White Note Thirds

Hey 6828,

* * Good question. *It's really just a convention (though in my opinion a very good one). in tonal music, when you a re talking about the third (or other interval) from a certain note, you always use the letter that many steps away from the reference note. For instance, the third of E is G#, not Ab, because G is the letter in the third position when starting from E (E F G A B C D E). Ab would be the diminished 4th of the E Major scale, because it is the fourth note in the order of the letters. Another example is the diminished 7th vs. the 6th of a chord/scale. the diminished 7th (major 7th tone lowered 2 half steps) in the key of C is Bbb (B double-flat) which is the same as A, but you don't use just A because A is tthe 6th, and has a different meaning harmonically than a dimished 7th (especially since usually you'll be dealing with minor 6ths whenever you are dealing with diminished 7ths, so having the major 6th in there would be confusing).

* * *Hope this was helpful. If there was anything here I didn't explain well, just let me know.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-12-2005, 05:01 PM
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Re: Lesson 11: *White Note Thirds - The secret to creating all y

Lesson 11
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-19-2005, 09:30 PM
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Smile Re: Lesson 11: *White Note Thirds - The secret to creating all y

Originally Posted by jem7vwh
What this means is, you can automatically tell me what a minor third from F is. *It's A. *
Correct me if Im wrong.....but isnt "A" a MAJOR third from F?

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-20-2005, 02:53 AM
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Re: Lesson 11: *White Note Thirds - The secret to creating all y

Originally Posted by lemmy555
Correct me if Im wrong.....but isnt "A" a MAJOR third from F?

haha....yes you are indeed correct
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