Rapid Skill Development with the Cycle of Thirds

Created by
Max Maxwell

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A Major 7th is an interval that is eleven half steps above or below the starting note. A minor 7th is an interval that is ten half steps above or below the starting note.

M = Major, m = minor

M2 m2                                               m7 M7 Finding Major and minor 7ths will also work on the principle of inverting intervals. You already know how to find a Major or minor 2nd.  7ths invert to 2nds in the same way that 6ths invert to 3rds. You can see this in the illustration above where AG (m7) inverts to GA (M2). Memorize the following chart so you can think of any of the four 7ths and immediately name the 2nd to which it inverts.

 Inversion Chart for 7ths to 2nds Major 7th above = minor 2nd below minor 7th above = Major 2nd below Major 7th below = minor 2nd above minor 7th below = Major 2nd above

Exercise:

Fill in the blanks with the note that is a Major 7th above the given note. Use the Interval Answer Charts to check your answers.
To find a Major 7th above, find the note that is a minor 2nd below. Remember that a minor 2nd below B is A
# not Bb.

 1. A  _________ 2. Eb  _________ 3. B  _________ 4. F  _________ 5. C#  _________ 6. D  _________ 7. Gb _________ 8. A#  _________ 9. E  _________ 10. Bb  _________ 11. F#  _________ 12. C  _________ 13. G  _________ 14. D#  _________ 15. Ab  _________ 16. E#  _________ 17. B#  _________ 18. Fb  _________ 19. Cb  _________ 20. G#  _________

Exercise:

Fill in the blanks with the note that is a Major 7th below the given note. Use the Interval Answer Charts to check your answers.
To find a Major 7th below, find the note that is a minor 2nd above.

 1.  _________ A 2.  _________ Eb 3.  _________ B 4.  _________ F 5.  _________ C# 6.  _________ D 7. _________ Gb 8.  _________ A# 9.  _________ E 10.  _________ Bb 11.  _________ F# 12.  _________ C 13.  _________ G 14.  _________ D# 15.  _________ Ab 16.  _________ E# 17.  _________ B# 18.  _________ Fb 19.  _________ Cb 20.  _________ G#

Exercise :

Fill in the blanks with the note that is a minor 7th above the given note. Use the Interval Answer Charts to check your answers.
To find a minor 7th above, find the note that is a Major 2nd below.

 1. A  _________ 2. Eb  _________ 3. B  _________ 4. F  _________ 5. C#  _________ 6. Db  _________ 7. Gb _________ 8. A#  _________ 9. E  _________ 10. Bb  _________ 11. F#  _________ 12. C  _________ 13. G  _________ 14. D#  _________ 15. Ab  _________ 16. E#  _________ 17. B#  _________ 18. Fb  _________ 19. Cb  _________ 20. G#  _________

Exercise P1-13D:

Fill in the blanks with the note that is a minor 7th below the given note. Use the Interval Answer Charts to check your answers.
To find a minor 7th  below, find the note that is a Major 2nd above.

 1.  _________ A 2.  _________ Eb 3.  _________ B 4.  _________ F 5.  _________ C# 6.  _________ D 7. _________ Gb 8.  _________ A# 9.  _________ E 10.  _________ Bb 11.  _________ F# 12.  _________ C 13.  _________ G 14.  _________ D# 15.  _________ Ab 16.  _________ E# 17.  _________ B# 18.  _________ Fb 19.  _________ Cb 20.  _________ G#

How to Find Perfect 8ths Above or Below Any Note

A Perfect 8th is 12 half steps (known as an octave) above or below a given note. It is especially easy to name this note because it is always the same note name. A Perfect 8th above C is C. A Perfect 8th below C is C. A Perfect 8th above D is D, and so on. In contrast to Perfect Primes, which are the exact same pitch, a Perfect 8th is always an octave (12 half steps) above or below the given note.

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