Introducing Minor Intervals

There are a lot of ways of explaining minor intervals. We have already looked at understanding intervals on other pages of this site including the previous Ear Training for mere mortals (Step One) page and other more in depth discussions including the Music Theory Rules mnemonic on the Music Theory Third Floor second page. Here we just want to get to work training our ears.

The short answer for a definition is to just think :

Any major interval lowered by one half step (one semitone) becomes minor.

Ok? Lets get to work. (with sincere thanks to for letting us customise these exercises)

Major Intervals vs. Minor Intervals Exercises

Major Seconds and Minor Seconds and Unisons

Major Thirds and Minor Thirds and Unisons

Major Sixths and Minor Sixths and Perfect Octaves

Major and Minor Seconds and Major and Minor Thirds

Major and Minor Seconds Thirds and Sixths

Major and Minor Seconds Thirds Sixths and Sevenths 

Minor Seconds Thirds Sixths and Sevenths and Tritone

Minor Sixths and Minor Sevenths Only

All Intervals

Tritones and Major Sevenths

Practice Methods

Just like explanations for music theory concepts themselves there are many ways of approaching practice routines. Small or short regular periods of practice are best. Try to treat these ear-training exercises like a type of video/audio game. Record your scores and monitor your progress. Seeing how far you have progressed can be a real motivator. Seeing where you need to overcome weaknesses can be a real time saver. You can pin point areas for focus and reinforcement.

Workout the Bugs

It may be you are getting a little frustrated with scores and benchmarks. If however you use a bit of hindsight record keeping you can cherry pick your exercises/games to save time overall and fix the little bugs that are getting in your way. You can always go right back to “Unisons or not” exercises if you need to.

Here’s a little practice record PDF  like the one above that may give you some ideas on how to keep track and focus on specifics along the road you’re on.

You Can't Watch a Tree Grow

Remember as with all developmental things like art, music and sport it takes time and regular effort to progress. Even when you feel like you are standing still or you feel like you have hit a brick wall you may later realise how far you have come and how fast you are really going. Have you ever had a house plant or a pet like a kitten or a puppy or even a lizard?! If you have you may have had the experience of going on holiday for a week or two only to come home to whom ever was plant watering or pet sitting to see a changed bush or creature, bigger or noticeably different in some way very clear to you. Perhaps you've found a photograph of your prized plant or beloved pet taken when it/he/she was younger and smaller and you realise how much time had changed them right under your nose without you even seeing it happen! It all kind of works that same way for your musical growth. Whether ear-training for minor intervals or even going ape on Guerrilla Guitar Tactics and Techniques. You can't really fail here you can just quit trying.

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