Day 2.

 

 

Lesson II - Intervals or half-steps and whole-steps and Numbers or 'Positions'

 

 

Definition: an interval is the distance between notes on a scale.

 

Definition: scale: a sequence of notes arranged in order of pitch.

 

Definition: pitch: the highness or lowness of a sound. Pitch is comprised of multiple frequencies such as tone(s) and overtones. The sensation of pitch is created by multiple frequencies, all in a steady, repetitious time relationship (milliseconds) which stimulate a tiny membrane in our ears. Our brain interprets the signals from the nerves from that membrane as a single pitch. So the perception of pitch is comprised of multiple time related perceptions the sum total of which gets a single label, a note. The frequencies and variations that are acceptable ('correct') to us as components of any pitch have been unconsciously learned by us since we were children if we were born into this culture. Some variation in the acceptable frequencies still enables our brains to interpret a sound as a certain pitch. Some variation but not too much otherwise we won't give a sound acceptance or validation.

 

Definition: frequency: the number per second of vibrations or waves or cycles of any periodic phenomenon, one which occurs at regular intervals.

 

Definition: tone: a musical sound of definite pitch. A note.

 

Definition: overtones are harmonics.

 

Definition: harmonics: partial tones or overtones which accompany a simple tone. They're produced in conjunction with or at the same time as the simple or primary tone, the only one that you think you're picking or plucking. They're produced at lower volumes than the simple or primary tone. That's why you can't hear them at first, until your ears become more refined through experience.

 

I use the word, 'volume', to mean loudness.

 

Definition: simple tone: a single frequency often unrecognizable as a pitch or a note since a pitch is made up of multiple frequencies, see above. An example of a single frequency is a sine wave as measured by and displayed on an oscilloscope.

 

Pitch seems very complicated and it is. However, pitch is something that we can all perceive very easily and naturally since we're bombarded by pitches every minute of every day and we're so accustomed to them that hearing them comes completely naturally.

 

A scale is our western culture's definition of how we choose (from all the millions of possible pitches that there are) the specific pitches or notes that we then use to construct all the rest of our music structure. This is tough to understand but now, from Lesson I, you are capable of learning two (or more) ideas and combining them into a useful third idea, so you can be confident that you can understand this.

 

Definition: position: a unique placement in a structure or sequence. A place occupied (by a note in a scale). The positions in a scale are numbered consecutively 1 through 8. 1st position, 2nd position, 3rd position, etc . . .

 

 

By the way, just because these lessons are so short and succinct, it doesn't mean that you ought to understand them and learn them instantly. Some people take years to learn this stuff. So why don't you take hours or even days.

 

 

Stop here. Today's practice did not even require you to pick up your bass. Reread today's info many times and try to relate all the definitions to each other. If you want to play your bass today, go over the info in day 1.

 

 

End of day 2.