Song Examples Of The Harmonic Use of 2nd Intervals
I was inspired to write this blog after encountering the occasional student who objects to practicing 2nd intervals. 🙂
I know: they sound dissonant, but all tension is important in art because it creates spice, motion, and resolution.
Writing this blog had been on my to-do list for a really long time, but here it finally is: a list of songs that use 2nd intervals harmonically. (Meaning: “both notes in the interval played as a harmony”, as opposed to “one after another”.)
- Not of This Earth (Satriani)
The sus2 chords in the intro with the unmistakable major 2nd dissonance in the chords.
- Erotomania (Dream Theater)
The sus2 chords in the intro. (Similar to “Not of This Earth”.)
- Little Wing (Jimi Hendrix)
Tons of harmonic 2nds in this song. Here’s some examples:
- 2nd bar, 3rd beat. (notes C and D ringing together)
- 3rd bar, 3rd beat (notes D and E ringing together)
- 4th bar, 3rd beat (notes G and A ringing together)
- 4th bar, 4th beat (notes G and A ringing together)
- 5th bar, 3rd beat (notes A and B ringing together)
- 6th bar, 2nd beat (notes B and C ringing together)
- Helter Skelter (The Beatles)
The first 2 bars of the song: the notes D and E
- Hey Joe (Jimi Hendrix)
The first beat of the intro: the notes D and E
- The Snake (Joe Satriani, “Not Of This Earth” album)
The chords at 2:06 which have the E F minor 2nd as the top 2 notes in the chord.
- Memories (Joe Satriani, “Not Of This Earth” album)
This is THE song that showcases great use of harmonical 2nds as a soloing tool.
At 00:56 into the song: there are 2 consecutive harmonically played 2nd intervals C-D followed by B-C
- Dreaming #11 (Joe Satriani, “Time Machine” album)
There are a ton of 2nd intervals in the intro to this song.
The intro is a series of consecutive 2nd intervals resolving into 3rds. This is a technique you can use in your guitar solos.
I know there are a lot of Joe Satriani examples, but that is only because:
- I quickly wrote the songs down that I remembered having 2nd intervals, many of which happened to be Satriani songs because I play a lot of his music.
- I opened a book with Satriani songs and looked through the music notation.
If I had looked through Jimi Hendrix song charts or Steve Vai song charts, there would have been more Jimi and Steve examples in the above list. 🙂
Jimi and Steve, as well as any top guitarist, use 2nd intervals very regularly.
So to all the students who are apprehensive of practicing 2nds harmonically: hopefully the above examples show their value and will inspire you to want to practice them as much as you practice the consonant intervals.
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