All About 6ths


Rules for 6ths:
  1. The intervals that are white notes use only white piano keys. Those that are black notes use at least one black piano key.
  2. 6ths use six letters. (For example, C—A is C D E F G A.) Their “size” depends on how many keys we skip.
  3. A diminished 6th skips six keys. It is three whole steps + a half step.
  4. A minor 6th skips seven keys. It is four whole steps.
  5. A Major 6th skips eight keys. It is four whole steps + a half step.
  6. An augmented 6th skips nine keys. It is five whole steps.


Note to more advanced students:
  1. Circle one shows an unusual spelling of a G half diminished chord moving to a G dim7, which then “slides” to an F#7 chord.
  2. Circle two shows a C augmented chord, spelled enharmonically, resolving to an Ab Major chord.
  3. Circle three shows an F7 chord used as a German 6th chord, resolving to Em.

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