All About 5ths

SATURDAY, September 28, 2019

All About 5ths…

Any 5 (5th) uses two letters and skips three. For example, C to G is a 5th. Either note can be sharped, or flatted, or both. One can be sharp and the other flat. Anything is theoretically possible. Regardless of how strange it looks or feels in your hands, or how weird it sounds, it’s a 5 (5th). Some possibilities are so weird or impractical that you will probably never see them or write them. But they are theoretically possible. As you play intervals you may see two black notes, two white notes or one of each. Now, here are the 5s (5ths) that are used frequently:

  • 5 (perfect 5th) does not have a name for the sound only, but think of it as a a half step bigger than a tritone. The two keys you play can be both colors, or both can be white, or both can be black keys. It is the default 5 (5th), just the number 5 in chords, because it is the 5th note in a major scale.
  • b5 (diminshed 5th) us a tritone, the same sound and look and feel on the keyboard as #4.
  • #5 (augmented 5th)is four whole steps. It is one whole step larger than a tritone. You will see it most frequently in augmented chords.

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