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Interval Exercises

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I want to spend some time working on intervals (3rd, 4ths, etc). It's something i've done a lot, but in an adhoc fashion.

Problem is that it's very easy to lose yourself in these exercises, working with different scales, interval patterns, modes, leading with different fingers, different tempos etc. But the time i've done just one set, eg 3rds, I'm exhausted.

Does anyone know the best way to work on this stuff without either burning out or not doing it properly?

Thanks

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Rome wasn’t built in a day! Keep it simple and focus on one or two different exercises. For example, play thirds ascending, going up the first pair of notes and down the second. So in G major, play a low G (3rd fret, E), then B (2nd fret, A), then up a fret to C and down to A (5th fret, E), then  up to B, and  up to D, up to E and down to C, Up to D and up to F#, up to G and down to E, up to F# and up to A, and finally Up to B and down to G. 

Then take the above exercise and invert each pair of notes, first pair of notes are descending, 2nd pair ascending. It’s harder as you’re not now starting on the root but the 3rd - so: B and G, A and C, D and B, C and E, F# and D, E and G, A and F# and finally G and B.

Instead of picking other exercises stick with the two above, play them over 1 and 2 octaves, then all over the neck, top to bottom. Play them up one string as far as you can, then 4 notes on each string, and once comfortable, around the cycle of 4ths in all 12 keys. It sounds like a ton of work but once you get the shape and sound of each pair of 3rds, it does become a lot easier, is a fantastic way to learn the fingerboard and gets you away from purely scale based, one note next to each other type lines.

Where theory turns into music is when you call upon this type of knowledge to build lines based on intervals, triads and sequences - add these to scale based and chromatic lines and you have all the required materials for improvisation. However I’d recommend starting as above with 3rds as they appear in the majority of chords, so provide an excellent foundation for both regular bass playing and playing up the dusty end :)

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Thanks

To be clear, i've been doing these exercises for a while, so I understand the theory behind them :D

However trying to econompass all the different permutations in such a way that the practice is worthwhile and building up tempo leaves me utterly exhausted.

And that's just thirds! There's 4ths 5ths 6ths and 7ths (never mind if you want to go further)!

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