Intervals on a guitar fretboard

Intervals are the distance between 2 notes in music. we measure the distances in half-steps (or semi-tones). 1 half-step/semi-tone is 1 note apart; i.e. the distance between B – C or F – F# etc.

The order of intervals is as follows:

  • Unison – 0 half-steps
  • minor 2nd – 1 half-step
  • Major 2nd – 2 half-steps
  • minor 3rd – 3 half-steps
  • Major 3rd – 4 half-steps
  • Perfect 4th – 5 half-steps
  • Augmented 4th – 6 half-steps
  • Perfect 5th – 7 half-steps
  • minor 6th – 8 half-steps
  • Major 6th – 9 half-steps
  • minor 7th – 10 half-steps
  • Major 7th – 11 half-steps
  • Perfect 8th – 12 half-steps

Below is our diagram of intervals on the guitar fret board, using A as our Root note. our first diagram shows you all your perfect 8ths (octaves) up to the 12th fret.

Guitar Fretboard - Roots.jpg


Our next diagram highlights your root – major 3rd – perfect 5th and major 7th.

Purple: Major 3rd

Yellow: Perfect 5th

Blue: Major 7th

Guitar fret board intervals - 1 - 3 - 5 - 7

Become familiar with the distances of these intervals, then you can quickly figure out the rest.

why are intervals important?

knowing how to quickly find intervals is essential for improvisation! You will be able to quickly figure out and build extended chords as well as being able to learn scales in a more efficient way!

observe the distances on your own guitar and practice with a different root note. once your ready to move on – click here for our intervals and scales building lesson!