3rds and 6ths and h...

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# 3rds and 6ths and harmonization

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(@jsnood)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 84
Topic starter

In the book I'm using, Lou Manzi's Fingerstyle method he talks about harmonizing with 3rds and 6ths.

The books says that the 3rd of an A in an A major scale is C# and that you harmonize an A with it's 3rd by playing it with the higher C#. Fine, I get that.

But it then says that to harmonize with a 6th you play back 6 intervals lower to get also to a C#. And then goes on to say that 3rds and 6ths are inversions of each other.

I understand this.

But, isn't F# the 6th in an A major scale?

Thanks.

There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. - A.J. Muste

(@nicktorres)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381

The 6th of an A Major scale and a 6th lower than C# are different things.

(@noteboat)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 4921

Yes, F# is the 6th in the A major scale.

This might get a bit confusing... but harmonizing by thirds and sixths are different animals with the same notes. First the easy part: in number terms, intervals inverted always add up to nine - a fourth inverted becomes a fifth, a third inverted becomes a sixth.

Now the tricky part - when you invert an interval, you also change its quality. Major intervals become minor, minor intervals become major. Only perfect intervals stay the same (which is why they're perfect). So you go up a major third, or down a minor sixth.

So if you've got A, the major third above is C#. Invert that, and you've got a sixth - C# to A. Notice that C# is now on the bottom, so we've got to look at it in the key of C#... the sixth in C# is A#. Lowering this (to make it a minor sixth) gets you to A natural.

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(@jsnood)
Estimable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 84
Topic starter

Thanks all, I think I understand.

Harmonizing with a 6th below is different than naming the 6th of a scale.

There is no way to peace. Peace is the way. - A.J. Muste

(@steve-0)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1162

Then of course you can use more then one octave and use 10ths (3rds up an octave) and 13ths (6ths up an octave). The options are almost endless

Steve-0

(@alex_)
Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 608

lets not forget confusing.