2nd and 3rd Intervals On The Piano

How To Find 2nd And 3rd Intervals On Piano

With 88 keys on the piano it can quickly get confusing as you try to understand where you are in relation to individual notes in a piece. Thankfully, intervals are a way for all musicians, regardless of instrument, to communicate with each other in a clear way!


What Are Intervals?

Intervals are how you describe how far apart notes are on the piano keyboard or any instrument. These same terms apply when it comes to written music.

If you have read “Beginner Major Scales On Piano” and “Beginner Minor Scales On The Piano“, then you have already seen two types of intervals. We just happened to use a different name.

For our purposes, you’ll be learning about Major vs. minor intervals. Plus, how the half and whole steps we covered earlier help in figuring out these intervals.


What Is a 2nd Interval?

The smallest possible interval on the piano is a minor 2nd interval. The notes are only a half step apart.

The next smallest interval on a piano is a Major 2nd interval. The notes are a whole step apart.

Because these intervals are so small, we often call them a “step”. When you begin to play these on the piano, do you notice it feels and looks like you are stepping up or down the keys?

To see and hear what this looks like on the piano, watch the video below or click here.


What Is A 3rd Interval?

As you might have guessed, a 3rd interval is the next smallest interval on the piano. These also come in Major and minor varieties!

What makes these intervals so unique is you can use them to hear or see whether a chord is Major or minor. And, they may even help you figure out if a song is in a Major or minor key! For such a small interval it plays a might role in music.

Minor 3rd intervals are created by combining a whole and half step.

Major 3rd intervals are created by combining two whole steps.

Because we skip a note, we often calls these a “skip” on the piano.

To see and hear what this looks like, watch the video below or click here.


Review of 2nd And 3rd Intervals

  1. Intervals are a way of quickly describing how far apart notes are.
  2. 2nd intervals are often called a “step”.
  3. 3rd intervals often call a “skip”.
  4. Both 2nd and 3rd intervals can have Major and minor versions.

Do you prefer 2nd or 3rd intervals? Or, do you have more questions about 2nd and 3rd intervals?

Let me know in the comments!


Have you ever been in a situation where the topic was way over your head? You may have been left wondering “If this is for a beginner, is it really worth starting?” Piano lessons should never feel overwhelming.

In this beginner series, you are building on the learning from previous articles. Plus, you get a peek into what it’s like in the Must Love Music studio where we:

  • Keep it simple
  • Keep it fun
  • And make it interactive.

If you want to jump start your piano playing, click the button below or here.


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