How To Find 4th And 5th Intervals On The Piano

How To Find 4th And 5th Intervals On The Piano

Intervals are a shorthand way of describing notes on the piano or in sheet music.  Rather than spending time explaining … you can have fun playing your piano, whether in piano lessons or jamming with friends! And, it turns out that 4th and 5th intervals play a huge role in the harmony of music.

This is part of a mini series about intervals on your piano. If you missed 2nd and 3rd intervals, click here for more background into intervals.


4th Intervals

Imagine the beginning of “Amazing Grace” or “Here Comes The Bride”. The first 2 notes in each song start with a 4th interval!

Unlike the Major and minor 2nd and 3rd intervals, you only need to learn one type of 4th interval: The Perfect 4th. The Perfect 4th is closely related to chords, especially when we play or hear chord inversions.

There are two ways to find Perfect 4th intervals on the piano:

  1. Root position chord: Play the tonic + the note between the top two chord notes.
  2. Chord inversions: There is a 4th in both 1st inversion and 2nd inversion chords!

To see this in action, watch the video below or click here. The video shows a fun little challenge to see how 4th intervals look on the piano. And, as always try this on your piano. The best way to learn is to try.


5th Intervals

Much like 4th intervals, 5th intervals are considered “perfect”. This makes me wonder if other intervals agree or think perhaps these two intervals are snobs. What do you think?

The easiest way to find 5th intervals is to play a root position chord without the middle note. Automatically it becomes a 5th interval!

A fun way to practice is to rock 5ths in one hand while making a melody in the other. Keeping a relaxed hand is great technique, while making your own song is just plain fun.

To see how to find 5th intervals plus the fun way to practice them, click here to watch the video. The video shows a fun little challenge to see how 5th intervals look on the piano.


4th And 5th Intervals On The Piano

For a quick review …

  1. Intervals are a way of quickly describing how far apart notes are.
  2. 4th intervals are called a “Perfect 4th” and relate to chord inversions.
  3. 5th intervals are called a “Perfec 5th” and relates to root position chords.

As always, making your own music is a great way to practice and explore new concepts.

What was your favourite way to play or find the 4th and 5th intervals?

Let me know in the comments!


Imagine learning how to play piano through fun activities, improvising (creating music in the moment) plus writing your own music!

As a parent, imagine your child’s smile as they have fun learning piano and creating music … plus, family and friends as they hear the music your child has created.

As a teen or adult student, imagine jamming with musician friends .. or wowing them with the latest song you wrote.

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

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