Ari’s Interval Formula for the Bass Player Explained

Ari's Interval Formula

The Interval Formula started with me calling an octave a “2 by 2” and a fifth a “2 by 1″…

A “2×2” is a mnemonic for one great way of fingering the octave on the bass: two frets over, two strings over. Same principle for the fifth…

Mnemonics rock my world when teaching because they drive complex matters home fast (See my articles on mnemonics, Part 1 and Part 2).

While designing the wall chart (AKA the Music Theory Cheat Sheet!), there was color coding involved and arrows and fingerings and the light bulb went off: why not take this concept all the way and apply this idea to all intervals!

The results are great, because once again, thinking of intervals this way (ie: measured on the fret board!) really drives home:

  • how notes relate
  • the way intervals work
  • how strings relate to each other
  • best fingerings for intervals
  • and it creates a productive way to practice the intervals

The Wall Chart features the interval formula in a color coded fashion, complete with best-practice fingerings, numbers of half steps and most important ways to finger them.

Best way to work with it? pick an interval a day and wrap your mind around it. Theory needs practice (its name, then, is really deceiving 😉 )

I have created 45 minutes of video to go with the wall chart. Overview, exercises and one on the epic IF – Interval Formula.

Interval are the basic building blocks of music theory – if you are able to find them on the fretboard, it really pays off: for scales, triads, chords, but also extensions, alterations, compound intervals… it all starts with the basic intervals within the octave. 0 to 12 half steps. Know them on the bass with good fingering, who and how they work and you have a huge leg up. It is necessary to practice them a bit, so that’s where the chart comes in handy. This video shows practice suggestions.   This one gives an overview.

But now check out the video on the Interval Formula here: