LISTENING BY SONGNow comes the hard part--but the fun part--applying these principles to songs. I have read that the easiest way to learn the intervals is to hear them in a song. Some people have given examples of the first two notes of certain songs as a way to memorize what the interval sounds like, such as C-E (M3) are the first two notes for Michael Row the Boat Ashore, or C-C (P8) as the first two notes to Take Me Out to the Ball Game. I have tried this technique briefly with the C scale, but when I listened to a song in its entirety I was completely lost. I wondered how I would know what key the song is in and how I would know what the intervals were for the entire song. It is said that there is a 90+% chance that the very last note of a song is the key the song is written in. This is a major clue. But I wondered if there was some other quality that distinguished one key from another that was recognizable before you got to the very last note. I could not recognize anything in particular except that some keys sound higher or lower than others. But on the guitar it also depends on what position you are playing the song in. Then I tried playing in different positions and there was not any real difference except when you went to a higher octave. An open C scale sounded like a C scale on the VIII fret. But a C scale open beginning on the second string was another octave.
I took a song to look closer at: Give My Regards to Broadway. This song is in the public domain and I have seen it written in both the key of C and the key of G. The original by the Author is in G. I like it better in C. But I am only looking at the first 7 notes. In the key of C they would be C-D-E-F-G-F-E. In the key of G they are G-A-B-C-D-C-B. If I were searching for the intervals between each of these notes I come up with the following:
There is a string of M2 intervals ending with M7 intervals. In either key, the interval is the same, even though the notes have changed. This sends me back to square one--learning by the two note method. Maybe there is some unspeakable recognition, such as recognizing color. Blue versus red. I can't describe the difference but I know there is one.