Half and Whole Step FAQS

  1. What is a half step (and/or whole step)?
  2. What is a minor second (and/or major second)?
  3. What is the difference between a half step and a minor second (and/or between a whole step and a major second)?
  4. What are the "natural" half steps and whole steps?

  1. What is a half step (and/or whole step)?
  2. A half step is the distance between two adjacent keys on the piano or between two frets on the guitar. A whole step is comprised of two half steps.
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  3. What is a minor second (or major second)?
  4. A minor second is an interval. The interval of a second is created when you move from (or compare) two pitches which are one alphabetic letter apart (such as A,B or F,G). A minor second is a second which is comprised of two notes which are a half step apart. A major second is a second which is comprised of two notes which are a whole step apart.
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  5. What is the difference between a half step and a minor second (and/or between a whole step and a major second)?
  6. A half step is a relationship between two notes, and a minor second is an interval.
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  7. What are the natural half steps and whole steps?
  8. The natural half steps are "B,C" and "E,F". The natural whole steps are "A,B"; "C,D"; "D,E"; "F,G"; and "G,A".
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