Tricky Music Intervals Made Easy- Hearing “Ra”

Sing the Jaws theme in your head on solfege….”Do, Ra……Do, Ra………..Do Ra Do Ra Do Ra Do Ra…..Do, Ra”. That is the interval of a minor 2nd, or “half step”.  The minor second is the smallest of the music intervals in our tonal system. “Ra” is relatively easy to hear when going back and forth between “Do” and “Ra”. Jumping to “Ra” from somewhere else in the scale, however, is considerably harder. I created this video tutorial to help you do exactly that. 

Music Intervals

To find more tutorials on music intervals, check these out-


“Me & Se”

“Fa & La”

The Chromatic Solfege Scale

“Ra” is the flat 2 scale degree. A half step above “Do” and a half step below “Re”, “Ra” is essentially “Re” flat. If this seems confusing and you are not familiar with the chromatic scale solfege, check out this tutorial- “How To Sing The Chromatic Solfege Scale”

music intervals

You may have noticed that the chromatic solfege scale uses different syllables for the notes going up and coming down. Think of the ascending notes as sharps (#) and the descending notes as flats (b).

For instance, “Ra” and “Di” are the exact same pitch. So….Why am I calling this note “Ra” instead of “Di”? Well, to create a minor 2nd, we lower Re to Ra. When lowering notes, descending solfege (or flats) are  used. In this aural context, this is really just conceptual and either syllable can be used.

This exercise works the same way if you replace “Ra” with “Di”. It is good to practice using both syllables for sight singing purposes.

How To Practice

Practice singing the exercise in all twelve keys. If you can play the piano, sit down at the keyboard and play the exercise for yourself. If you don’t play piano, use the video tutorial in this article- I take you through the exercise in all twelve keys. Once you’ve got “Ra” in your ear, try jumping around the  major or chromatic scale and landing on “Ra”. The goal is to be able to hear “Ra” no matter where in the scale you are coming from.

Here is the exercise written out in the key of C Major.

music intervals



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