Memorizing Sharps/Flats

dvenetian
Registered User
Joined: 04/23/06
Posts: 627
06/27/2007 10:44 pm
Trying to remember the notes in every Key can be challenging, especially where Sharps or flats are involved. Here's a method that may help some who are struggling in part while having general knowledge and understanding of the Diatonic scale.
Note; Each Diatonic scale contains one Tritone in it's make-up. the Tritone is located dead center between a Note and it's Octive. Example; Starting from
A to A (Octive) would take 12 half steps to complete, so the center would be at the 6th half step interval from A.
Starting again from A to A (Octive) would also take 6 Whole steps to complete, so the center would be at the 3rd Whole step interval from A.

In half steps from A is; A-A#-B-C-C#-D-D#; So from A, D# (Eb) is the tritone.

In Whole steps from A is; A-B-C#-D#; again D# (Eb)

So, 3 Whole steps (W-W-W) from any note is it's Tritone Interval.

With that said, this method uses the Tritone in Diatonic scales as reference points.
Since we used A to figure the intervals, Let's use the A Major scale and find the Tritone. A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G#. The only notes that allow 3 whole steps and remain in the scale are D and G#. So the intervals of the Major scale that contain the Tritone are between the 4th (D) and 7th (G#) intervals.
Finally we come to the Tritone Method.
With sharps, the method involves looking at the last Accidental in a key, so in the Key of A above, it's G#, a half step below A. Now if we sharpen the other note of the tritone (D) to D#, it becomes a half step below E (the same distance G# is from A) (the Tonic) So, if we start from E and follow the notes of the A Major scale and add our new sharp, it's E-F#-G#-A-B-C#-D# and the E Major scale. If we did the method again, D# and A = Tritone, sharpen A to A# = the B Major scale.

Now with flats the method involves looking at the last Natural in a key; Bb Major scale Bb-C-D-Eb-F-G-A. You see it right? 4th and 7th swapped roles. Last Natural is A. W-W-W = Eb (Tritone) Flatten A to Ab and the only note a half step below relating with the Tritone is D to Eb.
SO, Eb-F-G-Ab-Bb-C-D = the Eb Major Scale.
Now, say you were to play a Bb7 chord in a progression (Bb-D-F-Ab). Notice how the 3rd (D) and the b7th (Ab) are the Tritone in the Eb Major scale. By flattening part of the Tritone in Bb (A to Ab) automatically connects with the note a half step lower (Eb to D) in the new scale to form a Tritone. Ab now becomes a Perfect Interval to Eb.

Next .....Ab-Bb-C-Db-Eb-F-G = Ab Major scale

With Natural minor scales, the Tritone is between the 2nd and 6th intervals.
dvenetian
Registered User
Joined: 04/23/06
Posts: 627
06/28/2007 11:20 pm
What natural notes need to Become Accidentals (Sharp or Flat) to create the following scales and what is the proper entity used (# or b note) After listing the modified notes, position all notes of the scale in their proper order.

A-B-C-D-E-F-G

1) A Major Scale

2) Ab Major Scale

3) F# minor scale (Natural minor. Question 4 and 5 as well)

4) F minor scale

5) G#/Ab minor scale (Which title is best and write the order of notes)

1) C#, F#, G#=== A-B-C#-D-E-F#-G#

2) Ab, Bb, Db, Eb=====Ab-Bb-C-Db-Eb-F-G

3) F#, G#, C#=====F#-G#-A-B-C#-D-E

4) Ab, Bb, Db, Eb======F-G-Ab-Bb-C-Db-Eb

5) G#, A#,C#, D#, F#=====G#-A#-B-C#-D#-E-F#

dvenetian
Registered User
Joined: 04/23/06
Posts: 627
06/29/2007 8:01 am
Same guidelines; M = Major; m = minor (natural unless noted)
Scales again, add accidentals for proper order. then more challenging stuff

E-F-G-A-B-C-D

1) Gb M scale (list order of notes)

2) Db/C# M scale (same start position, can both remain in order? Are they the same note or different? List discoveries, if any)>

3) Fm scale - list order and compare with the order of F#m scale. Any common or different interests between them?

4) Now Compare the following pairs of notes; (A-Ab),,,(G-Gb),,,(B-Bb),,,,,,,,,,
and (E-Eb) All by their Major scales. Anything when comparing Major?

5) Total number of Key signatures (M) with all notes in proper order?

1) Gb-Ab-Bb-Cb-Db-Eb-F

2) Db M scale = Db-Eb-F-Gb-Ab-Bb-C------ C#-D#-E#-F#-G#-A#-B#
Db M contains 5 accidentals--------------C# M contains 7 accidentals
Db is preferred and easier to use by only dealing with 5 accidentals

3) F-G-Ab-Bb-C-Db-Eb,,,,,,--------F#-G#-A-B-C#-D-E
Fm contains 4b"s And F#m contains 3#'s, which total 7 Accidentals

4) A = 3#'s--Ab = 4b's (7) / G = 1#---Gb = 6b's (7) / B= 5#'s--Bb= 2b's (7)
E = 4#'s-- Eb = 3b's (7)/// The total combined accidentals = 7
another discovery is the flip flop of accidentals By interval values created by a semitone in the Tonics. Example; Accidentals are denoted by small letters. Naturals are Capped.

f g c d
E A B E Major scale

e a b
F G C D Eb Major scale

5) total = 15 M Keys-----12 by notes available-- And 3 overlapping but qualify from following the order. The 3 keys Are F# M---C# M and Cb M scales.

dvenetian
Registered User
Joined: 04/23/06
Posts: 627
07/03/2007 1:04 am
Identification of Keys containing #'s, verses, b's.
Key of;
C = 0 (no #'s or b's)
G = 1 #
D = 2 #'s
A = 3 #'s
E = 4 #'s
B = 5 #'s
F#=6 #'s
________________________________
F = 1 b
Bb = 2 b's
Eb = 3 b's
Ab = 4 b's
Db = 5 b's
Gb = 6 b's

Notice that A = 3 #'s and each note beside A (Bb) and (Ab) take 1 more or 1 less b note to complete it's Key.
da_ardvark
Registered User
Joined: 07/11/06
Posts: 407
07/03/2007 8:33 pm
A memnomic to remember the order (I start with F knowing its on flat)

Fists
Could
Guide
Americans
Even
Better
(Switch to flats)
Guide