F sharps in

Guitar Tricks Forum > Music Theory > F sharps in

wmbiggle

Full Access

Joined: 08/16/17

Posts: 4

F sharps in G major scale??

I have run across this before and don't understand, but I think I may be able to at least explain my confusion now.

I was looking at the G major scale and noted the f#"s. I can play that ok. In a book of beginner songs I am seeing songs in the G major key signature. However these basic songs do not have any f# notes.

My question: why does the song have a G major key when it plays the same as a C major key? I hope that made sense!

Thanks, MikeB

#1

F sharps in G major scale??

I have run across this before and don't understand, but I think I may be able to at least explain my confusion now.

I was looking at the G major scale and noted the f#"s. I can play that ok. In a book of beginner songs I am seeing songs in the G major key signature. However these basic songs do not have any f# notes.

My question: why does the song have a G major key when it plays the same as a C major key? I hope that made sense!

Thanks, MikeB

jarkko.eklund

Full Access

Joined: 09/25/13

Posts: 123

Strange indeed. I don't have an answer to your question, but I can quess some explanation.

In the key of G major, chord F#dim is vii° chord, which is very rare in western popular music. That's why you don't see F#dim chord in songs. However, a note F# belongs to Bm (iii chord) and D (V chord) as well. The V chord is used in majority of songs. Therefore note F# should be present in songs which are played in the G major key.

In the standard notation sheet #-mark isn't typically present for all the notes that have a sharp value. The key signature mark in the beginning of notation applies to whole song (or until the key change). Maybe that's why you don't see F# notes in notation?

#2

Strange indeed. I don't have an answer to your question, but I can quess some explanation.

In the key of G major, chord F#dim is vii° chord, which is very rare in western popular music. That's why you don't see F#dim chord in songs. However, a note F# belongs to Bm (iii chord) and D (V chord) as well. The V chord is used in majority of songs. Therefore note F# should be present in songs which are played in the G major key.

In the standard notation sheet #-mark isn't typically present for all the notes that have a sharp value. The key signature mark in the beginning of notation applies to whole song (or until the key change). Maybe that's why you don't see F# notes in notation?

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 4882

Originally Posted by: wmbiggle

I was looking at the G major scale and noted the f#"s. I can play that ok. In a book of beginner songs I am seeing songs in the G major key signature. However these basic songs do not have any f# notes.

My question: why does the song have a G major key when it plays the same as a C major key?

What's the song?

In general, it's possible for a song to be in a certain key but not use all the notes of the scale that forms the key. Especially beginner songs, might not need to use as many chords or notes.

Consider that most nursery rhymes are very simple melodies that don't contain all the notes of a scale. But they still clearly imply the scale & a key signature because of the order & relationship of the chords. If a song starts & ends on a G chord, then you are probably in G major.

For example, if you play Mary Had a Little Lamb in G major the notes are:

b-b-a-g-a-b-b-b

a-a-a

b-d-d

b-b-a-g-a-b-b-b

a-a-b-a-g

No f#s neeeded. :)

However, if you consider the chord progression implied by that melody, then you see quickly see that it implies a G major & a D major chord as the tonic & dominant.

G

b-b-a-g-a-b-b-b

D

a-a-a

G

b-d-d

G

b-b-a-g-a-b-b-b

D G

a-a-b-a-g

And the D major chord does have an f# note in it.

Hope this helps! Please ask more if necessary!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#3

Originally Posted by: wmbiggle

I was looking at the G major scale and noted the f#"s. I can play that ok. In a book of beginner songs I am seeing songs in the G major key signature. However these basic songs do not have any f# notes.

My question: why does the song have a G major key when it plays the same as a C major key?

What's the song?

In general, it's possible for a song to be in a certain key but not use all the notes of the scale that forms the key. Especially beginner songs, might not need to use as many chords or notes.

Consider that most nursery rhymes are very simple melodies that don't contain all the notes of a scale. But they still clearly imply the scale & a key signature because of the order & relationship of the chords. If a song starts & ends on a G chord, then you are probably in G major.

For example, if you play Mary Had a Little Lamb in G major the notes are:

b-b-a-g-a-b-b-b

a-a-a

b-d-d

b-b-a-g-a-b-b-b

a-a-b-a-g

No f#s neeeded. :)

However, if you consider the chord progression implied by that melody, then you see quickly see that it implies a G major & a D major chord as the tonic & dominant.

G

b-b-a-g-a-b-b-b

D

a-a-a

G

b-d-d

G

b-b-a-g-a-b-b-b

D G

a-a-b-a-g

And the D major chord does have an f# note in it.

Hope this helps! Please ask more if necessary!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

wmbiggle

Full Access

Joined: 08/16/17

Posts: 4

That makes sense Christopher. The songs do show the chord in G.

Thanks

#4

That makes sense Christopher. The songs do show the chord in G.

Thanks

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 4882

Originally Posted by: wmbiggle

That makes sense Christopher. The songs do show the chord in G.

Thanks

Good deal! You're welcome. :)

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#5

Originally Posted by: wmbiggle

That makes sense Christopher. The songs do show the chord in G.

Thanks

Good deal! You're welcome. :)

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory