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  1. #1

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    Hey.

    In music school, things get a bit crazy in the 5th to 7th year.
    All those keys and scales (nat.harm.mel min) with flats or sharps, up to 7 of them - thats a lot to ask to learn from busy students whos main focus is computer-games really.

    So, I've used those bits of "rules" so far.
    question: which keys have those signs?
    1. the first 3 sharps have to be memorized at any cost. that hasn't been a problem.
    2. the first 4 flats, I ask them to memorize the word "beat". or "bead" if they're older (english is not their 1st language here. but works. thanks, internet)
    3. the middle(4th - middle from the seven) flat or sharp is always D
    4. the whole row of 7 sharps is a mirror image of 7 flats - so the last 3 signs can be deducted from earlier knowledge (fis cis gis or "bead").
    5. for sharps, i ask them to look at the last sharp and remember that the parallel keys are 1 note up and 1 down from it. for flats, they should build the triad up from the last flat and the keys are like the 3rd and 5th degree of the triad.

    --------------------
    Do you have other cool&simple ways to figure them out?
    For the question "what signs has this key?" particularly.
    Last edited by emanresu; 09-28-2020 at 01:57 PM.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Father Charles goes down and ends battle= order of sharps in key sigs-First is F# then F# and C# etc...

    order of flats is the reverse--Battle ends and down goes Charles Father---first flat is Bb then Bb and Eb


    Go up a 1/2 step from last sharp in key sig to get the name of the key

    the 2nd last flat in key sig is the name of the key

  4. #3
    I've used "the 2nd last flat in key sig is the name of the key" also but found that the triad from the last flat is quicker.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by gusgtr
    Father Charles goes down and ends battle= order of sharps in key sigs-First is F# then F# and C# etc...

    order of flats is the reverse--Battle ends and down goes Charles Father---first flat is Bb then Bb and Eb


    Go up a 1/2 step from last sharp in key sig to get the name of the key

    the 2nd last flat in key sig is the name of the key
    Never learned that one, infact, I had to make up my own. I think I came up with Fast Cars Go Deftly Around Each Bend...

  6. #5

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    Why not just learn the "Cycle of Fourths/Fifths". Then you could mentally visualize the #s and bs as clock positions increasing or decreasing with each key. Also pays big dividends when looking at chord movements,
    Last edited by donojazz62220; 10-01-2020 at 01:50 PM. Reason: add

  7. #6

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    I agree. I think it's easier to memorize the cycle of fourths (which I learned as the cycle of fifths) than to memorize all these rules.

    There are only 12 entries. You have 13 things to learn, because you may occasionally see both F# and Gb.

  8. #7

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    There are only 12 entries. You have 13 things to learn, because you may occasionally see both F# and Gb.
    15 major key signatures:

    Cb Gb Db Ab Eb Bb F || C || G D A E B F# C#

    3 enharmonic key signatures:

    Db - C#
    Gb - F#
    Cb - B

    12 distinct set of notes.

  9. #8
    Some old jazzers hold up a certain amount of fingers for sharps and down a certain amount for flats.one up for G two down for b flat.

  10. #9

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    If you're in music school and you want to be a musician, just memorize the damned things. There aren't that many. It's not like memorizing the periodic table of elements, and millions of people have managed that.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by gusgtr
    Go up a 1/2 step from last sharp in key sig to get the name of the key

    the 2nd last flat in key sig is the name of the key
    Yep, these are tried and true.

    Never used the Father Charles/Charles' Father thing. The symphony conductor who taught my diatonic harmony class just told us to memorize the circles of fifths/fourths: say FCGDAEB and BEADGCF over and over as fast as you can till you just don't have to think about it any more. Shouldn't take more than a week to get that down cold. You can practice this in any spare moment you have during the day: in the shower, at the bus stop, waiting in line somewhere, shopping for groceries, cleaning house, whatever.

    And when I wanted to cheat at anything intervallic, visualizing a guitar fretboard was quite the handy crutch, for me, at least ;-)

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by bako
    15 major key signatures:

    Cb Gb Db Ab Eb Bb F || C || G D A E B F# C#

    3 enharmonic key signatures:

    Db - C#
    Gb - F#
    Cb - B
    12 distinct set of notes.
    I read stuff all the time and I can't recall ever seeing Cb or C#.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I read stuff all the time and I can't recall ever seeing Cb or C#.
    "Equinox" is written out in the Real Book in C# minor. I can't imagine why anyone would need to read "Equinox" (or why you'd play it in C# other than for authenticity reasons), but if you ever want to finally read a tune in C# it's there, waiting.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Otterfan
    "Equinox" is written out in the Real Book in C# minor. I can't imagine why anyone would need to read "Equinox" (or why you'd play it in C# other than for authenticity reasons), but if you ever want to finally read a tune in C# it's there, waiting.
    C# minor is common. C# Major less so. Cb major - never seen it.

  15. #14

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    Key of A is 3#. Ab is 4b
    Key of B is 5#. Bb is 2b
    Key of C is 0. C# is 7# and Cb is 7b
    Key of D is 2#. Db is 5b
    Key of E is 4#. Eb is 3b
    Key of F is 1b. F# is 6#
    Key of G is 1#. Gb is 6b

    The two keys of the same letter always add up to 7. Therefore if you know one, you know the other.

    Also the accidentals in one key become the natural notes in the other key.

    A B C# D E F# G#
    Ab Bb C Db Eb F G

  16. #15

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    Both C# major and Cb major have enharmonic equivalents (Db and B) that most people would feel more comfortable reading in. You do see these keys pop up occasionally but they are definitely a rare occurrence. F# and Gb both have 6 accidentals so both are used. We know that generally wind instruments prefer flats and stringed instruments have a preference for sharps.

    Reading in C# and Cb is actually not that hard. When all notes are accidentals it’s just as easy as when no notes are accidentals. The William Leavitt reading books have plenty of exercises in these keys.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    C# minor is common. C# Major less so. Cb major - never seen it.
    Keys of Cb or B# or Fb or E# are nonsensical. A b stands for lowered and a # for raised. If you’re talking about the key the whole idea of lowering or raising is wrong.

    Of course a song in C# minor is great for learning a C# minor scale. But which one ...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Otterfan
    "Equinox" is written out in the Real Book in C# minor. I can't imagine why anyone would need to read "Equinox" (or why you'd play it in C# other than for authenticity reasons), but if you ever want to finally read a tune in C# it's there, waiting.
    C#m is 4 sharps. Same as Emajor.

    C#maj is somewhere around 7 sharps. If a composer wants that key, I'd expect to see it, for jazz, as Dbmaj.

    If you're in C# concert, what is the tenor playing reading? He's in D#, which is 9 sharps, when he could be in three flats.

    That said, there's also this ... (Found on the Internet)

    "There's no systematic difference (C# is always such-and-such Hz whereas Db is so-and-so). However it could easily be that the best frequency to play for C# in a particular piece would be different from a Db that you'd recently played in a different piece.

    To give an example of the sort of thing, imagine you're in a string quartet and you're playing something in A major. Violins, violas and cellos all have open strings for A, and you can't tweak the frequency of an open string, so for the A's you have to live with whatever you tuned the strings to, probably A=440 Hz. C# is the third of A major, a note that will come up a lot both melodically and in the A Major chord, A+C#+E. The ideal Interval ratio for a major third harmonically is 5/4, which gives 550 Hz.

    Now to someone with a good ear, that's perceptibly flat compared to the major third in Equal temperament as used on the piano, where C# is 554.36524 Hz. So since you have only string players to consider, on any note long enough for it to matter, you'll go for the C#=550 Hz that makes the chords sound sweeter.

    But now imagine you're playing a duet with a piano in Db. The piano only has one key for C#/Db and it's the equal tempered version. As the violin player you'll have to conform or it will be awful, so it's Db=554.36524 hz."
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 10-02-2020 at 11:42 PM.

  19. #18

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    Yes. I learned the following in 10th grade and it has not failed me through numerous classical and jazz courses.

    1. Memorize the cicle of fifths and do flash-card type drills. You'll have it down in no time.

    2. Use mnemonic devices to memorize the order of sharps and flats in key signatures. The following is inspired by Aaron Shearer's music theory for guitarists:

    Order of Sharps
    Fine
    Classic
    Guitarists
    Deserve
    An
    Encore
    (B!tch)

    Order of Flats:
    Be
    Ever
    Alert
    During
    Guitar
    Class
    (F@cker)
    Last edited by GTRMan; 10-03-2020 at 02:43 PM.

  20. #19

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    I was just learning two "words" which is the concatenation of the modified notes in order of #s introduced, and the other "word" what created concatenating the name of he modified notes in order as bs introduced up to 6 concatenation both. Maximalist can do it up to 7 concatenation. So we have two "words" remembered by ear no more. Btw it is inevitable to know by heart for example which are the modified notes if remembered by ear see 4 bs.

    so this method gives me is two in one. You instantly know what notes are modified, and also with a simple conversion gives you the key also

    Example
    you wonder two #s which key. Now you say your word but stop after two, this is f#c#, so it is D major (the sharps when introduced always do the elvating the minor 7th to Major 7th so the last introduced modification is c#, then the key is half step above.

    This works with the reverse direction too. You are asking how many sharps have D major, then you know you should go in your sharp word to C#, which is the 2nd, so you instantly know both the key and both the modified notes, in one step.

    Similar rule exist for bs, you will find out the pattern.
    I learned my two words half century ago, and that's it.


    Of course there are keys what are way came out way more often in jazz, for example F, Ab, Bb, C, G, or their relatve minors like d or c minor. Sooner or later you will learn those by instinct.
    Last edited by Gabor; 10-03-2020 at 01:39 PM.

  21. #20

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    Just play with horn players, that way you only need to learn Bb and Eb.

    John