How to read guitar notes - step 2

Sharps and flats - # and b

So far we've gone through the natural notes, but these notes can also be raised or lowered.

A sharp (#) raises a natural note by a half step.
A flat (b) lowers the natural note by a half step.
A Reset Mark "resets" the note (F# goes back to F, Bb goes back to B and so on).

Here is an example of notes being raised lowered and reset:

Sharps Flats

Keys and key signatures

A key tells you what the harmonic center of the song is. The baseline of all major keys in music is C. This key has no sharps or flats in it. All other keys do. For example the key of G has one # and key of D has two #. The key of F has one b, the key of Bb has two b.

So when your reading notes in the key of G and an F note comes up, it is automatically raised to a F#.

Here are all the major key signatures:

Key Signatures

Minor keys

A song can also be in a minor key. The minor keys are relative to the major keys. For example: A minor is the relative minor of C major and has the same notes. G minor is the relative minor of Bb major and so on. The relative minor is 3 half steps down from the major

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