Using the Key / Note Image List to Know the Major Keys
The same list of images that represented notes can also represent the major keys. Each image you learned can represent one major key with sharps and one major key with flats. Every major key has a key signature on the staff that shows how many sharps or flats are in that major key.
Major Keys with Sharps
Just as you move forward to name the sharp notes, you also move forward to name the major keys that have sharps. The first letter in each image name also matches the letter name of a major key with sharps. It is important to remember that when naming sharp notes (the last Focal Point), you always say “sharp” after each note. However when naming major keys with sharps, only two of the key names contain the word “sharp.” The only time you say “sharp” in the key name when naming major keys with sharps is when the image has a sharp edge. Below are the only two images with sharp edges.
This is why the fin and car have sharp edges. The sharp edge on the fin and the sharp edges on the car remind you that these two images represent F# Major and C# Major. The rest of the images do not have sharp edges and therefore have no “sharp” in the key name. Even though these keys have no “sharp” in the name, these keys still have notes that are sharp in their key signature.
Memorize The Key / Note Image List for Major Keys with Sharps
The Key / Note Image list in the forward order gives you all of the major keys with sharps. You can now recite all major keys that have sharps in the key signature. Practice saying the Key / Note Image list as a list of major keys with sharps. Remember that the sharp edge(s) in fin and car represent F# Major and C# Major. Visualize the images as you practice reciting the major keys.
F# Major - C# Major - G Major - D Major - A Major - E Major - B Major
Major Keys with Flats
The Key / Note Image list also represents all of the major key with flats. We will name the major keys with flats by visualizing the Key / Note Images in the backward order. To get the correct key name for Major keys with flats, just add the flat sign to the letter portion of the key name for every key except the last one, which is F Major.
Memorize The Key / Note Image List for Major Keys with Flats
For each image from bike through car you just add a flat sign to the letter name in the key to get the correct major key with flats. Fin is different. Fin is the only image that represents a Major key with flats that does not have a flat in the name. Fin represents F Major. Remember, when naming the notes that are flat, you say “flat” for all the notes, including the note Fb. But when naming major keys with flats the fin represents “F Major.”
Bb Major - Eb Major - Ab Major - Db Major - Gb Major - Cb Major - F Major
Practice using the image list forwards to name major keys with sharps and backwards to name major keys with flats. Think of each image in the forward order for sharps (fin first) but just say the major key instead of the image name. Then think of each image in the backward order and say the major key names of the major keys with flats. Do this until you can quickly name the major keys with sharps and the major keys with flats.
Number your paper for the questions below. Cover up the key lists above and list the names of all the major keys with sharps and flats. Write the names of the keys with sharps in forward order and keys with flats in backward order according to the Key / Note Image sequence.
In each blank name two major keys, first name the major key with sharps and then name the major key with flats, which are represented by each image.
1. fin ____________________________ 2. car ____________________________
3. gear ___________________________ 4. die ____________________________
5. arm ___________________________ 6. ear ____________________________
7. bike ____________________________
One Major Exception
There is one major key that has not been taught yet. This is because that major key has zero sharps and zero flats in its key signature. The name of that key is C Major. To remember that C Major has zero sharps and flats, see a “C” with a zero bursting out of the top of it.
C Major - Zero Sharps and Zero Flats
This is an important exercise. Recite all the major keys from memory.
Start by naming C major first (zero sharps and flats). Then go through the Key / Note Image list in your mind starting with fin and name the two major keys represented by each image in the list. Practice this mentally until you can do it quickly and easily.
Keeping NOTES and KEYS Separate in Your Mind
It is very important to keep the idea of using the Key / Note Image list to name notes and using the same list to name major keys separate. When naming notes, the notes are always ALL sharp or ALL flat. When naming Major keys, only keys with sharp edges have a sharp in the name. Keys with flats have a flat in the name except for F Major.
Major Keys with Sharps
1) F# Major 2) C# Major 3) G Major 4) D Major 5) A Major 6) E Major 7) B Major
Major Keys with Flats
1) Bb Major 2) Eb Major 3) Ab Major 4) Db Major 5) Gb Major 6) Cb Major 7) F Major
Exercise 3-B: 1) F# Major, F Major 2) C# Major, Cb Major 3) G Major, Gb Major
4) D Major, Db Major 5) A Major, Ab Major 6) E Major, Eb Major 7) B Major, Bb Major
Copyright © 2008-2011 Kenneth J. Maxwell Jr.