The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109166   Message #2279305
Posted By: Amos
04-Mar-08 - 12:06 PM
Thread Name: Capoing: What Key?
Subject: RE: Capoing: What Key?
You gotta get the fundamentals folks, to be masters of this business.

Western major scales start on a "tonic" note, the name of the key.

In the key of C, the notes are C-D-E-F-G-A-B-C. The intervals between the notes of the scale are used in every key, but the names of the notes are defined by the white keys on the piano in the key of C.

The intervals are done in half-note steps, with one fret equalling one half-not step.

From C to D is a whole note interval, so is from D to E. But from E to F is only one half step.

The intervals go 2-2-1-2-2-2-1 (half-steps).

If you are playing in the key of F, the intervals are still the same, but the names of the notes are not whole letters any more, there are some sharps and flats in there.

F-2-G-2-A-1-Bb-2-Cb-2-Db-2-Eb-1-F, also known as "three flats".

In the key of G the intervals are the same but the names shift accordingly:


and so on. You can work this out on a keyboard very easily. In the key of C, it's all white notes. The ebony keys are the sharps and flats. But whatever tonic note you start on, the major scale will have the same intervals: 2-2-1-2-2-2-1 halfnotes or frets.