# Keys and Scales.

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by dot74, Jan 24, 2001.

1. ### dot74

Aug 24, 2000
Ok, I was looking at activebass.com and I found something in their listing of lessons that helps, but then I got home and realized this is wrong....can you explain?

Heres the deal:
I found an easy way to remember my keys and their number of #'s with this: G'DAE, BF ( G'day Biff )
now when you are looking at sheet music, you notice the shorthand right above the bass clef which shows how many sharps are to be played thus letting you know what key it is written in. For example, if there are no #'s then it's the key of C, if there are 2 #'s then it would be the key of D, the way that G'DAE BF works is like this: for the number of #'s shown count left to right and it tells you what key: 2 #'s = D because D is the second letter in that "analogy".

With me so far? Ok, so I got home and tried to put my new learning to use and figure out my keys/scales and found that for "F" (the last letter in the above "analogy") there should be 6 #'s, now this article that I was reading also said that there is a "pattern" with the scales and it had a picture showing the pattern and it mentioned that the pattern is the same for every key/scale, just move up or down the neck and over a string to get all of the listed keys/scales. Here is where I lost it, I'll try to draw it out to show you:
1 2 3 4 5 6 (no. of #'s)
G D A E B F (key/scale)
key of G: G A B C D E F# G 1 #
key of D: D E F# G A B C# D 2 #'s
key of A: A B C# D E F# G# A 3 #'s
key of E: E F# G# A B C# D# E 4 #'s
key of B: B C# D# E F# G# A# B 5 #'s
key of F: F# G# A# B C# D# E# F# supposed to be 6 #'s but I count 7. so where did I go wrong? I used the same amount of steps for each key in the order it was supposed to be, like this: 1w 1w 1h 1w 1w 1h 1w 1h (w=whole, h=half).

Is there something that I'm missing?

2. ### dot74

Aug 24, 2000
that I shouldn't count the last F#? Now after looking at what I posted, I see what yer talking about. Let me see if I can answer my own question like this:

Scale of "C":
C D E F G A B C
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

There are only 7 notes, but the root is notated again at the end of the scale but doesn't necessarily get counted as it is a repeat.

Right?

So for the key of F
F# G# A# B C# D# E# (F#)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (8)
The last one is not counted as no. 8, it merely begins again at no. 1, so that it looks like this:

F# G# A# B C# D# E# F# G# A# B C# D# E#
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Am I correct?

I think I'm getting this theory stuff now.....

3. ### Bruce LindfieldUnprofessional TalkBass ContributorGold Supporting MemberIn Memoriam

Well, you've got minor keys to go yet and a lot of songs change key several times!

I think you've also missed Ed's point that a fifth above B is F# not F. The key of F has one flat whereas the key of F# has 6 sharps. In Jazz, it's more common to add flats rather than sharps, because the transposing instruments like flat keys! Saxophonists and trumpeters have an irrational fear of F# and C# !