OK so now let's do it the other way. What is a Flat key? If you've not read the sharp key section I'd suggest it's probably worth a visit before carrying on here.
So how do you think about it as a flat rather than a sharp?
For flat keys there are, again, two simple things that you can apply which allows you to work out all your flat keys.
Once again, everything starts from the C Major scale. Remember, here the notes are essentially all the white keys on a keyboard giving you C, D, E, F, G, A, B and back to C.
So the steps for working out flat keys are:
In this case we've started on C major
C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C
and ended up with F Major which has one flat in it's key signature
F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E, F
As we now know that F major has one flat in it, if you see this at the beginning of a piece of music:
You know that the piece is in F Major. Not forgetting that the concept of relative minors outlined in the scale spelling section means that it would also be in Dm.
Ok moving on. Taking this concept once more we're now starting on F Major. Remember the notes here are:
F, G, A, Bb, C, D, E and back to F.
So again following the formula.
So this gives us the notes for the Bb Major scale:
Bb, C, D, Eb, F, G, A and back to Bb
So you have two flats Bb and Eb.
The key signature of Bb looks like this.
Now if you understood the explanation in the sharp keys section, you're realise that the middle line of three indicates the Bb and the space between the top and second lines indicates the Eb.
If you're observant you'll also notice that both sharp and flats go from left to right.
Over to you now to work out the rest of the flat keys. Have fun, and again look here if you really get stuck or if you want to check you've worked it our correctly.
Online Lessons - Home
Scales - what are they?
Natural Minor Scale
Major 7th Chords
Minor 7th Chords
Dominant 7th Chords
Minor 7th Flat 5 Chords