Sharps and Flats

Question: How do you know if a note is a sharp?

When the sharp sign (#) is next to the G clef and F clef, how do I know what notes in the music piece are played as sharps?

Albert’s reply: One sharp is the key signature for G major and its relative key of E minor.

Here is the key signature you’re talking about:

It means that every time you see any F on the staff, you need to play F-sharp instead (unless otherwise indicated).

I’ve highlighted the F-sharps for you in red. Notice how the sharps in the key signature are on F? This is musical shorthand indicating that all the F’s are to be played as F-sharps instead, not just the ones on those two lines.

In all standard key signatures, the first sharp is always F-sharp. From there, they simply go up a fifth: The second sharp is C-sharp, the third is G-sharp, the fourth D-sharp, and so on.

Flats start with B-flat and go down a fifth: E-flat, A-flat, D-flat, and so on.

If you download the Major Scales for Piano worksheet, you can see all the sharps and flats in the key signatures in the proper order.

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

Join Now