Music Theory 101: Major Flat Keys | Jason Rivera | Skillshare

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Music Theory 101: Major Flat Keys

teacher avatar Jason Rivera, Composer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

3 Lessons (19m)
    • 1. Introduction

      2:10
    • 2. Major Scales & Major Flat Keys

      8:45
    • 3. Class Assignment

      8:31
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About This Class

Gain an understanding of major flat keys with composer Jason Rivera. This class focuses on how to use major scales to build major flat keys.

The class features detailed explanations and demonstrations on the piano. You will learn techniques and concepts that can be applied to writing music in practically any genre.

The main topics covered in this class are:

  1. How major flat keys and major scales are interconnected.
  2. The order of flats in the treble and bass clef staffs.
  3. Defining a key signature and the order of flats.
  4. A technique to figure out a major flat key in your head, without looking at written sheet music.
  5. And how to figure out a major flat key by looking at a music staff.

For your class assignment you will complete a short series of written exercises designed to help solidify your new knowledge of major flat keys.

This class is designed for beginners, however it assumes that you are familiar with the musical alphabet, how to read the treble and bass clef staffs and how to construct the major scale.

The class is for musicians, songwriters and composers who want to expand their knowledge of music theory so that they can master their craft.

Learning the major flat keys deepens your understanding of music and you can build upon what you learn in this class to construct intervals, chords and eventually change keys in your music. So learning major flat keys is really opening up a doorway to your musical creativity.

By the end of this class you will have a solid understanding of major flat keys and how to identify and notate them.

I’d love to hear your feedback and I encourage you to leave a review for this class. And don’t forget to follow me to make sure that you receive all of my updates and resources.

If you want to continue your music education I have many other courses available. I have other classes on songwriting, scales, melodies, and writing chord progressions. I invite you to check out those other classes.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jason Rivera

Composer

Teacher

Hi!

I'm Jason Rivera. I compose music and teach from my studio in Los Angeles, CA. You can check out my music on my website and you can join my email list for updates.


“Excellent class!!! He made concepts that have been difficult to understand previously so clear and concise. Really got a lot out of this class. This is foundational to becoming a good composer. Can't wait to try doing the assignments!!!”

- Mona Lisa P, Skillshare Student


“Things I have been confused about for years finally made sense to me through Jason's instructions. I can't thank you enough, Jason.”

- Ronja B, Skillshare Student


“Great work, with engaging visuals and great audio and video qua... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hello, I'm Jason Rivera, a composer and multi instrumentalist. I have written and played on many professional recordings, have composed music for film toward the U. S. As a performer and have worked as a producer on music projects. To really master playing in writing music, it's essential that we have a practical understanding of music theory. This is why I've created this music theory 101 Siris of courses And these classes. I cover the essential tools that you need to be able to better express yourself as a musician and songwriter or composer. In this class, we're going to cover the subject of major flat keys. My goal with this class is to provide you with the basics of understanding how major flat keys air created and how to quickly identify them. Specifically, we will cover how major flak ease and major scales are interconnected, the order of flats and the trouble and bass clef staffs defining a key signature and the order of flats, a technique to figure out a major flat key in your head without looking at Britain sheep music and how to figure out a major flak key by looking at a music staff. This class is designed for beginners. However, it assumes that you're familiar with the musical alphabet, how to read notes on the trouble and bass clef staffs and how to construct the major scale this classes for musicians, songwriters and composers who want to expand their knowledge of music theory so that they can master their craft. Learning the major flak keys deepens your understanding of music, and you can build upon what you learn in this class to better understand intervals and chords and eventually learn how to change keys within your own music. So learning major flat keys is a step towards gaining more freedom in your musical creativity. By the end of this class, you will have a solid understanding of major flak keys and how to identify and no Tatum. All right, let's get started with our class. 2. Major Scales & Major Flat Keys: welcome. This is meant to be a bite size class, so let's jump right in. Hopefully, you understand that the major scale is made up of a series of whole steps and half steps. If you're not sure about how to construct major scales or you need a refresher, I recommend checking out my other class music theory 101 major scales, which is another bite size class where I dive into how to build major skills. Scales and keys are interconnected, so we're always gonna be thinking of keys. In this context, if you're writing music in the C major scale, then you don't need to worry about sharps or flats. And if you're playing within the C major scale on the piano, then you're not using any black keys. But if you want to expand your musical palette and write music using other scales, then you'll have to add sharps or flats. This class is focused specifically on the major keys that use flats. Like I mentioned, the best way to comprehend keys is to understand how they're intertwined with scales. The major scale is built of two whole steps, 1/2 step three whole steps and then 1/2 step. In this next series of slides, you'll see that in each major scale, I'm adding in one or more flats to maintain the major scale pattern of whole steps and half steps. The F major scale has one flat B flat. The B flat major scale has two flats B flat and E flat. The E flat major scale has three flats B flat, E flat and a flat. A flat major scale has four flats B flat, e flat, a flat and D flat. The D flat major scale has five flats B flat, e flat, a flat, D flat and G flat. The G flat major scale has six flats B flat, e flat, a flat D flat, G flat and see flat. And finally, the sea flat. Major scale has seven flats B flat, e flat, a flat D flat, G flat, see flat and F flat. You can see that these major scales use from one to several flats. If we would have right and no Tatum melody or court progression, for example, in D Flat Major, we'd wind up having to write a lot of flats throughout our sheep music and things would look cluttered on the page, but there's a convenience system to designate consistent flats within a piece of music. What we do is collect the flats at the beginning of a peace next to the cliff symbol. This is what's called a key signature. When you see a key signature written at the beginning of a piece or in a section of a larger work, it's telling you that those flats are automatically applied throughout the peace and in every active flats and a key signature are written in a specific octave and order. Take a look at these two slides, which show the order of flats in the trouble and bass clef staffs. This is the key of C E flat major, which has seven flats. It's important to be able to quickly name key signatures. You'll see that the notes that are flat R, B, E, A, T, G, C and F. That's the order of flats for flat keys, and it never changes. Please take my word for it. You'll want to memorize this order of flats. It will make this whole process of understanding flat key signature so much easier for you if we take a look here. There are seven major flak keys as we look at the chart from top to bottom. Think of it as an additive process you're adding and flats to maintain the step pattern of the major scale. Remember, the C major scale has no sharps or flats, and the key of C major has no sharps or flats in it. So starting at the top of this chart, the F major scale and the key of F major has one flat B flat. The B flat major scale in the key of B flat major has two flats B flat and E flat. The E flat major scale and the key of E flat major has three flats B flat, G flat and a flat. The A flat major scale and the key of a flat major has four flats B flat, E flat, a flat and D flat, The D flat major scale and the key of D flat. Major has five flats B flat, E flat, a flat, D flat and G flat. The G flat major scale in the key of G flat Major has six flats B flat, e flat, a flat, D flat G flat and see flat. And finally the sea flat Major scale and the key of C flat Major has seven flats B flat, e flat, a flat D flat, G flat, see flat and F flat. Here is a system for figuring out how many flats a major key signature has in your head without looking at Britain sheep music. I mentioned the order of flats earlier in this class B e a t g c f to name the key signature of a flat key. Think of the order of flats B e a do G C f and then count from left to right until you land on the letter name of the key. Then go. One more letter to the right and this gives you the number and the order of flats in the key. For example, if I were to ask you how many flats does a key of e flat, major have to figure this out. Think about the order of flats B E A, t G C f, and then count from left to right until you land on e The second letter in the order Is he the letter one more to the right is a so the key of e flat Major has three flats in order. They are B flat, e flat and a flat. Another example. If I were to ask you how many flats is the key of G flat major half again. The figure this out. Think about the order of flats B e A, T G C F and then count from left to right until you land on G. The fifth letter is G. The letter one more to the right is C So the key of G Flat major has six flats. They are in order b flat, e flat, a flat D flat, G flat and see flat. Here's 1/3 example If I were to ask you how many flats is the key of C E flat Major have so first bring to mind the order of flats B E A T g c f. Then count from left to right until you land on sea. The six letter S. C. The letter one more to the right is F so the key of C flat major has seven flats and order their B flat. You flat a flat D flat G flat see flat and a flat. I hope you're beginning to understand the pattern here. Just remember that the order of flats never changes again. It's B e a T G C f. Now the other way to figure out a key is if you're looking at a key signature on a music staff to help you identify key quickly in this way, know that the key is the same as a second flat from the right. For example, in this slide, the second flat from the right is B flat. So the key is B flat major. Another example In this slide, the second flat from the right is a flat, so the key is a flat major. So this is the method by which you figure out a flag key by looking at a key signature on a music staff. Now there's one key which has only one flat F major. You want to memorize this one, since there's no second flat from the right. So now you know how major scales air connected to major flat keys. You know what a key signature is? You know the order of flats. You have a technique to figure out a flak. He in your head And you know how to figure out a major flat key by looking at a music staff . I'll see you in the next video lesson where I'm gonna explain the assignment for this class . 3. Class Assignment: Okay, so that completes our class on major flat keys. I hope that this class deepen your understanding of this topic. Now, let's take a look at our assignment, Your assignment for this classes to complete a short Siris of written exercises that I've created to help solidify the knowledge you've gained in this class. I've uploaded any notes that I think will help you understand the concepts we've covered along with the exercises sheet for the projects and resource is section of this class. Please download those materials and print out the sheets with the exercises on it and grab a pencil. I want you to work on these exercises by hand so that you gained the added benefit of improving your hand written music notation skills for exercise one. I've listed the seven major scales that used flats. I've created a trouble clef staff in a bass clef staff for each scale, your exercises to write out each scale, adding flats where needed. In both the trouble and bass clef staffs, I've written out the pattern of whole steps and half steps for the major scale up at the top of the page. This is the formula that each scale will need to adhere to in this exercise. For this exercise, you publicly want to work on it at the piano. If you have access to one this way, you can hear the major scale pattern, and it will keep you on track. All demonstrate by working on F major, you would start on the note F in the trouble clef and fill in the notes of the scale from F up to the effort, the next active. So you have F, G, A, B, C, D, E and F now would have to decide where to add any flats. The major scale pattern tells me that from the third scale degree the note A to the fourth scale degree, The note. B There should be 1/2 step and there should be a whole step between the force scale degree B and the fifth scale degrees C. So I know that I need to lower that be by half step to a B flat. So I had a flat symbol in front of the note B and I have an F major scale, and now I move on to the bass clef staff and add in my notes from F toe effort the next active and I know from working on the F major scale and the trouble cleft that I need to lower that be by 1/2 step to be flat. So I go ahead and add a flat symbol in front of B. At this point, I would recommend playing each scale out to double check your work. For example, F major on the trouble Cleft staff an F major on the bass clef staff. Uh, and I'm done with this scale, and I would move on to B flat major from here your exercise years to go through the same process with each of the seven scales listed, this particular exercises warming you up to understand which major scales require flat symbols and on what notes on to exercise, too, this exercise builds directly off of exercise one. Here you're writing in the key signatures for each of the flat keys for each Kiel ad in flats and both the trouble cliff staff in the base class staff. I can't stress how important it is to practice writing keys and lectures and both staffs. For example, if you want to write music for piano and you're using a key signature. You'll need to add the flats in order and in the correct doctor for both the trouble and bass clef staffs. So it's worth putting in the time now to learn this skill. I'll demonstrate completing the first key signature here, F major. So we know from our work on exercise one that F Major has one flat B flat. So I had a flat symbol on the B line and the trouble Cliff staff and then on the bass clef staff. And I'm done with F Major to help with this exercise. Remember the order of flats B e A. D G C f, and also commit this slide to memory again. This is the key of C flap Major, which contains all seven flats. This live shows where to place the flats on both the trouble clef staff and bass clef staff . So you want a reference this slide as you work on exercise, too? Just remember that it's a process of adding flats from left to right on the staff, and remember that the order of flats never changes. Now on to exercise three for exercise three, you're gonna identify and write in the name of the key signatures that are listed on either their trouble or bass clef staffs. Let me run through a couple of examples. So here I see a trouble. Cliff staff and there are two flats listed B flat and e flat. Remember, when you're looking at flats on the cleft, the name of the key is the same as the second flat from the right. In this example, the second flak from the right is B flat. So this is the key of B flat major. So I write in B flat major in the space, provided Let's run through an example on the bass clef staff. So we see here that we have B flat, e flat, a flat D flat and G flat again when you're looking at the flats on the clef. The name of the key is the same as the second flat from the right. In this instance, the second flat from the right is D flat. So the key signature is D flat major and I right d flat major and the space provided, and that's the process for completing exercise. Three. I hope that all of the work we're doing here with key signatures is starting to sink in with this subject. The more that you practice, the quicker you'll get at identifying key signatures. It's really a matter of repetition and memorization. After a while, you'll see flats listed on the staff, and you'll be so familiar with this process that you'll be able to identify the key quickly . As you're working on these exercises, I recommend going back and reviewing the previous video lesson in this class. For me. Personally, I learn best through constant repetition of information and then applying what I've learned . Also, I would recommend working on these exercises at the keyboard or piano. Often, this is really helpful for working out music theory problems. For now, I'm not going to upload an answer key to these exercises because I don't want you to be tempted to look at that and just plug the answers right in. I want you to sit and take your time with these exercises and really think your way through them. I'm more than happy to check your work and to give you notes on your assignment. Once you've completed all of the exercises, either skin or Take a high resolution photo of your completed exercise sheet and upload the file to Dropbox or Google Drive, and then head to the projects and resource is section of this class. Then click on Create Project on the next page, give your project a title and then paste in the link to your file. Last but not least, be sure to hit. Publish. Don't forget to read the project description on the class page, where I have listed out the specific steps for your assignment. And be sure to download the project materials in the projects and resource is section. Remember, the goal of these exercises is to start building your practical know how and regards to major flat keys and then sharing your work and your questions with your fellow classmates and meat so that we can learn together as a community. Also, I'd love to hear your feedback, and I encourage you to leave a review for this class. And don't forget to follow me to make sure that you receive all of my updates and resource is lastly, I want to mention that if you want to continue your music education, I have many other classes available. I have other courses on song writing scales, melodies and writing court progressions. I invite you to check out those other classes as well. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions that you may have by posting them to the discussion section on the class page. I'll do my best to answer your questions as quickly as I can. Thank you so much for watching this class, and I'm looking forward to reviewing your work.