Note Circle: Speaking Out Loud

Difficulty: White
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Another very effective way to try and learn the Note Circle is by saying the names of the notes out loud. Start without the sharps and flats by saying:

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - A

and then backwards (you might find this a bit tricky to start with):

A - G - F - E - D - C - B - A

Once you have mastered that, try adding sharps. It’s more difficult coming down of course, because you have to remember which pairs of notes have no sharp between them as well as trying to speak the alphabet backwards! It might be a little difficult but this exercise will speed up the process of learning this concept and really help you with the later stages of the course. So, say the following:

A - A# - B - C - C# - D - D# - E - F - F# - G - G# - A

and then backwards:

A - G# - G - F# - F - E - D# - D - C# - C - B - A# - A

and then with flats:

A - Bb - B - C - Db - D - Eb - E - F - Gb - G - Ab - A

and then backwards:

A - Ab - G - Gb - F - E - Eb - D - Db - C - B - Bb - A

And then you might like to start mixing it up; for instance, you can also try saying sharps going up and flats going down:

A - A# - B - C - C# - D - D# - E - F - F# - G - G# - A

and then:

A - Ab - G - Gb - F - E - Eb - D - Db - C - B - Bb - A

The more ways you can torture yourself with this, the easier things will be later! And remember - you don’t want to waste precious practice time on this stuff. While I do recommend that you practise these exercises by speaking out loud, you can also say them to yourself while you’re on the bus, in a boring meeting or during ads when you’re watching telly. This is useful for when you should really be doing something else (maybe at work - but always practise responsibly! ;))

You’ll be amazed at how powerful ‘mental practice’ is so try to get into the habit early. It will pay vast rewards on your journey.

Music Theory Grade 1



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