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The best way to learn the note names – Part 2: the black notes

To do this tutorial you need to have done Part 1: the white notes.


Sharp means the very next note up, and flat means the very next note down. So D sharp (written D#) is the black note above D, and D flat (written Db) is the black note just below D.

However, sharps and flats don’t have to be black notes. The very next note up from E is F, so E# is the same note as F. Similarly, the very next note down from C is B, so Cb is the same note as B. It might seem strange that B and Cb are the same note, but then D# and Eb are also the same note – there’s actually more than one way to write any note on the keyboard.

So how do you know which one to use? Well, it depends on context, but for the time being just stick to the simplest one.

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