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1. Music Notes

Similar to the ABC's, music theory goes from A - G, and stops:


This musical alphabet respresents the sounds our instrument and voice produce. Sound is what music theory structures. Together, we'll improve our sound output.

There are additional steps, or sounds between these letters:

A (step) B C (step) D (step) E F (step) G

Half and Whole Steps

The steps between the ABCDEFG letters are termed half steps. They fall between whole steps, like A to B. So, A to (step) is a half step, as well as (step) to B.

A h step h B

Again, A to B is a whole step, with two half steps between. These two half steps are labeled Sharp or Flat.

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2. Sharps and Flats



A Sharp is like a nail that points up. It raises letters a half step. So the sound goes up, as from A (step) B. Now it's called A (sharp) B. Keep going up the musical alphabet:

A (sharp) B C (sharp) D (sharp) E F (sharp) G

Don't worry about the skipped steps, we'll get to them later. Just know the sound is going up half steps, called Sharps. The symbol for Sharp in music is '#' (the number, or pound, or hash mark, symbol):

Sharp = #


brian mcknight

A Flat is the tire that nail punctured. Just like a flat will deflate, and bring us down too, the sound goes down a half step. B (step) A now becomes B (flat) A, as the sound goes down a half step. The musical alphabet downward:

G (flat) F E (flat) D (flat) C B (flat) A

We start on G because we need to reverse the direction of the sound. Flat's symbol looks like a lowercase 'b':

Flat = b

Sharp Flat Rule Page

3. Half Step Exceptions

kelly clarkson

In the musical Alphabet, some letters have no steps, or in-between notes. To repeat, the steps between the letters are:

A (step) B C (step) D (step) E F (step) G

The steps between the notes are now either # Sharp or b Flat. The steps between ABCDEFG with Sharps and Flats:

A (#,b) B C (#,b) D (#,b) E F (#,b) G


Notice that there are no steps between B and C, and between E and F. This means when we play a B# (B sharp), we are playing the letter C. And when we play an E# (E sharp), we are playing an F.

B# = C  ,  E# = F

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Conversely, when we play a Cb(C flat), we are playing the letter B. And when we play an Fb(F flat), we are playing an E.

Cb = B  ,  Fb = E

Therefore, both B to C, and E to F have no between steps:

A (#,b) B C (#,b) D (#,b) E F (#,b) G

We may remember the BC,EF exception, with the phrase:

Bake Cakes, Eat Food

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Recommended reading: Sharp Flat Rule

The next page introduces a combination of half and whole steps to make scales.