View Full Version : How to Remember Key Signatures with ukulele

11-18-2016, 01:07 AM
Key signatures help to find keys. If we have a ukulele, we can easily remember key signatures.

The figure below is circle of 5th. Starting with the key of C, for every perfect fifth (red arrow) you move up, you add one sharp. So the key of G (a perfect fifth up from C) has one sharp. The key of D (a perfect fifth up from G) has two sharps … and so on. This circle works in the other direction for flats. For every perfect fifth (green arrow) you move down from C, you add a flat. So the key of F (a perfect fifth down from C) has one flat. The key of B-flat (a perfect fifth down from F) has two flats, and so on.

https://s15.postimg.org/oklwdeqjv/circle_of_fifths2.png (https://postimg.org/image/nibpuv7qf/)upload a picture (https://postimage.org/)

Their relationship can be observed on the fretboard of our ukuleles. We just need to remember the location of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 on the uke. 1 is G, 2 is D, 3 is A.... One sharp is G, two sharps are D, three sharps are A... They show prefect fifth intervals (red arrow on the top figure and red numbers on the figure below).

https://s15.postimg.org/471w0ogxn/sharp.png (https://postimg.org/image/o1nxmsw53/)uploading pictures (https://postimage.org/)

We can see the frats on the figure below. The numbers has same order in reverse direction from F (green 1). 1 is F, 2 is Bb, 3 is Eb..... One frat is F, two frats are Bb, three frats are Eb.... They show prefect fifth intervals (green arrow on the top figure and green numbers on the figure below).

https://s17.postimg.org/5s0kknevj/flat.png (https://postimg.org/image/6hjcx0fez/)image upload no registration (https://postimage.org/)

We have learn how to remember key signature in primary or secondary school. Most people may have already forgot it. This method is much easier than that one. I always use this method when I read music with or without uke.

Jim Hanks
11-18-2016, 01:39 AM
Good tip. I have to point out that the reentrant string on ukes complicates things if you're thinking about intervals. For intervals, the first fretboard only works for linear tuning (low G) in the bottom diagram only works for reentrant (high G)

11-18-2016, 12:06 PM
Hi, Jim! Thank you for your point out. I've removed "prefect fourth" and I explain the method only with perfect fifth intervals.

11-18-2016, 02:26 PM
I like this. My music theory teacher had me draw this. Thanks for posting it!