Scales: How to Study-Practice: Literacy

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The ability to comprehend music notation as more than just a jumble of meaningless dots is a huge advance in your musicianship. Functional note-reading greatly facilitates sight reading, aural comprehension, memorization, playing by ear, transposition, and improvisation.

For any scale type, an expert musician should be able to describe the key signature and be able to identify every note by letter name, scale degree, and Solfege syllable.

Here, for example, is the Bb Major Scale written over two octaves…

in treble clef… piano-ology-scales-how-to-study-practice-literacy-b-flat-major-treble-clef

and bass clef…

piano-ology-scales-how-to-study-practice-literacy-b-flat-major-bass-clef

and here are some sample questions to illustrate what it means to read the above like a real musician:

  • What is the key signature of Bb Major? Answer: 2 flats (Bb & Eb)
  • What is La in the key of Bb? Answer: G
  • What is the scale degree of A in the key of Bb? Answer: 7
  • Which note is scale degree 3 in the key of Bb? Answer: D
  • What the sound name of Eb in the key of Bb? Answer: Fa

LEARN MORE… How to Study-Practice Scales: Keyboard Awareness

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