The Facts of Music, Part 2Listening Man

And now we have the naming of notes. Here's the deal: B and C are a half step apart; so are E and F. ALL THE OTHER NOTES ARE A WHOLE STEP APART!

(So memorize: BC and EF. Make something up if you have to.)

This means there is no note between E and F, no note between B and C.

So far so good. All the other notes are TWO half steps apart, in other words a "whole tone" apart. So from A to B is a whole tone. C to D is a whole tone. F to G, and G to A, all of these are whole tones.

On a fretted instrument a whole tone is two frets apart. So there's a note in between! What to call it?

Partridge In a Pear Tree

Again, play a note on any fret of any string. Let's call that A, even if it's not. Two frets up (higher in pitch) is a B. In between, one step up, we call it an A-sharp, or a B flat- same thing! We write this A#, or Bb.

It's the same with all the other whole tone distances. One fret "up" (in pitch, always) from a C is a C#, or Db. One fret up from a D is Eb, or D#.

Quiz: One fret up from a G is .?
Bonus quiz: One fret up from a B is .?

2014 Tony Mates