Music Theory for the Tone Deaf

Notes on the Guitar

The Sharp

Over the centuries musicians started to use notes between the letters (For example a note higher than A and lower than B). Rather than rename the existing notes they came up with the sharp sign (#) which signifies a note higher than the natural (regular) version. So an A-sharp is kind of like A and a half.

A A# B

The sign looks like this:

sharp

To make matters worse not every letter name has a sharp, read on:

The Bee

Picture of bee fleeing from King Muzo.

Once upon a time, in a magical, musical land, the music alphabet made sense. There was one of each letter “A” to “G,” and in between each letter was a sharp. It looked like this “A A# B B# C C# D D# E E# F F# G G#.” The notes were kept in a huge fortress and looked as beautiful as they sounded. But one day, an evil musical bee decided he wanted to steal the letters in his name, “B,” “B#,” “E,” and “E#,” in order to make a monument to himself. He climbed the castle wall and put the “B#” and “E#” in his bag. Little did he know that his buzzing would wake King Muzo. The King awoke and saw the bee stealing the notes. He ran quickly to the fortress, but was too late. The Bee saw him coming and flew away as fast as he could, taking “B#” and “E#” with him. The King was able to save “B” and “E,” but “B#” and “E#” were gone forever. To this day, our musical alphabet reads “A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G#”.

A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G#