2.FNew Key Signature

E, Accidentals

We introduce another key signature today, this time with one sharp (F#).
You'll notice that the sharp sign is placed on the top line of the stave rather than in the bottom space, the place that you're used to finding F. The top line is reserved for a higher F but the sharp sign applies to all Fs, high, middle or low.
We also introduce a new note, the E on the bottom line of the stave. It will pay you to be familiar with this G major / E minor run before you start the rest of the page.

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Beethoven . . .
  • Check the key signature.
  • The rhythm could hardly be easier but notice that it starts on beat 3.
  • Aim for 132bpm


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Six notes for five fingers . . .

The solution is to put your thumb on E, your index finger on F#, then bring your thumb under your index finger to play the G.

In piano music it is usual to number the thumb as 1, the index finger as 2 and so on. When the fingerings run out, revert to 'adjacent fingers for adjacent notes'.

Click to enlarge the music below.



An eight-bar melody to notate - don't forget the key signature. The metronome stops half way through.

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If you didn't get that right, work out why before you move on.


In the next exercise, the key signature tells you to play B flats throughout, but the Fs are sometimes sharp, sometimes not, and this is indicated by the use of accidentals. Accidentals are flat, sharp and natural signs placed immediately before a note.

Accidentals apply to the note that they directly precede and repetitions of the note in the rest of the bar but not beyond.

  • You'll find the same rhythm pattern in nearly every bar and lots of little scale-sections, so this is a good chance to look ahead & read chunks of scale rather than individual notes.
  • Be ready for the F natural in bar 9.
  • In case you want to add some chords to this, click the chord icon to the right of the music. (You'll need to transpose the chords for Bb & Eb instruments).
  • Aim for 144bpm

Play the opening G with your index finger and use your thumb for F and F# in this tune - you won't need to move your hand at all.

Here's how the tune should have sounded (on C, Bb, Eb instruments).