basics with Do-along Dave

Key Signatures a Time-Waste?

Are key signatures sometimes a time-waste?

Do your transcribing with a scale ticket instead of a key signature, or pencil-in a scale ticket on existing sheet music just after the key signature. Pattern reading/singing on the five-line staff works the same for scale tickets as for key signatures. Advantage for singers and by-ear instrumentalists: no letternames of notes are needed. You read the staff by pattern.

A scale ticket recasts key signature and clef sign into major-minor and shows where the three scale waypoints sit on the staff. It consists of just a triangle if you are having to do only with major and minor scales. The glyph for the major mediant hub (“mi” of “do-re-mi”) is an outlined (empty inside) up-triangle, and the minor hub is a solid filled down-triangle.

The dominant and tonic waypoints flank the hub above and below: the tonic (the keynote) is at the line below a hub on a line, or the space below a hub on a space–a third down, that is. The dominant is a third up.

When a key signature is already present and you recognize major: place your major hub a fifth (two spaces or lines) below the last-added sharp; else a major second below the last-added flat; key of C has its major hub at E. The minor hub would be a third below the major hub.

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