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The Notes A, B and C

Notes written above the middle line of a staff usually have their stems going down. Notes written below the middle line of the staff usually have their stems going up. The stem for the B note can go up or down.

The C Major Scale

A major scale is a group of eight notes that gives the familiar sound:

You now know enough notes to play the C major scale. To play the C major scale smoothly you will need to play the F note with your thumb. Do this by moving your thumb underneath your second and third fingers on the way up the scale. On the way down the scale, move your second and third fingers over your thumb. This is called the crossover. The small numbers placed above, below or beside notes on the staves tell you which finger to play each note with. Be sure to use the correct finger.

12
12

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The Octave

An octave is the range of eight notes of a major scale. The first note and the last note of a major scale always have the same name. In the C major scale, the distance from Middle C to the C note above it (or below it ) is one octave (eight notes). All the songs you have studied so far, and the next song use notes from the C major scale. Pay close attention to any fingering numbers near the notes. It is important to use the indicated fingering, as this will make the songs easier to play. Use this same fingering every time you play the songs.

13La Spagnola

La Spagnola uses notes from the C major scale and uses the thumb under between bars 20 and 21.

13La Spagnola

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The Eighth Note

This is an eighth note. It lasts for half a count. There are eight eighth notes in one bar of time. When eighth notes are joined together the tails are replaced by one beam.

14How to Count Eighth Notes
14How to Count Eighth Notes

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Staccato

A dot placed above or below a note tells you to play it staccato. Staccato means to play a note short and separate from the other notes. To play a note short, lift your finger off the keys as quickly as possible.

15Shave and a Haircut

There are two eighth notes on the second beat of the first bar of this example. Play the notes and chords in the second bar staccato.

15Shave and a Haircut

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Key of C Major

When a song consists of notes from a particular scale, it is said to be written in the key which has the same name as that scale. For example, if a song contains notes from the C major scale, it is said to be in the key of C major. Nearly all the songs you have studied so far have been in the key of C major.

16Lavender’s Blue

This well known English folk song is in the key of C major. It uses a crossover in bar 14.

16Lavender’s Blue

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