Learn the Key of Eb – 3 Flats in the Key Signature: Bb, Eb, and Ab


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Learn the Key of Eb – 3 Flats in the Key Signature: Bb, Eb, and Ab

Here is a transcript of the YouTube video in case you want to follow along:

Good morning, this is Duane, and today I’d like to talk about the key of E flat. The key of E flat has three flats, as you probably know, if you’re looking at the key signature at the beginning of a line of music you’ll see three flats, B flat, E flat and A flat. Those are the three flats that occur in the key of E flat. To play in the key of E flat means we’re basing our playing on the scale of E flat, that’s what it means to play in the key of E flat, based on the scale of E flat which is : E flat, F, G, A flat, B flat, C, D, E flat. Like so. If you’re new to the key of E flat, get that established in your mind. When I’m learning a new key I like to play it over and over again, the scale, just so I can visually see what notes are flat and so on. Then, the next step is to learn the primary chords in that key. As you know, the primary chords in every key are: the one chord, the chord built on the first note of the scale; the chord built on the fourth note of the scale, which is A flat; and the chord built on the fifth note of the scale, B flat. Okay?

Now, if you’re wondering why I skip black keys and so on is because of that rule of whole steps and half steps. Every major scale has to have, starting on whatever note the route is, you go up a whole step, then another whole step and then a half step, then whole step, whole step, whole step, half step. There’s two half steps in the series; the rest are whole steps, okay? That’s the ladder, la scala, meaning the ladder, the ladder of notes that runs from E flat up to E flat. That’s what we base the key of E flat on. The primary chords again being E flat, A flat, and B flat. Okay? Let me just play a little bit in the key of E flat.

[Duane playing piano]

That was an old hymn called, ‘Come Now Found of Every Blessing,’ and doesn’t the key of E flat have a delightful ring to it? I love the key of E flat. Now every key, by the way, has a different feeling. The key of D, is very bright. They key of D flat is just the opposite, it’s mellow as can be, just so mellow. I think, of all the keys, I like the key of D flat, maybe because of its mellowness. Like that…

Of course, most people play in the key of C, the key of F and the key of G. You’re used to hearing those. It’s delightful to discover other keys because they do different things, they have different sounds. I encourage you to learn every key thoroughly so that you can be able to play in every key.

Now, the key of E flat has a relative minor as do all major keys. The relative minor key is always found by taking the root note of the major scale and going down a step and a half. Another way of looking at it is taking the sixth degree of the major scale, 1-2-3-4-5-6. C minor, is relative to E flat major. What do I mean by relative? They use the same keys. If I start on C, but play the E flat scale, so not starting on E flat, but starting on C, I’d be using the same notes. That’s the key of C minor and it has that same feel, that same resonance, as the key of E flat. So get acquainted with the key of E flat, three flats: B flat, E flat, A flat.

I’ll be back tomorrow with another tip on piano chords, and piano styles, and so on. Be sure to come on over to my website, playpiano.com, and sign up for my free newsletter on piano chords and chord styles and so on. A lot of good stuff there, so come on over. Thanks. Bye-bye for now.

For a good article on key signatures in Wikipedia go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_signature

You can also watch this video on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTtCX8syNKQ

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