Key note signatures refer to the number of sharps or flats in any key. For pianists and other musicians who largely rely on sheet music to play their instruments, it is common to refer to “The Circle of Fifths” to determine key note signatures. However, this can be cumbersome. And many guitarists don’t even refer to keys by their signature. Looking at the major scales one can easily determine the key note signatures by counting the numbers of flats or sharps in the scale. For instance, the key of C has no sharps or flats.

A Major Scale Chart
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Key of C C D E F G A B C
Key of G G A B C D E F# G
Key of D D E F# G A B C# D
Key of A A B C# D E F# G# A
Key of E E F# G# A B C# D# E
Key of F F G A B♭ C D E F
  • The key of G = 1 # (one sharp)
  • The key of D = 2 #
  • The key of A = 3 #
  • The key of F = 1 ♭ (one flat)
  • etc.