Note Circle: With A Jam Buddy

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If you are lucky enough to have a jam buddy to practise with, you can help each other learn the Note Circle by testing each other. It’s really simple but really effective for both the tester and the testee, as both parties need to find the right answers.

And - it’s super easy! Your buddy just has to tell you the names of two notes, and then you have to tell them how many semitones apart they are.

You don’t count the first note; so, for example, A to C:

A to A# (1) to B (2) to C (3)

So the answer = Three (3) Semitones.

Then it’s your turn to ask them a question. Try to start with fairly small examples (with the notes close together) because it’s good for building confidence.

Remember to ask lots of questions that cross over the pairs of notes without sharps/flats in between them - B-C and/or E-F - so that they make sure they are counting semitones correctly.

If your jam buddy is getting things consistently wrong then ask them to say the count out loud so you can help them. To start with, the tester can use an actual note circle diagram to help them make sure they get the answer right, but you should work from memory as soon as you can.

Music Theory Grade 1

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