Learning the musical alphabet

Remember when we were kids back in school. We were very young and they started to teach us the English Alphabet by having us sing it to twinkle twinkle little star? That alphabet is not only for English. The first 7 letters are what makes up the musical alphabet as well. Sing with me! A B C D E F G. Stop there. You now know the main mechanics of the musical alphabet.

The musical Alphabet

The musical alphabet without lowering or raising any notes.

This is not the full story though. Each note can be raised or lowered. When you raise a note it is called sharp, and when you lower a note it is called flat.


Don’t be fooled. There are 2 exceptions which you will need to memorize. Between the E and the F there are note flats or sharps, also between the B and the C there are no flats and sharps.

Full Musical Alphabet

Full Musical Alphabet

A great place to find an example of the 2 exceptions in the musical alphabet is on a piano. You can use a piano to practice finding the musical alphabet. You will also see 2 sections on the piano which do not have a black note between them. In case you don’t know anything about piano, a black note is a sharp or flatted note.


Before we close this lesson I want to talk about the sharps and flats a little bit more. A sharp and flat note can be the same note. It is spelled differently. For example, John and Jack are the same name just a different way of saying it. For a musical example, C # and Db are the same note. F# and Gb are the same note.


There are only 12 notes in the musical alphabet. 7 of them are in the English alphabet, the rest are just lowered or raised. spending time with this will help you learn how music works as well as help you find notes on the guitar. If you know the musical alphabet you can work your way up the string using it to find a note.  Best of luck