Thinking Music Theory 101: Accidentals and Flats


Thinking Music Theory 101: Accidentals and Flats

Accidentals?? You’re probably thinking…

No, notes don’t get into accidents, we’ll touch on that soon.

Flats?? You’re also probably wondering.

No, notes don’t get flat like your tires do. You know, come to think about it. Notes do actually get flat.

Let’s talk about that.

Last time we focused on the major scales and sharp key signatures. Now let’s focus our attention to accidentals and flat key signatures.

note: If this is your first time reading this lesson, then I would suggest to start with the very first lesson. Things could get confusing, you need to start here first to understand this lesson.

Download the pdf sheet right here.


F major scale

Flat Key Signatures

scales building flats

flats keys

number of flats


Okay, what are accidentals.

Accidentals can be two things: Accidentals are can be sharp or flat notes. Or, notes that don’t belong to a particular key. For example the Key of “C” has the notes: CDEFGAB.

If you were play to for example an F# note, this note obviously doesn’t belong to the Key of “C”. Therefore it is an accidental.


An accidental ( flat or sharp note ) has two names.

A, Bb note is also an A#, play these two notes on your instrument and you’ll realize that they are the same note.

number of flats

Download the pdf sheet right here.

I hope you’re with me on this music theory journey. It’s not easy at first, but just hang in there and you’ll be Mozart in no time.

If you have any questions feel to post them on the comments sections below.


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