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Learning To Read Music Tutorial 1
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The symbol to play one fret higher (or musically one half-step higher) is called a "sharp" and looks like the number symbol "#". This is an accidental. The symbol to play one fret lower (or musically one half-step lower) is called a "flat" and looks like a lower case letter "b". This also an accidental. We put these symbols in directly in front of the notes we want to make sharp or flat.
After making a note sharp or flat, if we want to play it in its original unaltered position again later in the same measure (or piece) we use another symbol called a "natural" sign, which looks like a little slanted rectangle with some extended lines. This effectively cancels out the previous sharp or flat sign. This is an accidental as well.
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