You are on page 1of 6

Rudiments Exercises

Practice these pages each day for the entire term. Over and over again. Mastering these skills will help you to complete theory
assignments quicker and at a higher level, and will increase your abilities to function successfully as a professional musician.

1. Reading Clefs
Name each note. Remember that accidentals carry through measures.
Various ways to begin to memorize:
Memorize spaces and count from there: from low to high within each clef: treble FACE, bass AllCowsEatGrass, alto
EGBD, tenor GBDF.
Alto and tenor clefs encircle the middle C line.
Get good at skipping through intervals: E.g. consecutive spaces are a third apart, so skip by thirds (A C E G B D F
A). Or from a line to the line two lines above is a fifth, so skip by fifths: Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle.

02 Rudiments Exercises. Page 1 of 6

2. Key Signatures and Scales

1. Eventually you will memorize these but in the meantime

2. Major keys: No key sig = C major, one flat (Bb) = F major, otherwise second to last flat is DO, last sharp is TI.
3. Minor keys: Three ways to determine: 1) Minor third below major-key tonic. 2) Three half-steps below major-key tonic. 3) Two
letter names below major key tonic, using key sig. For example, A major has three sharps (F#, C#, G#) so its relative minor is F#.
F because it is two letter names lower than A and # because there is an F# in the key signature.
4. Minor scales: Harmonic minor raises scale degree 7 to create TI (not TE). Ascending melodic minor scales also raise scale degree
6 to create LA (not LE).

For each key signature: 1) name the major key, 2) the minor key and the accidentals that create the harmonic and ascending
melodic scales. E.g. Three flats is Eb major, 2) C minor, whose harmonic scale has B natural (TI) and whose ascending melodic
scale has A natural and B natural (LA and TI).

02 Rudiments Exercises. Page 2 of 6

02 Rudiments Exercises. Page 3 of 6
3. Thirds
4. Triads
White-note triads with roots C, F and G are major, with roots D, E and A are minor, and with root B are diminished.
Name the following triad root/type using this method.

Adding the same accidental to every note in the trad does not change the triad type.
E.g. FAC is major; so is F#A#C#. is major.
Identify triads using this method.

Triad types can be determined by 1) adjusting from situations above (e.g. FAC is major so FAbC is minor or 2) by

02 Rudiments Exercises. Page 4 of 6

stacking thirds: Mm for major triads, mM for minor triads, MM for augmented and mm for diminished.
Identify the following triad types
5. Seventh Chords

For each 7th chord indicate type/quality. Types: M7 m7 Mm7 o7 7

3rds: MmM mMm Mmm mmm mmM

For each 7th chord indicate root, type/quality and figured bass.

02 Rudiments Exercises. Page 5 of 6

6. Theory Counting THREE ways

1. We count scale degrees, solfege and Roman Numerals from the tonic of the key. For example, in D major, A is scale degree 5
(1-2-3-4-5, D-E-F#-G-A, or SO (DO-RE-MI-FA-SO, D-E-F#-G-A). In D major, if A is the root of a chord, then that chord
receives the Roman Numeral label of V (five), because A is scale degree 5.

2. We count chord members from the root of the chord. For example, the notes D#-F#-A-B have the root B because B is the
bottom note when these notes are stacked in thirds: B-D#-F#-A. D#, F# and A are called the chordal 3rd, 5th and 7th,
respectively, because of their interval above the root.

3. Figured bass measures intervals above the bass of the chord. For example, if a chord has G-A-C#-E, with G in the bass, then
the figured bass is 6/4/2 denoting the intervals that E, C#, and A form above G. The intervals are written in descending order
like this no matter how the A, C# and E are distributed in soprano, alto and tenor voices. By centuries-old convention 6/4/2 is
usually written in shorthand form, 4/2.

From TONIC of key From ROOT of chord From BASS of chord

(scale degrees, solfege, Roman Numerals) (chordal root, 3rd, 5th, 7th) (figured bass)

1. Determine key. Label scale 1. For each chord, stack in thirds 1. Indicate full figured bass (e. g. 6/4/2).
degrees and solfege syllables. and label chordal root, 2. Indicate figured bass shorthand (e.g. 4/2).

02 Rudiments Exercises. Page 6 of 6

2. For each chord, determine the root 3rd, 5th (and 7th).
and provide roman numeral (e/.g. IV).