What Are Double Sharps, Learn to Build and Recognize Double Sharps in Notation
Mar 24 2013, 09:48 AM
Theory Instructor
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From: Manchester UK
What Are Double Sharps?

So far we have looked at a number of different ways that you can alter any note to raise or lower it when writing music.

If you haven’t seen these articles, go back and check them out for a review if you feel you need to brush up on these subject.

What Are Flats
What Are Sharps
What Are Double Flats

In today’s lesson, we’ll be looking at another less common, but important, device that raises any note by 2 half-steps, the Double Sharp.

Written with the “x” symbol, the Double Sharp takes any note and pushes it one fret, 1 half-step, further than the normal sharp, #, sign.

Here is how that would look on paper.

Notice how the # symbol raises the note by 1 fret, 1 half-step, and then the x symbol raises it a further 1 fret, 1 half-step.

So, when you see a “x” symbol next to any note, you just play it 2 frets higher than you would play the normal, non-raised version of that note.

Here are some more examples to check out in order to further solidify the double sharp concept in your theory and practical practice.

Though the double sharp is used less than the normal sharp that we see all the time when reading music, it does crop up from time to time, and therefor it’s good to know what a double sharp is, and how to react to it when you see it in a piece of music.

Here is a little quiz on the above material to test your knowledge of double sharps.

Post your answers below, using the spoiler button, and I can check your work to see how you did.

1. When you see a sharp sign, how many frets do you raise a given root note?
2. When you see a sharp sign, how many half-steps do you raise a given root note?
3. When you see a double sharp sign, how many frets do you raise a given root note?
4. When you see a double sharp sign, how many half-steps do you raise a given root note?
5. How would you write the double sharp version of the notes, A, B, D, E, G?

Spoiler:

If you have any questions regarding double sharps, or anything theory related, feel free to post it below and I will answer as soon as possible.

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