This course will become read-only in the near future. Tell us at if that is a problem.

Whole Steps & Half Steps

In music there are steps, skips, and intervals. All of this means going from one note to another and the distance it takes.

First we need to go over what is the full range of notes. I will put the main enharmonics in parenthesis in a third line so you don't confuse them as more of a part of the range.

I will then put all enharmonics in a 4th line.

I will also do multiple lines with different accidentals so you can see.

*Hope fully this doesn't confuse you and I will post some pictures later*


A - Bb - B - C - Db - D - Eb - E - F - Gb - G - Ab

A - A# - B - C - C# - D - D# - E - F - F# - G - G#

A - (Bb&A#) - B - C - (Db&C#) - D - (Eb&D#) - E - F - (Gb&F#) - G - (Ab&G#)

A - (Bb&A#) - (B&Cb) - (C&B#) - (Db&C#) - D - (Eb&D#) - (E&Fb) - (F&E#) - (Gb&F#) - G - (Ab&G#) 


I will show two pictures. One of notes. The other of a piano. I know not all of you want to learn piano, or know piano or are learning a different instrument. But the piano has the easiest way to show this.



We can finally talk about whole steps and half steps now!


A Whole Step is when you skip over a note from another note. So going from C-D is a whole step. Because you skipped over (C#&Db).

So that is an example of a whole step from a white note to a white note.

From B - C# is also a whole step. As well as from Gb-Ab. Those are all whole steps.


A Half Step is when you go to the next note and don't skip over a note. So from C-C#. F#-G. The tricky ones are E-F and B-C. Most people forget that is a half step. So no matter what instrument, this is true.

One last thing. Whole Steps and Half steps can go higher/up or lower/down. So you can flip the letters around in the examples and it is still a whole or half step just ascending or descending.

I will now make a list of all the whole steps and half steps. This will be long.


A-B = Whole Step

A-(A#&Bb) = Half Step

(A#&Bb)-C(B#) = Whole Step

(A#&Bb)-B(Cb) = Half Step

B(Cb)-(C#&Db) = Whole Step

B(Cb)-C(B#) = Half Step

C(B#)-D = Whole Step

C(B#)-(C#&Db) = Half Step

(C#&Db)-(D#&Eb) = Whole Step

(C#&Db)-D = Half Step

D-E(Fb) = Whole Step

D-(D#&Eb) = Half Step

(D#&Eb)-F(E#) = Whole Step

(D#&Eb)-E(Fb) = Half Step

E(Fb)-(F#&Gb) = Whole Step

E(Fb)-F(E#) = Half Step

F(E#)-G = Whole Step

F(E#)-(F#&Gb) = Half Step

G-A = Whole Step

G-(G#&Ab) = Half Step

(G#&Ab)-(A#&Bb) = Whole Step

G#&Ab)-A = Half Step


TASK: Write out at least 3 whole steps, and 3 half steps!

Task Discussion