by Wes Raines
Here is how you can use the Circle of Fifths to learn the order of sharps and flats in key signatures
Draw an imaginary line between F and B-flat on the circle of fifths. The letters are the lines/spaces you would write the sharp/flats on when you are writing the key signature.
Example #1: You are writing the key of D. There are 2 sharps in the key of D. The first sharp goes on F and the second goes on C.
How do you know that?
Look on the circle of fifths, the first 2 letters going clockwise from that line are F and C.
Example #2: You are writing the key signature for A-flat. You need 4 flats. Looking at the imaginary line, you see going counter-clockwise from it, the letter names are B-flat, E-flat, A-flat, and D-flat. So you write flat signs on the B, E, A, and D lines/spaces. Those are the 4 places on the staff you put the flats when writing the key signature.
So there you have it: starting between F and B-flat, the order of sharps goes clockwise around the circle, and the order of flats goes counter-clockwise around the circle.
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Hope this helps! Practice hard and let me know if you have any questions!