Okay here is the deal, I just want to thank everyone who helped before. However I got a ton of wrong information.

I am looking to clarify everything. I feel like I am completely screwed and I have a huge test tomorrow.

I need to understand how to;
Find the tonic and key signature of a parallel minor.
find the tonic and key signature of a parallel major

Find the tonic and key signature of a minor
Find the tonic and key signature of a major.

I am completely lost, I would love it if someone could help me out a bit. I guess I have a horrible memory and just can't wrap my brain around this. Thanks alot to anyone who helps!
Well, you basically need to memorize the key signatures for all of the Major keys.

then you need to memorize what all of the relative minors are. ( then you will know all of the minor key signatures as well).

when you know that, you should be able to figure it out like this:

The key of C Major = no sharps no flats
the parallel minor to C Major = C minor ( which is the relative minor of Eb Major)
if you know the key signature for Eb Major, then you know the key signature for C minor, which means that you also know the key signature for the parallel minor of C Major.

so in short: memorize your major key signatures & and associated relative minor. ( basically... learn on your key signatures).

yeah, it takes work.

or you could just use a chart as shown below. If you want to be able to do it in your head, you have to work at memorizing.
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Last edited by GuitarMunky at Nov 12, 2008,
Thanks guys. I love the way that Co5 is arranged. The colors help a ton. Although I would hate to think of the key of Db being purple.
Just incase you don't know how to find the relative minor of a major key just take the tonic ( root ) of the major key and go back 3 half steps or vice versa to find the relative major of a minor key

ex:

A major 3 half steps back is F# minor

Bb minor 3 half steps up is Db major
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Co5 is your friend and that's a rather colourful one too.

Relative scales use the same key signature. They are right there in the circle of fifths.
The relative minor of Db is Bb and they both have the same five flats.

Parallel scales use the same root. The parallel minor or C major is C minor and if we find C minor we see it uses three flats. The relative major of C minor is Eb major.

Parallel scales are easy to name - they just use the same root.

To name Relative scales you can work it out by writing out the scale.

If you are starting with a Major scale the root of the relative minor will be a major sixth above the root of that major scale. (Major sixth above or minor third below)

If you are starting with the minor scale the root of the relative major will be a minor third above the root of that minor scale. (Minor third above or Major sixth below)

If you want to work out the sharps and flats of parallel scales you could start with the first scale and make the alterations as necessary to get the parallel scale and see what sharps or flats are left.

Example finding key signature of the parallel minor of E major
E major = 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 = E F# G# A B C# D# E
E minor = 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 = E F# G A B C D E

As you can see there is only one sharp left. We can also find out the RELATIVE major of the E minor scale.
E minor = 1 2 b3 4 5 b6 b7 = E F# G A B C D E
minor 3 above E = G
G major = G A B C D E F# G (E is the major sixth in the G major scale)
Notice they both use the same key signature (1 sharp = F#)

Anyway hope this all helps
Good Luck
Si
20tiger, thank you so much! that was exactly what I was looking for. I was hoping someone else in the world thought like me. I was beginning to lose faith in myself. I just looked at the circle of fifths and I got this feeling like "wow everything makes sense now" stuff just started clicking, and then I read your thread and it really tied it all together. Thanks a lot everyone.

My teacher told us that the only way she can understand some complex theory work is if she understands why and how. The only way I understand is with shortcuts. So she teaches the whole class as if she is teaching herself. If that makes any sense to anyone... =D thanks again!
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20tiger, thank you so much! that was exactly what I was looking for.

No worries man we are all glad to help.

If you can accurately construct any major scale on the fly you should be good to work out relative and parallel scales and the sharps and flats of each.

Make sure you get in a bit of practice. And good luck with your test tomorrow.
Si
Thanks a lot. I think my problem comes from not being able to construct my major scales on the fly. I mean I can do it, it just takes me a little while. Oh trust me I have been practicing for 3 hours now. I am getting better!
Quote by andrew6986
Thanks a lot. I think my problem comes from not being able to construct my major scales on the fly. I mean I can do it, it just takes me a little while. Oh trust me I have been practicing for 3 hours now. I am getting better!

No worries just work through the step pattern
W W H W W W H

And work through your chromatic notes.

Make sure you spend a few minutes every day for the next couple months reviewing your circle of fifths till it is completely memorized.

It is so great to know off the top of your head that E major has four sharps and that those sharps are F# C# G# and D#, or that Bb has two flats and that they are Bb and Eb.
Si
Bear in mind, though, that this particular Co5 includes neither the signature contiaining seven flats (Cb major, Ab minor) nor the one containing seven sharps (C# major, A# minor). Other than those omissions, it's a good Co5. Now go ace your test!
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