Sharps and Flats Brain Crutch

Wouldn’t it be nice to have something that is easy to remember that tells us the order of sharps or flats in a certain key?

If you answered yes then read on.

I learned the following from bass man Rob Jewett. For sharps use the phrase “Five Cowboys Got Drunk At Ed’s Bar” ( what do you expect I live in Texas ). The first letter of each word indicates the order that sharps are added from left to right e.g. F,C,G,D,A,E,B.

You can use the word “BEAD” and the acronym “GCF” ( greatest common factor ) to remember the order of flats from left to right e.g. B,E,A,D,G,C,F.

Do you have a different brain crutch that you use to remember the order of sharps or flats?

Have fun with your new found brain crutch!


  1. Jeff Rodman says:

    A Brain Crutch from School Days

    Here’s what I had at school:

    Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle

    Battle Ends And Down Goes Charles’ Father

    Great! A nice semantic palindrome that is easy to remember. Yup, it swings both ways!