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!

Diminished Chord Shortcut

Do you know the notes in all of your diminished chords? If not – here is a shortcut method that works provided that you know all chord tones in your dominant 7th chords.

Here is an example:

What are the chord tones in an F# diminished 7th? The shortcut is to use the root of the diminished chord with the 3,5 and b7 from the dominant 7th chord a half step below. So we would combine the A,C and Eb from the F7 with the root of the diminished chord.

The notes in the F# diminished 7th chord are F#,A,C,Eb.

Hope this helps!