Remembering key signatures: another silly little trick

Key signatures are critical. Says David Cope “Key signatures are the equivalent of addition and multiplication tables in mathematics – absolutely essential for succeeding”

(Psst, you can practice key signature flashcards using my little tool. You can learn more about them in the posts about circle of fifths. And another little trick to remember stuff.)

So “this one weird trick” I learned today is about remembering the number of sharps in major keys. It looks into how many strokes with your pencil you need so you can write the key letter.

E.g. G you can write in one go. Which tells you that G major has 1 sharp.


Next is D. Written with one line down and a second semi-circle. Two strokes in total. Ergo – 2 sharps.


For A you need 3.


4 for E. (Usually you start writing E with one stroke that looks like L and then add two more, but hey, let’s go along with this, ok? 4 is what it takes and that’s that.)


5 for B. (I know, I know)


The trick falls apart at F, though I’m sure if you try really hard, you can write an F with 6 strokes. But think of F as the exception. It has 6 sharps. And then we’re done with C#. Which we all know has aaaaall of the sharps.

So there.



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