Where to post cheat sheets?

Hello everyone,

I’m new here and not familiar where things belong… While learning some music theory, I created some pdf cheat sheets for understanding scales/modes, intervals and chords better and I’d like to share them. Maybe they would be helpful for some of you, too.

Is there a place where I can post them? And is it possible to embed pdfs directly into posts like this one?

If you have a google drive , easiest to share from there if people want then. :slight_smile:


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iCloud Drive also works. You can make it public only for people who have a link, and post the link here in the Community.

Hello Katharina.
Welcome to the community and thank you for embracing the sharing spirit.
Can you please tag @LievenDV @DavidP and me when you share so we can check you are not giving spoilers re: Justin’s practical music theory course.

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Thanks to you all for answering! :slight_smile:
I’m glad that one can share resources here.

And I’ll make sure that I tag the mods. :slight_smile:

Okay, so I’ve looked for a better topic to post the cheat sheets, but I haven’t found something that fits properly… And i‘m not sure where exactly I’m allowed to post and where I’m not… So I’m going to leave the links here. To the mods: feel free, to move this where you see fit and let me know, if it spoilers something.

About the PDFs:
The Cheatsheets are just an overview, which I find quite helpful for transcribing or to familiarize myself with certain sounds. …or if I need to or want to change something in a song or just don’t understand what’s going on.
Maybe some of you might find them helpful, too. Please keep in mind, that I’m a self taught beginner, who has NOT been enrolled in a music theory course or has taken any lessons about music theory. So if you find any mistakes, please let me know. :slight_smile:

Without further ado, here are the links. I hope some of you will find them helpful. :slight_smile:


@Richard_close2u @LievenDV @DavidP


Very interesting work and presentation Katharina. Bravo on your efforts and sharing. This is an amazing resource.

I am reading with a ‘proof-read’ mind set and notice a few small details. This is not criticism, merely picking up on your invite to alert you to any issues.

___ ___ ___ … … … ___ ___ ___

You would simply describe modes as being from the major scale without needing to mention natural minor. The natural minor scale (Aeolian) is a mode, not a source of modes. All derives from the major scale.

___ ___ ___ … … … ___ ___ ___

When listing modes, you would also refer to major as the Ionian mode and natural minor as Aeolian. In general, when discussing multiple scales and / or modes, you would definitely include ‘natural’ within the minor scale name also to keep it distinct from other minor-type scales.

What is the 1 3 then 2 4 then 3 5 etc. numbering under the names?

___ ___ ___ … … … ___ ___ ___



I advise that you avoid using Roman numerals for half and whole steps. They are used for chords and this could cause confusion. Use digits 1 and 2 instead, or T and S for tone and semitone, or maintain the W and H labels.

___ ___ ___ … … … ___ ___ ___

You have accidentally missed out that it needs to be Bb in Mixolydian.

___ ___ ___ … … … ___ ___ ___


Your list of degrees is unclear. These terms can refer to notes (scale degrees) though are mainly used for the harmonic function of chords. In the key of C, E is the 3rd scale degree (and could be called mediant but is not usually) and Em would be the mediant chord. Mediant does not refer to the middle of three notes within a triad.

___ ___ ___ … … … ___ ___ ___


Sus chords do not have 3rd or b3rd and are not called power chords. The name is exclusively used for chords with R and 5th only.

___ ___ ___ … … … ___ ___ ___


Diminished has b3 and b5.

___ ___ ___ … … … ___ ___ ___


This would be called a ‘6 chord’ not a maj6. If it had a root note of B it would be called B6 (you could call it Badd6).
You only use the ‘maj’ label when the major 7 is present.
___ ___ ___ … … … ___ ___ ___


Dominant is a term used for a chord, not a note. You would say to add the b7 (not add dominant 7).

___ ___ ___ … … … ___ ___ ___


The double naming of the 9 is not needed. Dispense with the ‘2’ label and simply write 9.

I hope that helps. Cheers :smiley:
| Richard | JustinGuitar Approved Teacher, Official Guide & Moderator

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It says ‘Power chords’, without 3 or b3, :thinking:

A lot of work, esp as it looks like it’s hand written.
Pity the colours are not in greater contrast to the white background, I found some if it hard to read.
Nice :smiley:


Thank you so much for taking the time to check the cheat sheets out AND giving such in depth feedback. You gave me a lot of clarity about a lot of things I’ve been confused about.

And now it became more than obvious to me, that I have written these for myself and am anything but a teacher :smiley:

So I’m going to edit the obviously wrong and misleading parts.
But I’m unsure about the extended chords. I learned about them from a jazz pianist who told me, that if you only have a number like in X9 or X13 you play the b7 as well.
So for the X13 it would be 1-3-5-b7-13. But if there’s an “add” in front of the number you only add that particular tone (X13= 1-3-5-13). Have I gotten that wrong or is my way of displaying this misleading?

@brianlarsen Thank you for your feedback! In my notetaking app I have another background color and I don’t know why the file got exported without that :neutral_face: I’m going to reupload the files when they’re revised and will definitely check the background color :smiley:
But to be honest, the writing part wasn’t the issue… Being able to write this down on the other hand… it took me a while creating these. My prior knowledge only included things like: this is 4/4, major sounds happy, minor sounds sad and a scale has 7 notes in it.

The Jazz pianist is correct but he has 8 fingers and 2 thumbs to play all those notes. As a guitar player we are (mostly) limited to 4 fingers and a thumb so some note need to be sacrificed. The 5th is usually the first to get punted.

Pianists have many advantages over guitar players,
Being able to play ten notes simultaneously is one. We are limited to six as a maximum - which is often undesirable in sound.

I will lead through a build up process of a major triad that morphs into an expanding series of dominant chords (in other words, all containing b7).

G major = 1, 3, 5 = G, B, D

G7 = 1, 3, 5, b7 = G, B, D, F

G9 = 1, 3, 5, b7, 9 = G, B, D, F, A

G11 = 1, 3, 5, b7, 9, 11 = G, B, D, F, A, C

G13 = 1, 3, 5, b7, 9, 11, 13 = G, B, D, F, A, C, E

That is a 7-note chord and cannot be played on a 6-string guitar. Note how it uses all seven letter names and is as big a chord as we can make. If we were to push towards thinking of G15 we would find that the 15th scale degree is the note G, two octaves above the 1 so we would be repeating ourselves and no new chord would be made.

These chords are all built using the process of stacking thirds (from the major scale). Count a note, miss a note, count a note, miss a note etc.

They are all dominant (once we pass the basic G major triad) so the b7 needs to be present in all. The 1 must be present to give the root note. The 3 must be present to give the major-ness type otherwise they would be minor type chords. Other notes are expendable.

7 chords = 1, 3, 5, b7
Or the 5 can be omitted
7 chords = 1, 3, b7

It is the same with 9 chords.
9 chords = 1, 3, 5, b7, 9
G9 = 1, 3, b7, 9

11 chords can have both the 5 and / or the 9 omitted.

11 chords = 1, 3, 5, b7, 9, 11
11 chords = 1, 3, b7, 9, 11
11 chords = 1, 3, 5, b7, 11
11 chords = 1, 3, b7, 11

A similar approach can be applied to 13 chords but I will not write each and every permutation. It is easier to write the chord formula with degrees that must be present in bold.

13 chords = 1, 3, 5, b7*, 9, 11, 13

The full set of dominant chords represented in this manner is:

  • 7 chords = 1, 3, 5, b7

  • 9 chords = 1, 3, 5, b7, 9

  • 11 chords = 1, 3, 5, b7*, 9, 11

  • 13 chords = 1, 3, 5, b7*, 9, 11, 13

… a jazz pianist who told me, that if you only have a number like in X9 or X13 you play the b7 as well.

Yes, the b7 must be present for all extensions of a dominant chord.

… But if there’s an “add” in front of the number you only add that particular tone (X13= 1-3-5-13).


Add within a chord name means you have the triad notes plus whichever note the name indicates is being added to those.

  • add 13 chords = 1, 3, 5, 13

  • add 9 chords = 1, 3, 5, 9

  • add #7 = 1, 3, 5, #7

Sometimes the word add is not used but the note / notes that are to be added are written in a bracket (parenthesis) after the main chord name.

  • G addd 13 = G (13)

  • G add 9 = G (9)

  • G add #7 = G (#7)

Probably being overly pedantic, because it happens rarely, but there are rootless chord voicings, right? I’m thinking of a 6th-string rootless 9 chord, for example G9 played as x2323x. Here the 4 notes are 3rd, b7th, 9th and 5th. I believe Justin teaches these in his blues rhythm module.

I suppose there are other rootless chord grips as well. I guess the idea is that another instrument (like the bass) will handle the root note.

This is the crux of it John, yes, you’re right.
If a guitarist is playing a rootless chord, someone else in a band setting takes care of the root.

It can work within a single guitar setting, if the context is sufficient clear, and the implication of the root comes from a very strong harmonic sense of structure and movement.