More cheat sheets

Continuing the discussion from #4 - Altered Harmony Practice Planner:

I’m just starting out on this. The videos of the drills are useful, but I think what might be even more helpful (to me, anyway) are cheat sheets for any and all practice slots. Or is that too much to ask?

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Like you, I’ve often thought that more cheat sheets might be helpful. But, I decided that If I keep relying on reading what I need, I’ll never internalize what the current lessons/topics offer and make them my own. Sometimes it’s very hard and frustrating for me, but I think that maybe it’s better in the long run.

Just a thought.

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Interesting discussion as I have also been wondering an effective way to digest all the information that Hayden and teachers have prepared.

Cheat sheets is one idea that would be useful indeed. Another idea (and I haven’t worked out the best way to approach this) would be to somehow have a summary of key points but key points that could be held in one document (i.e. almost like a notebook of sorts).

For example:

  • When to use a Tritone
  • when to use a diminished chord
  • When to use Pentatonic chord runs
  • When to use a major chord a semitone below the primary chord
  • How to construct a 14625

just ideas…

Maybe this is similar to cheat sheets but one of the issues I have is my memory and tend to forget once learning something on one tune and trying to remember how to apply it in another tune… often spend time trying to locate where I came across what I was trying to recall (haha).

Interesting topic for sure be good to come up with some examples, etc. :grinning:



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Maybe. But different people learn differently.

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Hey Wendy :wave:t2:

Yes I can certainly try to create something for the first 3 practice slots.

It might be a little tricky with the single alteration exercises, because there is no set formula for where a single alteration can be placed in a dominant voicing, it depends on what voicing we play as the ii-7 chord which will usually dictate where the voices move when changing to the V7 chord.

There are many different voicings for the ii-7 chord but perhaps we could come up with some guidelines to follow when starting wit the different extended chords, ii-7, ii-9, ii-11, ii-13.

I will watch over the lessons again and see if I can think of any rules or guidelines to follow.

The UST Cheat Sheet

For the final 3 practice slots, the upper structure cheat sheet contains the 4 key formulas to remember:

Upper_Structure_Cheat_Sheet.pdf (1015.7 KB)

By memorising these 4 formulas we have the blueprint to bring out any altered colour for any dominant chord.

We do mention that US2 and US6 are well suited to major 251s, and US#4 and US#5 are well suited to minor 251s.

When we play US2 or US6 in a minor 251, the natural 6/13 can sometimes clash so that’s something to be aware of.

The major 251 is slightly more versatile in that all 4 common upper structures can be applied and sound great.

I would say as a priority get those 4 formulas memorised as upper structure harmony is the core theoretical pillar of this course.

Leave it with me and I will see what I can create for the first 3 slots :sunglasses:

Nice idea here Paul.

I think this would work well for chord substitution, for example, we could have the following areas:

  • when and why to use tritone subs
  • when and why to use passing chords
  • when and why to use diminished chords
  • when and why to use sus chords
  • other useful substitutions

I think it would be good to group these topics together by the theme, the above being a chord substitution themed workbook.

I really like the idea here. I can create something along the chord sub theme, and if it’s useful we can replicate for other areas like fills/runs and intros/outros.


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Sounds like a plan. Be good to test the water (so to speak) with a few ideas and we can refine from there. its almost a point form, not requiring a lot of effort on your part but rather a lookup type approach…

BTW an other idea I had but not sure how much effort would be involved and maybe we could combine some of this as well.

You know how on the main dashboard you have a menu for listing Jazz standards (beginner, intermediate and advanced), I wonder if its would any use to have something similar to list the theory (similar to what we are talking about above)?

Its almost like an index that you’d see the back of a book?

Just an idea




Love the idea of the chord substitution workbook! I think that would be very useful to all.

Paul, although is not a menu option, I find the Search feature in the Pro Dashboard to be very helpful for looking up many of the theory questions.

Lots of good ideas!

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Yes that’s another great idea Paul, and it would be relatively straightforward to compile this. The amount of lessons and content on site has grown so much that I think it’s always a good idea to add extra organisation.

As @celia mentioned, the search feature on the main site is handy. If you search for a theory topic it will return any lesson page that mentions that topic in the lesson description.

This can be useful as it will return jazz standard lessons that contain application of that theory. For example, if we search for the theory area “sus chords” we can see lots of jazz standard studies appear in addition to the actual theory lessons:

In other news:

The new live stream section of the site is coming along nicely. We’ve been working on the interface/workflow for students to register and add to their calendar. As soon as this is done I’ll put some more thought and energy into a theory lesson index page.

Thanks again for these great ideas.

All great ideas. I’ll take whatever help I can get. Thank you again Hayden for doing ALL of this.

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The theory lesson index page sounds like a great idea. I was looking for something the other day and couldn’t remember where it was located (and didn’t think about the search function, duh.) The search function is good, but sometimes you get inspired by looking at a list of things to study/review. But it’s something for the back burner.

It’s great to see the site continues to grow!

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