Music Theory #3 - Circle of 5ths - Compose & Improvise

Ceate solos & improvise with Major Pentatonic melodic lines. Compose your first song & Improvise on Penatonic songs.
4.5 (12 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a
course's star rating by considering a number of different factors
such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the
likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,517 students enrolled
Instructed by Rosa Suen Music / Music Fundamentals
92% off
Take This Course
  • Lectures 133
  • Length 4 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
Wishlisted Wishlist

How taking a course works


Find online courses made by experts from around the world.


Take your courses with you and learn anywhere, anytime.


Learn and practice real-world skills and achieve your goals.

About This Course

Published 10/2015 English

Course Description

Rosa's Online School:

  • Teaching 22 Courses on Business Successes - Udemy, Kindle, Skillshare!
  • Teaching 42 Courses on Music & Piano Courses!

OVER 25,000 Successful students have already taken my online courses since July 2014 with 877 - 5 Star Reviews

Course Updated: Nov 1, 2016



Welcome to the course on Circle of 5ths Level 3!

I’m so happy you’re here.

Welcome to the course on Circle of 5ths Level 3! I designed this course for anyone who wants to compose his/her first song using the Circle of 5ths.

You don’t need to know a lot of music theory to write your own song. Even a total beginner can do this.

What you need to know is that there is a musician inside you waiting for you to discover.

Maybe you have always thought that you are not musical Well, you are going to be in for a big surprise! You are going to learn NEW & EASY Tricks to create melodic lines using Pentatonic tones.

We are going to Rock with your first Solo!

Whether you play piano, the keyboard, guitar or ukulele, you are going to start improvising and creating melody lines for your solos.

It’s a dream for many people to be able to write their first song of their life!

This course will help musicians at all levels but for beginners, you can just stay in the Key of C.

In this course, you are going to use the Circle of 5ths to identify all the 12 Major Pentatonic Scales easily! You don't need to refer to any charts or look up any music scale books. The Circle is all you need!

You may ask: Why the Pentatonic tones?

Pentatonic melodies are easy to sing! There are no dissonant intervals between these pitches.

This is a scale that a lot of guitar players use to solo with and to improvise on.

Here’s the secret: For beginners to make music easily, to create solo lines that sound melodic, you need to avoid the 2 tones that clash in the scale. This is what this course is about!

  • You are going to play around with these 5 tones around, making them long and short, moving them up and down to put them into rhythm & musical phrases.
  • You are going to be so surprised how easy it is to write the first line of your solo using only these 5 tones.
  • Using these Pentatonic Tones, you can also create runs and fills that you can freely put into your music to wow you audience.
  • You will learn the rhythmic pattern of 4/4, 3/4 and 6/8

To add extra bonuses to the course, you will learn to play 5 songs that are written in Pentatonic Tones.

For the advanced musicians, you will learn to improvise over these songs in different Keys using different Pentatonic scales.

You don't need to be afraid of improvising anymore or be scared of playing lousy music because in the pentatonic scale, all the tones sound good with no clashes when you improvise them over a set of chord progressions.


In the Circle of 5ths Level 3 Course:

7 Parts in Pentatonic Music Theory & Practice:

  • Part 1 - Circle of 5ths Formula for Major Pentatonic Scales
  • Part 2 - Fun Ear Training
  • Part 3 - 7 Fun Solo Improvisation - Sing / Hum to the Pentatonic tones in Runs
  • Part 4 - First Line of Songs - Pentatonic Tones
  • Part 5 - How to Compose your first line
  • Part 6 - Songs written in Petatonic Tones
  • Part 7 - Improvise over the Pentatonic Songs

5 Fun Ear Training to imprint the Pentatonic Sounds into your heart

7 Fun Solo Improvisation

20 Guiding Rules when playing Pentatonic sounds

9 Fun Activities for you to practice the Pentatonic sounds

By the end of the course, you will have the confidence to create your first solo and be proud of playing your first piece of composition!

My students are having fun in here. Join us and enroll into this course to make your dream come true,



About Rosa's Online School:

  • Over 25,000 very happy students already in my Udemy classes
  • See the 5 Star Reviews from VERY satisfied students
  • You get free lifetime access
  • All videos are at your finger tips to watch anytime & anywhere
  • All future extra lectures and upgrades are always free
  • Unconditional Udemy 30 day money-back guarantee and that's my personal promise to your success!
  • Join this happy family of students
  • Enroll into this course

What are the requirements?

  • It is helpful if you have some knowledge of musical terms like chords, scales, etc but not necessary
  • A musical instrument

What am I going to get from this course?

  • COMPOSE your first dream song!
  • ROCK with your first solo
  • CREATE solos using the Pentatonic Scale tones
  • IMPROVISE freely
  • IDENTIFY the 5 tones in a Major Pentatonic Scale
  • DISCOVER the ease of improvising on the Pentatonic Scale Tones
  • MAKE music with confidence
  • SPOT out pentatonic sounds in songs
  • HAVE FUN finding the first line of songs with pentatonic sounds
  • AVOID the 2 tones that will clash in your music
  • USE the Circle to play all 12 Major Pentatonic Scales
  • MAKE music impromptu with the 5 unique tones
  • CREATE beautiful sounding runs and fills using pentatonic tones
  • IMPROVISE over 5 songs using pentatonic tones over chord progressions

Who is the target audience?

  • The musician inside you is waiting for you to discover!
  • This course is perfect if you play a musical instrument like guitar, piano, ukulele.
  • The course helps all levels of musicians, but for beginners, you can just stay in the C Key.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Welcome & Introduction
Welcome to the course - Compose your first song using Major Pentatonic Tones
Overview of the Course
Section 2: Circle of 5ths - Major Pentatonic Scale
Major Pentatonic Scale - 5 Tone Scale
Major Pentatonic Tones - No dissonant interval sounds
Simple Trick to find 12 Major Pentatonic Scales in the Circle of 5ths
Fun Activity 1: Use my Formula to find 12 Major Pentatonic Scales in the Circle
Answer Sheet to Activity 1
13 pages
Section 3: Ear Training: Imprint the Pentatonic Sounds in your Head
Fun Ear Training 1: Pentatonic Tones in Different Keys
Fun Ear Training 2: 12 Major Penatonic Keys in Order
Fun Ear Training 3: Listen to the 12 Major Pentatonic Sounds by Ear
Fun Ear Training 4: Listen to the Oriental flavor of Pentatonic tones
Fun Activity 2: Play around with the C Major Pentatonic Tones
Section 4: Solo Improvisation 1: 4/4 Melodic Pentatonic Tones Sing
Guiding Rule 1: To make music & create solos, we must improvise in Rhythm
Guiding Rule 2: Music Sounds Great going up sequentially in 4/4
Guiding Rule 3: Keyboard Fingering Tip - Thumb leading the first tone
Fun Activity 3: Practice your Solo 1: Sheet Music for Guitar, Piano, Ukulele
2 pages
Section 5: Solo Improvisation 2: 4/4 Melodic Pentatoic Tones Coming Down
Guiding Rule 4: Melodies like to come down sequentially in 4/4
Guiding Rule 5: Keyboard Fingering Tip - Pinkie as Guiding point
Guiding Rule 6: Sing in your heart - Can you hear waterfall rushing down?
Fun Activity 4: Practice your Solo 2: Sheet Music for Guitar, Piano, Ukulele
2 pages
Section 6: Solo Improvisation 3: 4/4 Melodic Pattern Going Up & Coming Down
Guiding Rule 7: To create drama for intros & endings, go up & come down

It's important that you sing along so that these tones are imprinted in your mind. Music sings. Music is not just all notes. We want to create melodies. We want to compose songs. We want to write our first solos. So let your heart sing as you play. Some people are very passive when they play music. They don't sing. They just listen. Learn to sing as you play. If you don't think that you are a good singer, you can sing with your heart! If you can't sing, you can hum along with your heart!

Fun Activity 5: Practice your Solo 3: Sheet Music for Guitar, Piano, Ukulele
1 page
Section 7: Solo Improvisation 4: 6/8 Melodic Pattern Going Up
Guiding Rule 9: Waltz Dance Music is played in Groups of 3
Guiding Rule 10: Fingering Tip for Keyboard - Use Thumb to Guide 1 2 3
Guiding Rule 11: Play Triplets in 2 Groups for 6/8 Time
Fun Activity 6: Practice your Solo 4: Sheet Music for Guitar, Piano & Ukulele
3 pages
Section 8: Solo Improvisation 5: 6/8 Twirling Dance
Guiding Rule 12: Create a Spiral Effect - 2 Groups of Triplets coming down
Guiding Rule 13 : Fingering Tip for Keyboard: Pinkie to guide in every 6th note
Guiding Rule 14: When 6/8 coming down in Fast Tempo - Twirling in a Dance
Fun Activity 7: Practice your Solo 5: Sheet Music for Guitar, Piano, Ukulele
1 page
Section 9: Solo Improvisation 6: 4/4: Walking Steps
Guiding Rule 15: Skipping a Tone & Alternating Up
Guiding Rule 16: Fingering Tip for Keyboard: Thumb on the First Note
Guding Rule 17: Walking Steps at Different Tempo
Fun Activity 8: Practice your Solo 6 Sheet Music for Guitar, Piano, Ukulele
1 page
Section 10: Solo Improvisation 7: 4/4 Run like Raindrops keep falling on my head
Guiding Rule 18: Skipping a Tone & Alternating down
Guiding Rule 19: Fingering Tip for Keyboard: Pinkie as the guiding point
Guiding Rule 20: Can you hear Raindrops keep falling on your head?
Fun Activity 9: Practice your Solo 7 Sheet Music with Guitar, Piano, Ukulele
1 page
Section 11: First Line of Songs - Using Pentatonic Tones
First line of songs Part 1 - Beginning with Pentatonic Tones
Fun Activity 10: Find first line of songs that begins with Pentatonic tones
First line of songs Part 2 - Beginning with Pentatonic Tones
First line of songs Part 3 - Beginning with Pentatonic Tones
Section 12: Composing Part 1: Understand that Songs need to have Lyrics for them to sing!
Activity 11: Write out the lyrics of these first line of songs
Answer Sheet to the First Lines of the Songs
Composing the First line of song is the toughest!
Activity 12: Writing lyrics to your first new song
Section 13: Composing Part 2: Understand that Melodies have long and short tones
Song 1: O Christmas Tree - Pentatonic Numbers under the syllables of the words
Spot out the 'long tones' and the 'short tones'
Section 14: Fun Activities: Practice writing long tones & short tones
Practice Activities
Song 2: Changing Partners - Long tones & short tones
Answer: Changing Partners
Song 3: Do Re Mi - Long Tones & Short Tones
Answer: Do Re Mi
Song 4: Kum Ba Yah: Long tones and Short Tones
Answer: Kum Ba Yah
Song 5: My Way: Long tones and Short tones
Answer: My Way
Song 6: O Susanna: Long tone and Short tones
Answer Sheet: O Susanna
Song 7: Silent Night, Holy Night
Answer Sheet: Silent Night, Holy Night
Song 8: Silver Bells: Long tones and short tones
Answer Sheet: Silver Bells
Song 9: Tennessee Waltz: Long tones and Short tones
Answer Sheet: Tennessee Waltz
Song 10: Unchained Melody: Long tones and short tones
Answer Sheet: Unchained Melody
Song 11: Dashing Through The Snow: Long tones and short tones
Answer Sheet: Dashing Through the Snow
Section 15: Composing Part 3: Songs need to have Rhythm
We compose songs to rhythm
Song 1 Rhythm Step 1: O Christmas Tree - Find the emphasis in the lyrics
Song 1 Rhythm Step 2: Put the song into Time Signature - 3/4 or 4/4
Section 16: Fun Activities: Put these Different songs into 3/4 or 4/4
Practice Activities
Song 2: Changing Partners
Song 2: Changing Partners Melody
Song 2 Rhythm Step 1: Changing Partners - Emphasis in the Lyrics
Song 2 Rhythm Step 2: Changing Partners - 3/4 or 4/4
Song 3: My Way
Song 3 Rhythm 1: My Way - Emphasis in the Lyrics
Song 3 Rhythm 2: My Way - is it 3/4 or 4/4?
Song 4: Silver Bells
Song 4 Rhythm 1: Silver Bells - Emphasis in Lyrics
Song 4 Rhythm 2: Silver Bells - Is it 3/4 or 4/4?

Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed

  • Loading
  • Loading
  • Loading

Instructor Biography

Rosa Suen, Best Seller Music Teacher, 35 Years Pianist, 25,00+ students

Rosa is the Pastor and Church Pianist for a local community church in Hong Kong for over 30 years. She graduated from University of British Columbia and received her teaching certificate specializing in Chemistry and teaching English as a second language. She taught public schools in Canada for a couple of years and then went on to receive her Master's degree in Christian Theological Ministry at Ontario Theological Seminary in Toronto. She started full time ministry with her husband in 1989 and received intensive Pastoral Counselling and Discipleship Training at Christian Disciples Church. They were ordained to become church ministers as Pastors in 1996 in a local church in Tsuen Wan and have been ministering to this same congregation for almost 20 years now.

Over the years, she has gone on church missions to Mongolia, Sydney, Nepal, India and expedition trips to the Holy Lands: Israel, Greece and Turkey. Wherever she went, she found herself taking up the music ministry and became the church pianist for that church.

Many people at church have asked her to teach them to play piano. As a result of her passion in playing piano, she started developing piano courses initially for church pianists online since 2008. The piano courses are very unique because she was finally willing to share her Unique Piano Method: Color Chord Improvisation Method known as CCI. The CCI method works for all types of music: Gospel, Pop and Standards.

This Piano Method is easy, fun and creative that you learn to play piano not only from music score sheets, but to play chords from fake books and eventually to play by ear. Students all over the world have requested for courses to teach them play standards and popular songs. As a result she developed 3 Great Reharmonization Method courses for them to play from fake books and play by ear. The Dreamy Piano Techniques courses, especially the one on Autumn Leaves is her students favorite. She has a piano website at Learn Piano With Rosa where she continues to offer new courses to her students. She also holds piano workshops for her local students and train church pianists.

With her education and expertise in teaching, her students love her piano courses and found her piano lessons extremely easy and fun to play piano. They are highly motivated to play piano and playing piano had never been more fun and satisfying for them. You can read their testimonies on her website.

She is now an instructor at Udemy. Come and join her hundreds of students to play piano in a fun and creative way.

Ready to start learning?
Take This Course