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Music Theory Intro: DIY Circle of 5th -Guitar Piano Ukulele

Create Your Own Circle & how to write 12 notes! Music Tool is Easy to Carry & Use - a MUST for piano, guitar, ukulele
4.5 (24 ratings)
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1,496 students enrolled
Created by Rosa Suen
Last updated 11/2015
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  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 9 Articles
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  • Certificate of Completion
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What Will I Learn?
Distinguish the difference between a static circle and a Moving Circle
Understand what the 12 Letters Represent
Spot the 5 Enharmonic Names in the Circle
Recognize the Circle include all the tones of an Octave
Learn how to write the letters correctly
Understand why the Circle is not written chromatically
Become crystal clear why it is Circle of 5ths & Circle of 4ths
Use the circle to find Perfect 5ths
Use the circle to find Perfect 4ths
Create a PERSONAL DIY Circle of 5ths
Let the Circle become your close FRIEND in all your playing
View Curriculum
  • A love for music
  • A passion for music
  • An old CD box or color paper

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



Review from Students who have created the DIY Circle:

From Alene Thornton:

Moving Circle...Such a unique idea

I taught the Circle to all my students but never thought about turning it into a Moving Circle...really brilliant idea, Rosa. This is an invaluable tool.

From JudyRae Harbin:

This moving circle such a BRILLIANT tool & worthy of mass production! Thank you Rosa!!You've done a thoroughly "absorbable and penetrating" job with it, as you always do!

Thank you so much for the magic moving wheel, , and for all your work!

Gratefully, JudyRae


From Barbara:

Thanks Rosa for the instructions on making the Circle of 5th's.

I am learning in leaps and bounds with your courses. I am more motivated than I have been in the past to keep learning. It's fun now to watch you play and hope to one day be nearly as good.

Thanks Rosa!

You have given us so much information in this course and I see you are still adding more. I feel like I am in college and my Major is Music. :)


The Circle of 5ths is a fascinating music tool for students studying piano, guitar, ukulele ... and as a matter of fact, all instruments studies!

  • Have you ever wondered what the letters mean?
  • Do you know how to make the Circle of 5ths come alive for you?
  • What is the difference between Circle of 5ths & Circle of 4ths?
  • How is it different from Circle of 12ths?
  • How is the Circle of 5ths related to the 12 tones in the span of an octave?
  • Are you often frustrated with the order of sharps & flats?

Here's the Secret: Turn the Static Circle of 5ths into a Dynamic Moving Circle. When you watch your circles move, you know exactly what I am talking about!

Learn how to let the 12 tones interact with each so that they can dance together and run harmoniously.

In this course, I will show you how to make a Do It Yourself (DIY) Circle of 5ths so that you can use this musical tool wherever you go. If you take all my Circle of 5ths courses at different levels, you will be able to use this DIY Circle of 5ths to play by ear, to predict chord progressions, to write your own songs, to reharmonize songs with more sophisticated chords, to analyze popular standards.

The DIY Circle of 5ths is my GIFT to all musicians.

Let it become your best friend forever in your music journey!

Many musicians are now using my DIY Circle of 5ths and they take it along with their guitar wherever they go. This is a compact handy tool for you to use. Many of my students are taking it to the piano to play their favorite songs by Ear. Also ukulele players are in awe of where the Circle of 5ths can take them to pursue their music dreams.

Join Us!

You will also learn the following Magic Circle Tips:

Magic Circle of 5ths Tip 1: Only 12 Letters - 7 Letters & 5 with Enharmonic Names

Magic Circle of 5ths Tip 2: Make Your Circle Run

Magic Circle of 5ths Tip 3: Put Key at 12 o clock position

Magic Circle of 5ths Tip 4: One Circle corresponds to One Octave

Magic Circle of 5ths Tip 5: Create your own DIY Circle - use CD

Magic Circle of 5ths Tip 6: Circle does not move alphabetically like the piano

Magic Circle of 5ths Tip 7: Chord Tones like to Move Up in Perfect 5ths

Magic Circle of 5ths Tip 8: Chord Tones like to Move Up in Perfect 4ths

Magic Circle of 5ths Tip 9: Chord Tones like to Move Up in Perfect 4ths

Magic Circle of 5ths Tip 10: Magic Circle Reveals Key Signatures: Sharps & Flats

Magic Circle of 5ths Tip 11: Right Side - Sharps

Magic Circle of 5ths Tip 12: Left Side - Flats

Magic Circle of 5ths Tip 13: Add 1 More

Magic Circle of 5ths Tip 14: Let Your Circle Become Your Music FRIEND!

Join us and enroll into this course to make your Circle of 5ths. Let it come alive to you as a Dynamic Circle, and not a Static circle that you often see in books. This is very unique. And let's have fun together!

See you all inside,



Listen to what some of her students are saying regarding her courses:

Chris T

Rosa has an unique was of teaching, She structure the course in a way, it let us figure out things first before giving us answers, not spoon feeding us. No dry boring lesson , I feel I'm being taught by how & why it 'works'... and not traditionally rigid like many other course out there. Thumbs up & keep up the good work.

Ivan Bradley

I have been teaching myself to play the ukulele for the past few months but had been struggling to understand which chords went together and why. I was able to play by ear but it was entirely through guesswork. The circle of 5ths really helps you understand how chord progressions work and Rosa's moving version makes so much more sense than a static circle. It's only been a few days since I started the course but I feel that I have a much better understanding of music theory already. Plus Rosa's voice is so pleasant! I really look forward to listening to the videos and playing my ukulele after a long day at work.

Melody Evans

I play guitar, Indian flute, and dulcimer, all by ear. This class is helping me to understand music like I have always wanted to. Don't get me wrong, I love playing by ear; I have just always wanted to also understand music. It is a real time-saver for me when I can refer to my Magic Wheel instead of listening for the note or chord that fits. This has opened up a whole new aspect of music for me. Thank you, thank you.


I finished your course The magic Circle of 5ths and I am amazed on how much I have learned. I can finally understand the circle and its purpose. I have study music for several years now, I even went to school and got an associate in music and they mention the circle of 5ths but only to remember the sharp and flats (static circle). I started to create my own compositions and I knew that the circle of 5ths was a great tool but didn't have the guidance to understand it and fully use it until I discover your course. I think you are doing a wonderful job and I can not wait to learn from the level 2 course.


About Rosa's Online School:

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  • Enroll into this course

Who is the target audience?
  • Serious musicians who want to compose their own songs
  • piano players playing by ear
  • Guitar players predicting chord progressions in songs
  • Piano players playing by ear
  • Ukulele players playing from a fake book
  • Anyone who wants to understand music theory
Students Who Viewed This Course Also Viewed
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 30 Lectures Collapse All 30 Lectures 01:10:42
3 Lectures 06:21

Summary Topic Content of the Course

My Journey with the CIrcle of 5ths
Magic Circle Tip 1: Only 12 Letters
2 Lectures 04:35

After you have done your assignment, take a picture and show me how you have written the 12 Tones.

This assignment is very EZ to do yet students get the letters wrong.

Preview 00:23
Magic Circle Tip 2: Static Circle vs Moving Circle
2 Lectures 03:35

Take out the homework assignment you did in the previous lecture.

Tell me:

1. Does your circle with the letters written look like the circle on the left?

2. Does your circle with the letters written look like the circle on the right?


Food for Thought:

1. If you have written your letters like the one on the left, it is a static circle because the letters are facing you.

2. If you have written your letters like the one on the right, it is no longer a static circle. Why do you think that is the case?

Think about this before you move to the next lecture!

Preview 00:56

Most of the circles we see in books have the letters facing you!

  • When the tones face you, they don't interact with one another.
  • Just like when the children are standing there facing you, they don't interact with one another.
  • They can't move and dance together.
  • Their eyes are not facing each other.


Make the Circle of 5ths Alive:

  • Write the tones so that they face each other
  • Just like the children facing one another
  • they can now move together
  • they see each other and they can move HARMONIOUSLY
  • they like each other and they will dance together harmoniously
  • this is how music tones like to work
  • they work harmoniously in an interactive way
  • they are dynamic
  • they are not static
  • they like to dance and run together
  • they watch how each other move so that they can move together to make beautiful music!

It is very IMPORTANT that you look at the Circle in this way!

This will help you understand music theory in ONE flash as you study the Circle of 5ths Courses at different levels:

Level 1 - 12 Major Keys, 12 Major Scales, Chord Progressions, Secondary Dominants

Level 2 - Tritones, Tritone Chord Substitutions, Chord Progressions, Turn Arounds

Level 3 - Improvisation - Pentatonic Major Scales, Pentatonic Minor scales, Blues Scales

Level 4 - 7 Modes in Music - Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Myxolydian, Aeolian, Locrian

Level 5 - Minor Key Songs - Minor Chord Progressions - Aeolian

Magic Circle Tip: 2 Make Your Circle Run
Magic Circle Tip 3 - Put Key at 12 o clock
1 Lecture 03:29
The Magic Moving Circle - 12 Keys
One Circle Only - For all 88 Keys
1 Lecture 05:19
Fun Project - Create Your Own Circle of 5ths Tool
6 Lectures 06:02
Magic Circle Tip 5: DIY Rotary Circle at no cost - Use CD

3 Simple Steps to Making Your Circle of 5ths

The Outer Circle with 12 Tones.

1. Cut a Circle with the same size of the CD Disk.

2. Write out the 12 Tones facing one another.

Step 1: Make the Outer Circle

Step 2: Make the Inner Circle

Step 3: Put the 2 Circles Together

Samples of students masterpiences: DIY Circle of 5ths
Use DIY Moving Circle - Understand Pattern Movement
4 Lectures 11:41
Circle of 5ths Letters
  • Why are the letters in the circle written in this way?
  • Think about this before you go to the next lecture.
Magic Circle Tip 6: Circle does not move alphabetically like the piano

Dynamic Circle of 5ths Movement - Moving up in Perfect 5ths

In Clockwise Position:

C to G

G to D

D to A

A to E

E to B

B to F#

Gb to Db

Db to Ab

Ab to Eb

Eb to Bb

Bb to F

F to C

Magic Circle Tip 7: Chord Tones like to Move Up in Perfect 5ths

Circle of 5ths Movement

Moving up in Perfect 4ths

Counter Clockwise Movement:

C to F

F to Bb

Bb to Eb

Eb to Ab

Ab to Db

Db to Gb

F# to B

B to E

E to A

A to D

D to G

G to C

Magic Circle Tip 8: Chord Tones like to Move Up in Perfect 4ths

Circle of 5ths At the Piano:

Moving Up in 5ths and Down in 4ths Clockwise position:

C to G

G to D

D to A

A to E

E to B

B to F#

Gb to Db

Db to Ab

Ab to Eb

Eb to Bb

Bb to F

F to C

Magic Circle Tip 9: At the PIano - Up in 5ths / Down in 4ths
2 Lectures 07:37
Conclusion & Moving Forward

Circle of 5ths Level 1 - 12 Major Keys, Secondary Dominants, ETC
Bonus Application: Use Your Magic Circle to See All 12 Key Signatures
8 Lectures 21:59

Magic Circle of 5ths

Key Signatures:

Tip: Look at it like a face of a clock!

Right side: All Sharp Keys

G Key - 1 Sharp

D Key - 2 Sharps

A Key - 3 Sharps

E Key - 4 Sharps

B Key - 5 Sharps

F# Key - 6 Sharps

Left Side: All Flat Keys

F Key - 1 Flat

Bb Key - 2 Flats

Eb Key - 3 Flats

Ab Key - 4 Flats

Db Key - 5 Flats

Gb Key - 6 Flats

Magic Circle Tip 10: Sharps & Flats

Magic Circle of 5ths: Tip to find the Key Signatures:

Right side: All Sharp Keys

G Key - F#

D Key - F# C#

A Key - F# C# G#

E Key - F# C# G# D#

B Key - F# C# G# D# A#

F# Key - F# C# G# D# A# E#

Magic Circle Tip 11: Right Side - Sharps

Magic Circle of 5ths

Left Side - All Flats

F Key - Bb

Bb Key - Bb Eb

Eb Key - Bb Eb Ab

Ab Key - Bb Eb Ab Db

Db Key - Bb Eb Ab Db Gb

Gb Key - Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb

Magic Circle Tip 12: Left Side - Flats

The Magic Trick: Just ADD One More as you move along

In the order of sharps: Just add one extra sharp as you move to the right

G Key - 1 Sharp

D Key - 2 Sharps

A Key - 3 Sharps

E Key - 4 Sharps

B Key - 5 Sharps

F# Key - 6 Sharps

In the order of flats: just add one extra flat as you move counter clockwise on the left

F Key - 1 Flat

Bb Key - 2 Flats

Eb Key - 3 Flats

Ab Key - 4 Flats

Db Key - 5 Flats

Gb Key - 6 Flats

Magic Circle Tip 13: Add 1 More

Circle of 5ths

To add the Sharps in the Key Signature:

Start at F, and then move forward:


F# C#

F# C# G#

F# C# G# D#

F# C# G# D# A#

F# C# G# D# A# E#

Magic Circle Tip 14: Order of Sharps - Start at F

Circle of 5ths

To add the Flats in the Key Signature:

Start at B, and then move counter clockwise:


Bb Eb

Bb Eb Ab

Bb Eb Ab Db

Bb Eb Ab Db Gb

Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb

Magic Circle Tip 15: Order of Flats - Start at B

Circle Movement to Find Sharps & Flats for Key Signature:

1. Set C at 12 o clock position

2. The order of sharps: 7 Sharps








3. The order of flats: 7 flats








Magic Circle Tip 16: Clockwise for Sharps + Counter Clockwise for Flats

Circle of 5ths Movement


Add Flats in this order: B E A D G C F


Add Sharps in the reverse order: F C G D A E B

Magic Circle Tip 17: Add One Extra
Bonus Lecture: Cool Stuff for all students
1 Lecture 00:40
Bonus Lecture: Cool Stuff & Enjoy!
About the Instructor
4.6 Average rating
724 Reviews
19,767 Students
56 Courses
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.

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