Jared Cattoor will walk you through the meaning behind the daunting circle of fifths (AKA the circle of fourths) and teach you its many practical uses. Broken down into 5 easy to digest videos and accompanied by colorful charts and workbooks to help you learn!
Here are just a few things you'll be able to do quickly and easily after learning how to use the Circle of Fifths...
As you go along, you'll get a primer on chord voicings, scale construction, and scale harmonization. To reinforce what you learn in the videos, we've included some puzzles and worksheets, plus written explanations.
*IMPORTANT: Get the Workbook from the Resources section! It contains information on intervals, the circle of fifths, and exercises to help you learn!*
The circle of fifths is a huge part of Western music theory. The circle of fifths was created to display how many sharps or flats each key has in it. The cycle is often described with a clock-like picture (you can get a printable version in the resources section). Look at the picture and you will notice that C is at 12 o'clock with the number 0 under it. The numbers represent how many accidentals are in each key. C is the only key with 0 accidentals in it.
Now, notice the number 1 by G. The key of G major has one sharp (F#). The next letter moving clockwise from G is D. D is the 5th note in the key of G; D major has two sharps (F# and C#). Each key always adds one accidental and always keeps the previous accidentals.
When you move clockwise, you will have sharp keys until C#. If you go counterclockwise, you have flats under Cb. Also, if you move counterclockwise, the interval from to note to note is a perfect fourth. You could also call this the "Cycle of Fourths." When moving counterclockwise, the keys move in perfect fourths. Notice that C to F is a perfect forth, and so on.
For the interval explanations and exercises, download the workbook!
*Download Workbook 2 in the Resources section!*
The major scale is the most commonly used scale in Western music. The major scale is also known as the Ionian mode when referring to the diatonic modes. The scale is made up of seven notes and the octave. Solfége, or numbers are often used to refer to the specific scale degrees. The numbers are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 – 8 being the octave. The corresponding solfége is: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, La, Ti, Do. The numbers and solfége can be applied to any of the scales.
There are 12 pitches in music; so there can only be 12 major scales. If enharmonic notes are used, you can have more than 12 spellings. For example: C# Major and Db Major are enharmonic to each other, but spelled completely different. Some spellings are more practical than others due to the amount of sharps and flats. For example, the key of C# Major has 7 sharps – every single note is sharp! However, Db Major is written in a way that it only has 5 flats. Db is used more often since it has less accidentals.
Now you’re ready to learn the building blocks of the major scale and start to build!
There are two ways of thinking to create a major scale. One way to create the scale is to use whole steps and half steps. The other way to create the scale is to use only half steps.
The “major scale formula” is Whole step, Whole step, Half step, Whole step, Whole step, Whole step, Half step. Think 2 wholes, a half, 3 wholes, a half.
Download Workbook 2 for the major scale practice exercises and more explanations!
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