Circle of fifths question

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by monfoodoo, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. DavyA

    DavyA Tele-Meister

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    Up a fifth down a fourth! So you're cycle is fourths...the other way is fifths!
     
  2. Bandit

    Bandit Tele-Meister

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    Ask a saxophone or piano player. I played in a band with a tenor sax.
    It was a Bb saxophone so for him to play a C note it wouldn't be a C note on the sax or the sheet music. Off on a tangent again.


    Sheet Music and Tablature always show the sharps and flats.
    The easy way would be to look at a song in the key of E and count the sharps. Do that for all keys and put them into your memory bank.


    Or simply take all the major scales and write down all the sharp or flat notes in each key.
     
  3. davie blue

    davie blue Tele-Meister

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    So for flats, "Battle Ends, And Down Goes Charles' Father???"

    Hey, that kinda works!
     
  4. Budda

    Budda Tele-Holic

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    Not if you're Charles' father! :twisted:
     
  5. Joe-Bob

    Joe-Bob Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yes write them all out and practice. Never hurts.


    But there's an easier way.


    We all know the names of the scale degrees in syllables, right? Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do... With me so far? The last sharp is always Ti (or a half step below Do), and the last flat is always Fa (or a perfect 4th above Do). Always. :cool:
     
  6. monfoodoo

    monfoodoo Tele-Holic

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    between reading all the replies,i worked this up in Photoshop.Sorry it won't load at actual size
     

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  7. MondoGuitar

    MondoGuitar Tele-Holic

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    monfoodoo, nice!
     
  8. warmingtone

    warmingtone Tele-Holic

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    Of course, the guitar is tuned in fourths, and so inverted fifths...so this makes a convenient 'slide rule' for learning the 'circle of fifths'...just a thought. Play the notes along two strings (say the A and D strings (like power chords) working up in tones from C n the third fret for instance)...oh...ok, I'll tab it!

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ------5----7----9----11-----13------15-----------------------------
    ---3----5----7----9------11-----13------15-------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ....C.G.D.A.E.B.F#.C#.G#.D#.A#.F....C

    play it backwards for 4ths...all you need to know is the notes on the guitar, right? If not, this is a good way to learn them and intervals as well!

    There are a million 'tips'...for instance, in major keys with 'sharps', the last # in the signature is the leading tone (ie in E major, the leading tone is a semitone below, D#...so, F#,C#,G#,D#).
     
  9. octatonic

    octatonic Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yup.
     
  10. dconeill

    dconeill Tele-Afflicted

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    Sort of. Every major scale is the same collection of intervals above the root. The pattern, expressed as "whole step" (2 frets, 2 keys on piano) and "half step" (1 fret, 1 key on piano) is:
    whole whole half whole whole whole half.

    Starting on C as tonic,
    C D E F G A B C

    Starting on, oh, G# as tonic:
    G# A# B# C# D# E# F## G#

    which can be expressed more simply using the enharmonic equivalent as
    Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab

    The Cycle of Fifths is derived from the progression of accidentals as you move from one major key to that key's dominant chord's major key, i.e.,
    key of C tonic is C dominant is G (C major has no sharps or flats)
    key of G tonic is G dominant is D (G major has F#)
    key of D tonic is D dominant is A (D major has F#, C#)
    key of A tonic is A dominant is E (A major has F#, C#, G#)
    key of E tonic is E dominant is B (E major has F#, C#, G#, D#)
    key of B tonic is B dominant is F# (B major has F#, C#, G#, D#, A#)
    key of F# tonic is F# dominant is C# (F# major has F#, C#, G#, D#, A#, E#)

    key of C# tonic is C# dominant is G# (C# major has F#, C#, G#, D#, A#, E#, B#)

    You could also rewrite the last using enharmonic equivalents:
    key of Db tonic is Db dominant is Ab (Db major has Gb, Db, Ab, Eb, Bb), or, in the more usual order of flats
    key of Db tonic is Db dominant is Ab (Db major has Bb, Eb Ab, Db, Gb)

    key of Ab tonic is Ab dominant is Eb (Ab major has Bb, Eb, Ab, Db)
    key of Eb tonic is Eb dominant is A (Eb major has Bb, Eb, Ab)
    key of Bb tonic is Bb dominant is F (Bb major has Bb, Eb)
    Key of F tonic is F dominant is C (F major has Bb)
    Key of C tonic is C dominant is G (C major has no sharps or flats)


    Working your way through this from C through the sharps to the flats and back to C is the "cycle of fifths" because there's an interval of a perfect fifth between each key center.

    Working your way through this from C through the flats to the sharps and back to C is the "cycle of fourths" because there's an interval of a perfect fourth between each key center.

    In jazz, anyway, there's a preference to go through the cycle of fourths rather than the cycle of fifths. Jazz (and blues) guys seem to prefer flats to sharps.
     
  11. Mike Bruce

    Mike Bruce Friend of Leo's

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    Pleas do not use the circle of fifths and fourths diagrams posted above, there are mistakes in them. For example, the relative minor of Ab is not Cm, and Eb's relative minor is not Fm. If someone with more computer skills than me can reverse them...

    Peace, Mike.
     
  12. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hey you're right. I found those diagrams online somewhere. It looks like they've just reversed the relative minors for Ab and Eb. Everything else checks out.
     
  13. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Once you know your guitar fretboard, you can use it like a slide rule for figuring out circle of fifths stuff. I wonder was sax players do? :lol:
     
  14. Mike Bruce

    Mike Bruce Friend of Leo's

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    The order of sharps starts at 11 o'clock (F) and goes clockwise.
    The order of flats starts at 10 0'clock (Bb) and goes counter-clockwise.

    Peace, Mike.
     
  15. jazztele

    jazztele Poster Extraordinaire

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    Play in Bb(concert) a lot.
     
  16. Mike Bruce

    Mike Bruce Friend of Leo's

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  17. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    The major scale , in terms of steps, from the root note and ascending is :
    whole, whole, half, whole, whole, whole, half. The next note up is always the next note in the alphabet until you get to G, then it starts at A again. Every major scale scale uses this pattern, so keeping in mind that the next note is the next letter, whether or not you have to sharp, flat, or leave it natural is dictated by the major scale. In the example of E, E to F is a half step (one fret) so you have to make the F sharp, because the first step of the major scale has to be a whole step. F# to G is a half, so it needs to be G#. G# to A is a half step, and this is right. The fourth note is a half step up from the third. A to B = whole - correct, leave natural. B to C = half, this step is supposed to be whole - make it C#. C# to D = half, needs to be whole, make it D#. D# - E = half - what we want. So, the four sharps of E have to F, G C and D. Note that this method does not give you the order in which you add sharps to the key signatures, it simply tells you what notes in the E scale have to be sharp if you don't already know.
     
  18. GregB

    GregB Tele-Holic

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    Yes,

    Sharps are always placed on the staff in a specific order.
    F# C# G# D# A# E# B#
    Remember this as
    Fat
    Cats
    Go
    Down
    Alleys
    Eating
    Bologna

    You go up one half step from the last sharp to find the key. So if you have 4 sharps they will always be F# C# G# D# and they will always be written on the staff in that order. The last sharp is D#. Go one fret (half step) up from D# and you have E.

    The order of flats is the order of sharps backwards

    Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb Fb

    Remember this as the word "BEAD" and then
    Groovey
    Cat
    Feet

    Hey, my theory teacher in college had a thing about cats.

    The key is the next to last flat. So if you have 3 flats they will always be
    Bb Eb Ab
    The next to last flat is Eb so you're in the key of Eb.

    But what's the next to last flat if I have only one flat?

    If all you have is Bb then you're in the key of F. You just have to remember it.

    But the circle also has a lot to do with jazz harmony. Just for fun let's play a song that's almost entirely in the order of the circle.

    Kansas City Kitty.
    4 beats each
    G F# G E A D G D
    G F# G E A D G G
    8 beats each
    B E A D
    4 beats each
    G F# G E A D G G
     
  19. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Just a note for some, who like me many years ago (before I absorbed some of this theory stuff) say, "There's no such things as E# and B# or Fb or Cb!" Those notes do exist in theory and harmony because of the rule that the next degree has to be the next letter. Say you were working on a scale and the next step up from an A# had to be a whole step. You'd have to write it as a B# even though it sounds just like a C. This is also why there are double sharps and double flats. I had to play a song this past Christmas season at church which had a Cb minor in it, due to a key change. Now, it looks and sounds just like a B minor, but it has to be written as Cbm. Some of it seems ridiculous and too much info, but if you try to bear in mind that the scales have to go in alphabetical order, and the intervals have to be consistent, it makes sense to use "weird" looking notes, such as E# or Cb.
     
  20. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Yeah, the first time I saw double sharps and double flats, I thought it was a joke. A cruel joke. But D# melodic minor is:

    D# E# F# G# A# B# Cx D#
     
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