In looking at What is The Circle of Fifths we’ll discuss why you need it and what you need to do in order to learn it properly. See what Circle of Fifths can do.
Don’t let the name and the history scare you. Although its origins date back to ancient times and its principles are at the basis of modern music.
Roots of The Circle
Just for the hell of it a little background of this system. Greek scholar Pythagoras way back in the BC era had already discovered what pitches where based on the vibration of different lengths os stringed instruments. Once he had done that he defined what exactly an octave was.
All Pythagoras was doing was taking musical tunings and making then more standardized so that everyone could understand it easier. This led him to create what we know today as Pythagorean Circle. Pretty interesting stuff, I would encourage you to read the History of Music.
Music Theory Made Easy – Why is the Chromatic Scale so Important
In our times the modern theorists have since updated this Circle to what is now called the Circle of Fifths. So as you can see the Circle of Fifths is less arcane and mysterious than it actually sounds.
In fact, this device hasn’t been conceived to scare beginners away, but to make their life a lot easier by offering a visual aid that will help players memorize the 12 tones featured within the chromatic scale!
More importantly, the circle will help musicians understand the sonic relationships between these tones, thus allowing you to play in the correct key.
The Circle of Fifths shouldn’t be seen as a mere didactic tool: you can actually use it as a compositional devise when you write music, as having an actual “map” of the notes that are available to you within the same key might help you seize new ideas and sounds.
After The Learning Curve
Most guitar teachers will be teaching you chord progressions using the Circle of Fifths and once you get the hang of it you’ll see more of how it works within those progressions.
After your guitar teacher has taught you how to utilize the circle just think about the possibilities! Imagine being stuck trying to come up with a good guitar solo for a background track in any given key.
With the information you can gather from the Circle of Fifths, you will be able to literally “see” the palette of notes you can use to compose your guitar part in that particular key.
So this is just a little of what we so fearfully call Theory. When you think about it, all the great composers did not know how to play all those instruments they wrote music for. So to read music you don’t have to know how to play guitar and to play guitar you don’t have to read music.
But what you learn in theory enables you to take a piece of guitar music and play it without ever hearing it. And today more than ever, there is a very big demand for that in the music industry. Thats why I do suggest and/or recommend you Get Yourself a Professional Guitar Teacher.
Would you rather do construction work or play music for a living?
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