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Thread: How to practice Circle of 5ths

  1. #51

    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    It is a fifth in the key of C#.
    C# up to Ab is a diminished fifth, no matter what key you are in. C# up to G# is a perfect fifth.

    Ab and G# are enharmonic notes which in 12TET sound the same. When it comes to naming intervals, they are not the same.

  2. #52
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    If they sound the same, they are the same.

    I believe a diminished fifth has 6 semitones, C# to Ab has 7.
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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    Quote Originally Posted by David L View Post
    C# up to Ab is a diminished fifth, no matter what key you are in. C# up to G# is a perfect fifth.
    Wow! There has been an enormous amount of misinformation, disinformation, and misdirection on this thread. I gave up on it a while ago. But this is too much.

    So then, by your logic, Ab to G# would be a half step?

    But you also said,

    Quote Originally Posted by David L View Post
    Ab and G# are enharmonic notes
    So which is it?
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    Quote Originally Posted by GrK2112 View Post
    Hello everyone,

    I am a novice, having only played around a year or so. I was taking lessons but once COVID hit I had to stop. My instructor mentioned learning the circle of 5ths. I am curious what you all did to learn the circle of 5ths and what i should do for practice.
    Now what was the question again? Oh yeah, now back to the regular scheduled program...you can probably better find your answer on the tube

    you can take a look at this...


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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    Thanks. That is a good exercise for music literacy.

    How about this variation on the same theme.
    Try this one up the neck, no open strings while remembering where the root is for each one in the 3,5,1,b7 to 3,5,1,b7 sequence. [bold: octave above]
    Notice how, fretboard layout speaking, the second sequence is the fourth below which ends up above because of the octave jump. It’s actually a different sequence of notes for that reason, though still the fourth below. Try it without the octave jump just to confirm that it’s all just a simple sequence jump to the fourth, and octave below the first.

    Try the sequence jump to the fourth above each time. Think about relative numbers constantly, don’t just leave your fingers to do it.


    Learn where the octave of the 3 note is in each jump so you can get back up the neck at any time.
    Try it using the correct double stops and a full chord for the 1 as well...
    Change fingering. Jump to fifths for each sequence instead.Etc.
    Last edited by Simon DS; May-01-2021 at 3:45am.

  7. #56
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    Quote Originally Posted by David L View Post
    C# up to Ab is a diminished fifth, no matter what key you are in. C# up to G# is a perfect fifth.

    Ab and G# are enharmonic notes which in 12TET sound the same. When it comes to naming intervals, they are not the same.
    David, a diminished fifth = the Tritone, which is not seven semitones from the root, but six.

    You are referring to a diminished sixth which is the enharmonic equivalent of a fifth. The musical reason for flatting a minor sixth has nothing to do with the fact that a fifth is seven semitones from the root, whether ascending or descending.
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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    Quote Originally Posted by CBFrench View Post
    How bout everyone posting some videos of theirs demonstrating Circle Of Fifths practice that could help the OP and others with questions. Videos are worth a thousand words

    what is and what ain't
    Here is a video on playing simple arpeggios around the circle of fifths that I made a few years ago in conjunction with a group study of Brad Lairdís Mandolin Master Class book. I think there is info in the description for a PDF to go with it.

    https://youtu.be/WWmsCfG_syo



    And here is a video I made about the same time that scratches the surface on explaining whatís behind the circle of fifths. Likewise, thereís a PDF that goes with it.

    https://youtu.be/escuoOICSoY

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  10. #58
    Fingertips of leather Bill McCall's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    I wrote a simple iRealPro chart for all the chords in a key. The last 5 chords are in the circle.

    44773366225511, 7 bars. One bar chording, one bar chord tones. Cycle through the circle, maybe flat keys one day, sharp keys the next. For extra credit, do the three usual chord shapes.

    Iíd upload the chart but I donít see how.
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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    Thanks Bill, I think you can upload it to the ireal site and save a link, or upload the file itself to a dropbox account and then leave a link here.
    On the other hand, it was fun playing the circle of fifths with Mark!

    I might write out a bass line and post it tonight...

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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill McCall View Post
    I’d upload the chart but I don’t see how.
    Well, you could try Ye Olde Stand-Bye: screen shot. If you have the chart up on your screen - full image - and take a screen shot, paste that into Paint or some other similar app, crop out the excess, save as a jpg, you can upload that.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

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  14. #61
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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    Hereís a simple iReal pro circle of fifths file.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/n1dqnlwfgo...fths.html?dl=0

    Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #62
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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    Here's a screenshot of my exercise. The screenshot is the diatonic chords per key. I rotate the practice via the circle of fifths, sharp keys one day, flat keys the next. SimonDS's chart above is probably a more specific answer to the original question. its really headache inducing (for me) when you work on the bottom 3 strings, ADE, for the chords as opposed to the top 3 strings. I tend to go overboard on these kinds of things

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    I had worked on the circle of fifths on guitar at one point some years back, a little bit on mandolin but I'm very unorganized, a home player and in no hurry, ain't like I'm going anywhere anyway. Ear player and since getting my mandolin I mainly just sit around and figure out chords and melodies to old tunes of various genres I had played on guitar and been going in the fourths direction on guitar and mandolin alot. I still play my guitars as much or more than my mandolin and I play the mandolin quite often.


    A video I made on my phone going the other direction I think...ooh but guitar tho eeek and what in the world is this, I need to take that dang capo off and figure out the chords/changes on my mandolin in Amin...I know just enough theory to be dangerous to myself

    Last edited by CBFrench; May-02-2021 at 10:39pm. Reason: Add Edit

  18. #64

    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    This is my source for music theoryÖ

    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    Lmao I love that old interview been awhile since it was posted here. Pythagoras & Bill Monroe according to Carlton Haney - gotta love it.
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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    Dang I wish the edit option lasted longer, I was too hempified last night, what was I thinking? ...nevermind I wasn't!

  23. #67

    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    Quote Originally Posted by David L View Post
    C# up to Ab is a diminished fifth, no matter what key you are in. C# up to G# is a perfect fifth.

    Ab and G# are enharmonic notes which in 12TET sound the same. When it comes to naming intervals, they are not the same.
    Sorry about the typo: C# up to Ab is a diminished Sixth.

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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    Quote Originally Posted by CBFrench View Post
    How bout everyone posting some videos of theirs demonstrating Circle Of Fifths practice that could help the OP and others with questions. Videos are worth a thousand words
    How's this?

    Twice Around the Circle of Fifths Cruises around the Circle by going up a fourth (except for Ab and A, which sometimes repeat with a starting note two octaves lower before moving on) — the first note of the next-key passage is a fourth above the last note of the previous-key passage.

    So, (a) get that fourth interval, that modulation into your ear well enough that you can predict it (like, sing the starting note of the next passage before it happens), and (b) name every key (using the key signatures) as they go by. Starts in G, goes around until it hits G again, goes around again, ends up in G. Takes nine minutes.

    What's the point? What's the point of practising phrases, scales, anything in this order? No point, really. It sounds nice, certainly nicer than going up a semitone, but it has the disadvantage that one hits the more awkward keys in a block, eg Ab-Db-Gb-B — going up a semitone is easier on the left hand. But other than making sure that one doesn't miss a key, I don't feel like there's any more advantage to going around the Circle than there is to any other pattern one could dream up. It just sounds nice.

    As far as "up a fourth vs down a fifth" is concerned, it comes down to intervals vs key signatures: an open E to an open A is down a fifth; going from the key of E to the key of A is up a fourth.

    (Please excuse the occasional string buzzes in the video. That Collings could use larger frets, and, being on holiday, GHS Medium Lights were all I could get.)
    Last edited by Jim Bevan; May-04-2021 at 9:01am.

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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    Excellent materials and comments as usual, Jim. Thanks. And thanks again for opening up your library freebies last year when COVID stay-home orders were prevalent.
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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    I started my strings journey in the seventh grade with a soprano ukulele. One of the earliest things I did was to try and play the chords to “On Top of Old Smokey” in every key. I soon realized that the 1, 4, and 5 chords were related and predictable. The next step was trying to do the same thing with “Five Foot Two”…more complex but even more revealing. As a freshman at the local Teachers College I took a music class in which I learned of something the instructor called the “Circle of Fifths” (Funny Cats Go Down Alleys Eating Birds…Funny Cats Always Eat Birds), which explained (provided a structure for) EVERYTHING. In the intervening years I’ve learned to play guitar, banjo, bass (perhaps my first best destiny), and mandolin (not the fiddle…forget that bow) because they’re all related…and the key to that relativity is the circle of fifths!

    Each new band brought somebody better than me at my present instrument so I switched to something we didn’t have. Am I a super picker? No! But I can sing harmony and play chords and rhythm with the best of them.


  29. #71

    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    Quote Originally Posted by journeybear View Post
    Wow! There has been an enormous amount of misinformation, disinformation, and misdirection on this thread. I gave up on it a while ago. But this is too much.

    So then, by your logic, Ab to G# would be a half step?

    But you also said,



    So which is it?
    I already admitted to a typo: C# up to Ab is a diminished sixth, not a diminished fifth.

    Ab and G# are enharmonic. The interval from G# to Ab is a diminished second.

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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    Another way to learn the circle of fifths:
    Learn the first fret open strings GDAE then notes on the fourth fret B etc... and the notes on eighth fret, the last note at 1/8 is a C. The circle begins with G all over again at the octave 12th fret.

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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    Quote Originally Posted by CBFrench View Post
    I had worked on the circle of fifths on guitar at one point some years back, a little bit on mandolin but I'm very unorganized, a home player and in no hurry, ain't like I'm going anywhere anyway. Ear player and since getting my mandolin I mainly just sit around and figure out chords and melodies to old tunes of various genres I had played on guitar and been going in the fourths direction on guitar and mandolin alot. I still play my guitars as much or more than my mandolin and I play the mandolin quite often.


    A video I made on my phone going the other direction I think...ooh but guitar tho eeek and what in the world is this, I need to take that dang capo off and figure out the chords/changes on my mandolin in Amin...I know just enough theory to be dangerous to myself

    Autumn Leaves, right? It is also the B part for "For Sephora"....and 100 other old standards....
    Last edited by j. condino; May-04-2021 at 1:51pm.

  32. #74
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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    Quote Originally Posted by David L View Post
    I already admitted to a typo: C# up to Ab is a diminished sixth, not a diminished fifth.

    Ab and G# are enharmonic. The interval from G# to Ab is a diminished second.
    That's not a typo; that's a misstatement. (And my comment goes back four days, three days before your response.)

    Or is it? According to the wiki - which I refer to sometimes when what people are saying doesn't make sense to me: "a diminished sixth is an interval produced by narrowing a minor sixth by a chromatic semitone." In other words, as I understand it, a doubly flatted major sixth. Or, in other other words, a fifth. "Being diminished, it is considered a dissonant interval, despite being equivalent to an interval known for its consonance" - ie, a fifth, "its enharmonic equivalent is the perfect fifth."

    Furthermore, a diminished second is unison. G# = Ab. Unless there is some sort of microtonal approach being employed here.

    I would like to point out that at no time did anyone say that the term "diminished sixth" implies starting with a minor sixth, then further flattening it. Same with the diminished second. For those of us who have not taken courses in music theory, nor delved deeply into such mysteries - I daresay that means the vast majority of mandolinists and members - it should be clear that this would not have been an assumed understanding.

    And I still don't know what use it has, nor what good it does. Why not just say "a fifth?" People know what that is.

    And I really don't know how this helps the OP at all. Indeed, it probably contributes to his confusion.
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    Default Re: How to practice Circle of 5ths

    At this point the OP has to be sorry for asking

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