Why Is It Important To Study Circle of Fifths?

Why is it so important to learn the Circle of Fifths?
Because its visualization will help you to identify key signatures, find related keys and remember the order of sharps and flats in key signatures. It is a valuable tool that helps you to see the fundamental relationships that music is based on.

The Circle of 5ths is nothing more than a term used to describe the 2-5 relationship between chords. D to G, C to F, F to Bb. This is very important to get a handle on. Many chord changes that you will find are related to this circle of 5ths in some way, and much of the reharmonization is related to it. The Jazz Theory book by Mark Levine talks about it in detail. Jazz Theory Book

Using The Circle of Fifths is a great way to practice chord change patterns. Cm-F7, Bbm-Eb7, Abm-Db7, etc... Then, alter the chords in all the ways imaginable. Anything that sounds good to you, well, do it in 12 keys!

The Circle of Fifths, is a concept use by jazz musicians to practice playing ii, V, I chord patterns in all keys. It’s called the circle of fifths because you will come full circle back to where you started. The root moves down in fifths and up in fourths, or up in fourths and down in fifths around a circle. In the right hand you play the 3rd and 7th (or 6th) of the chord. The left hand plays the root or 1 chord tone. It’s best to play the left hand root an octave below the right hand 3, 7th voicing.. Also you can play the root(1) and the seventh(7th) in the left hand for a more fuller sound. The third and seventh determine the chord type. Whether it is major, minor, or dominate. This method allows the jazz musician to play a melody on top of the 3, and 7 or 7, and 3, in the right hand. Check out, 'Jazz Open Voicings for Keyboards by Dick Grove for more information. It’s been around since the eighties, but you may be able to find it at www.sheetmusicplus.com for about $14.00. Jazz Open Voicings


C7 introduces F
F7 introduces Bb
Bb introduces Eb
Eb introduces Ab
Ab introduces Db
Db aka C# introduces F#
F# introduces B
B introduces E
E introduces A
A introduces D
D introduces G
and G introduces C making a circle back to C

This is a great website for learning the Circle of Fifths!

I use this for my students. See how you do & take the quiz!


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