The Circle of Fifths (Part 1)

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The circle of fifths is a very useful thing. Really, really useful. If you get your head around it, it will help with lots of things.

For now, though, we’re just going to use it as a way to figure out the notes of each key.

It’s really simple.

The scale of C major uses all the white notes.

If we go to the fifth note of the C scale, G, and start to play all the white notes, it will nearly sound like a major scale, right up until the last note, F, which we need to change to F# in order to make a major scale.

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If we go to the fifth note of the G scale, D, and start to play all the notes of the G scale, it will nearly sound like a major scale, right up until the last note, C, which we need to change to C# in order to make a major scale.

If we go to the fifth note of the D scale, A, and start to play all the notes of the D scale, it will nearly sound like a major scale, right up until the last note, G, which we need to change to G# in order to make a major scale.

If we go to the fifth note of the A scale, E, and start to play all the notes of the A scale, it will nearly sound like a major scale, right up until the last note, A, which we need to change to A# in order to make a major scale.

This carries on and on. However, for now, we only really need the scales of C, G, D, A and E and we can move on to the fun stuff!

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