#1
So I know very very little music theory and I am reading this right now... http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/for_beginners/learning_music_theory_the_beginning.html

But I am stuck at the Circle of Fifths section. I understand that as you go around the picture they are all a Perfect Fifth apart but then the writer says starting at the top, C has no sharps or flats? I am just thinking ok? I guess I get it. then he says as you turn clockwise to G you add 1 sharp to the key signature until you get to F#.

Could someone help me understand this section please?
#2
I was going to explain, but now I got confused myself.
The lesson is poorly explained.
#3
www.magicbooktheory.com/cof.php

the circle of fifths is useful for many things. One thing it is useful for is figuring out what key you are in. If you read it like a clock, going clockwise describes how many sharps are in a key (1 oclock = 1 shar, 2 oclock = 2 sharps), and going counterclockwise describes how many flats are in a key (same concept). 12 oclock (key of C) has no sharps or flats.
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#4
The key, or scale, of something is based on the number of sharps or flats in a scale (as well as tonality, but for simplicity, go by sharps and flats).

C has no sharps or flats, and as such the scale is CDEFGABC. G has 1 sharp, so GABCDEF#AG.

It'd be extremely beneficial to you to learn how to read sheet music, 99% of 'guitar theory' is catching up with how to read a standard notation sheet to the standard that other instruments learn rather quickly.
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#5
Remember that with key signatures sharps go in the order of
FCGDAEB
and flats go in the order of
BEADGFC
So if G has one sharp you know its F, and the next key would be D and it would have two sharps and they would be F# and C#. Same for flats...
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#6
basically what that picture is trying to convey is this:
the key of C major has no sharps or flats. The chord/note that is the V chord in C major, or a perfect fifth up from C is G. The key of G major has one sharp. D major has two sharps, and D is a perfect fifth above G. So basically, if you keep going up a fifth, you get the next key in the circle, which will have one more sharp than the previous key.

When the writer says "As you turn clockwise (To G) you add 1 sharp to the key signature, until you get to F#." he just means you keep adding one sharp to get the next key signature in the circle of fifths. So, C major with no sharps, add one sharp and you get G major, a fifth above C major. Continue this pattern until you get to F# major. I think this is a MUCH better picture of it:
http://www.bach.org/bach101/glossary%20images/circle_of_fifths.gif
What the writer's picture AND article fail to convey (and falsely convey) is that you can't go the opposite direction (from C to F to Bb) and go by fifths. He entirely fails to mention that the opposite direction goes in fourths. In the picture I linked to, it shows that F# and Gb are enharmonic (the notes sound the same, and thus the keys sound the same. Like tuning your guitar to C# or Db. Same thing [sorta]). Since F# is enharmonic with Gb, you can take the fifth of Gb and go to Db, and all the way around back to C. The writer's picture really can't accomplish that, since the fifth of F# is C#, which isn't on the chart at all (and neither is Cb, which makes the circle of fourths incomplete if going backwards.)

Hope this wasn't like "information overload" or anything. If I'm impossible to understand, I'm sorry. I tend to go on and on and make less and less sense as I go
#8
okay so you start with the key of C right?

C D E F G A B C
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

now count to the 5th degree of of the scale

C D E F G
1 2 3 4 5

You land on a G, G is the key that has 1 sharp.

start with G

G A B C D E F# G
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

go to the fitfth degree

G A B C D
1 2 3 4 5

The next key is D. D has 2 sharps

D E F# G A B C# D


So you keep this up until you reach C# which all notes are sharp.

The circle of fifths is basically away to help you visualize and learn the keys on the guitar.
#10
Quote by chrisx16x2008
So I know very very little music theory and I am reading this right now... http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/for_beginners/learning_music_theory_the_beginning.html

But I am stuck at the Circle of Fifths section. I understand that as you go around the picture they are all a Perfect Fifth apart but then the writer says starting at the top, C has no sharps or flats? I am just thinking ok? I guess I get it. then he says as you turn clockwise to G you add 1 sharp to the key signature until you get to F#.

Could someone help me understand this section please?

For me, I found it truly useful when I understood why it was constructed in fifths/fourths, and not any other interval.

As long as you've learnt how to build a major scale, know the intervals, and how to build chords to the 7th degree, then it's Co5 time!