I've recently come across this "circle of fifths", but I think I'm not really getting the point here. I understand that, with this circle, you can determine how much sharps or flats a give key has.

Is this everything you can do with it? Then why do I have to remember this circle instead of just remembering the keys with the corresponding number of flats/sharps?

And when I pick a key in the circle of fifths, say the key of A. I now know that the key of A has 3 sharps. How should I now know which notes of the key of A are sharp?

I guess I'm missing some crucial information here?
If you have them memorized already then you obviously don't need to go through the fifths in order to find the accidentals. But basically when you go up a fifth the 4th note of the previous scale is sharpened, and when you go down a fifth the 7th note of the previous scale is flattened.
Yeah that's pretty much all it is used for...but that information does have some use.

Initially it sounds pretty much a waste of time. But if you look it kind of like a colour wheel you can see the relationships between keys. Keys close to each other on the wheel are more closely related as they have more common notes. Relative keys are the closest to each other, on the same degree around the circle, as they share tall the same notes (Em and G major for example).

So if you are considering modulation then you can use the circle of fifths as an illustration of how distant two keys are from each other. C major and F Major are only one note apart and are right next to each other on the Co5. They are closely related and a modulation between those two is pretty smooth.

C major and E major are further apart on the Co5 and have four notes different between the two keys which results in a bit of a stronger change when modulating between those two keys.
Si
^ That's interesting, I didn't think of that before
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I agree that the c05 is worthless. Respect for TL guitar for daring to point that out. It's a learning tool, that's unnecessary and just another sacred cow to bog you down and look more important than it is in traditional ways of "learning". Have fun, kids!

And in case it's not clearly understood, I have waged a personal life long crusade against traditionally taught approaches.

Best,

Sean
Quote by Sean0913
I agree that the c05 is worthless. Respect for TL guitar for daring to point that out. It's a learning tool, that's unnecessary and just another sacred cow to bog you down and look more important than it is in traditional ways of "learning". Have fun, kids!

And in case it's not clearly understood, I have waged a personal life long crusade against traditionally taught approaches.

Best,

Sean

I wouldn't say it's worthless, but it may not be as important as it's made out to be. It's definitely very helpful to have memorized when seeing the key signature on sheet music.

edit: it's also helpful for seeing how related keys are as 20tigers mentioned
Last edited by The4thHorsemen at Jul 11, 2014,
Quote by tommystitch
I've recently come across this "circle of fifths", but I think I'm not really getting the point here. I understand that, with this circle, you can determine how much sharps or flats a give key has.

Is this everything you can do with it? Then why do I have to remember this circle instead of just remembering the keys with the corresponding number of flats/sharps?

And when I pick a key in the circle of fifths, say the key of A. I now know that the key of A has 3 sharps. How should I now know which notes of the key of A are sharp?

I guess I'm missing some crucial information here?

you can explore it in its raw form with triads and 7th chords of all qualities-major-minor-dominate...place a ii7 before the each chord and hear how that works..also there have been quite a few songs written using parts of the COF...hey joe comes to mind

hope this helps

wolf