#1
my guitar teacher's focus for me this week was The Circle of Fifths.




on the first note C. i play the major scale of C


C D E F G

The second note im having trouble. The G major scale.

G A B ? ?

on and on and on.

thats what i dont understand.

anyone familiar with this,that can help?
#2
It's the same notes as the C major scale, but you add 1 sharp to it because it is one key clockwise of C. That sharp is F#, so your scale is G A B C D E F# G.


Here's an explanation I keep saved:
Circle of 5ths

The Circle of 5ths (Co5) is generally used for determining what notes are in what key. Some people find it extremely useful, while others never use it. I think it's a very effective tool in constructing the diatonic major scales.

Now, there are 12 keys, one for each note in the western chromatic scale. In each key there are 7 different notes, A through G. What makes all these keys different, you ask? Well, in each key there are different variations of those 7 notes. Some have sharps (#) while some have flats (b). A sharp (#) indicates that the pitch is raised one semitone, while a flat (b) indicates lowering one semitone. When writing scales you must have one of each letter A through G. In other words, you cannot have A A# C C# E E# G A, or something like that! You must have A B C D E F G A. One of each letter.

Now, on to the actual circle! This is what it looks like:
.......C........
...G.......F....
.D...........Bb.
A.............Eb
.E...........Ab.
...B.......Db...
.....F#/Gb......


The top key is C. It is the simplest key, and has no sharps or flats. As you progress clockwise (flatwise) around the Co5, you add flats, 1 per key you progress. The same is true for sharps - as you progress counterclockwise, you add sharps, 1 per key. Therefore, using this rule, you can figure out how many flats/sharps each key has. Here's a quick list:
C - 0 sharps
G - 1 sharp
D - 2 sharps
A - 3 sharps
E - 4 sharps
B - 5 sharps
F# - 6 sharps
C# - 7 sharps (often written as Db, they are enharmonic)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
C - 0 flats
F - 1 flat
Bb - 2 flats
Eb - 3 flats
Ab - 4 flats
Db - 5 flats
Gb - 6 flats
Cb - 7 flats (often written as B, they are enharmonic)

Now, how do you add these sharps and flats? There is a specific order to do it in! The order for sharps is F# C# G# D# A# E# B#, while the order for flats is roughly the opposite, Bb Eb Ab Db Gb Cb Fb.

Combining all of this knowledge, you can determine the notes of any key!
C - C D E F G A B C
F - F G A Bb C D E F
Bb - Bb C D Eb F G A Bb
Eb - Eb F G Ab Bb C D Eb
Ab - Ab Bb C Db Eb F G Ab
Db - Db Eb F Gb Ab Bb C Db
Gb - Gb Ab Bb Cb Db Eb F Gb
Cb - Cb Db Eb Fb Gb Ab Bb Cb
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
C - C D E F G A B C
G - G A B C D E F# G
D - D E F# G A B C# D
A - A B C# D E F# G# A
E - E F# G# A B C# D# E
B - B C# D# E F# G# A# B
F# - F# G# A# B C# D# E# F#
C# - C# D# E# F# G# A# B# C#

Also some of your questions may be answered at https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&postid=3150253#post3150253 .


Ask as many questions as you need to!

-SD
#4
A Minor is the relative Minor for C Major. C Major consists of the notes C D E F G A B C, and A Minor has the notes A B C D E F G A. They might have the same notes but the tonal functionality is a bit different.

I BELIEVE you can still use the Co5 for the Minor Scales, just use the A Minor as a starting point with zero sharps or flats instead of C Major.

PLease wait for someone to confirm this, though.
#5
Quote by LethalAe86TypeR
so lets say i play C D E F G for the key of C. what do i play in Am? would it be a minor scale?
You've consistently omitted the last two tones from each scale you've mentioned, C major and G major. This leads me to think you're somehow not getting the whole story on scales.

The C major scale consists of these tones: C D E F G A B

The G major scale consists of these tones: G A B C D E F#

To address your question, A minor and C major are relative keys, so called because they share the same key signature, namely no sharps or flats.

A minor, played start to finish strictly according to its key signature, consists of these tones: A B C D E F G

This arrangement of tones is also known by two names:
1. the aeolian mode
2. the natural minor scale

In traditional theory the seventh tone of the natural minor scale is raised by one half-step to create a leading tone, a G# in this example.

We haven't even scratched the surface here, but I hope this helps a little.
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
Quote by Freepower
For everything you need to know - gpb0216.
#6
Quote by Jehuty
I BELIEVE you can still use the Co5 for the Minor Scales, just use the A Minor as a starting point with zero sharps or flats instead of C Major. PLease wait for someone to confirm this, though.
This is correct.
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
Quote by Freepower
For everything you need to know - gpb0216.
#8
Quote by LethalAe86TypeR
so if it asks for Em, do i start at the note of E. E F# Ab A B C#? i dont understand this.
For our purposes, a scale will contain one and only one of each of the letter names A - G. In your example, this rule immediately disqualifies Ab because you skipped G and used an A twice.

The next thing you need to know is that, in our western system at least, we don't mix sharps and flats when notating scales. The glaring exception to this rule is in the notation of the chromatic scale, in which we normally depict altered notes in the ascending form with sharps and then use flats when depicting the altered notes in the descending form.

Let's look again at the Co5 graphic to answer your question. The key of E minor shares its key signature with G Major, namely one sharp (F#).

Starting at E, we first list all of the basic notes up to and including the E an octave higher:
E F G A B C D and back to E

Our key signature, though, tells us that all Fs need to receive a sharp.

Returning to the basic notes listed above, sharping the F gives us:
E F# G A B C D E

This arrangement of tones produces at the same time the E natural minor scale and the aeolian mode built on E.

Perhaps this lesson on Basic Scales will help. Please keep asking if you're not getting what you need here.

All the best,
gpb
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
Quote by Freepower
For everything you need to know - gpb0216.
#9
my teacher and i did a harmonization, i dont understand how he did this. i played the C scale. C D E F G A B C. and he played in Am.
#10
Quote by LethalAe86TypeR
my teacher and i did a harmonization, i dont understand how he did this. i played the C scale. C D E F G A B C. and he played in Am.
It sounds like you perhaps harmonized in either 3rds or 6ths. From A to C is a 3rd, and from C to A is a 6th. Do you understand this?
All things are difficult before they are easy.
- Dr. Thomas Fuller (British physician, 1654-1734)
Quote by Freepower
For everything you need to know - gpb0216.