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Thread: cycle of fifths exercise, i need help remembering chords

  1. #1
    Registered User mr7meatballman's Avatar
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    Question cycle of fifths exercise, i need help remembering chords

    my old guitar teacher taught me a rythem guitar exercise that he called the cycle of fifths. you play most of the chords in the dom7 with on maj 7 thrown in there and Cycle through all the chords in the key by 5ths and then move up a whole step to the nxt key and cycle through again. i can't for the life of me remember the chords. we would typically start in d. can anyone help me with this? thank you

  2. #2
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    Cycle 4 or Cycle 5

    Cycle 5
    Starting at C
    C G D A E B F#(Gb) C#(Db) G#(Ab) D#(Eb) A#(Bb) E#(F)

    The roots move in Perfect 5ths Up or Perfect 4ths down(7 half Steps up or 5 half steps down)

    Cycle 4 is just the opposite (Read it backwards/retrograde)
    "Listen to the Spaces Between the sounds."
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  3. #3
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    Diatonic?

    You may be talking about a Diatonic Cycle 5 exercise.
    In CM7 G7 Dm7 Am7 Em7 Bm7b5 FM7, then GM7 D7 Am7 Em7 Bm7 F#m7b5 CM7, then DM&7 etc....
    "Listen to the Spaces Between the sounds."
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    Afro-Cuban Grunge-Pop Bongo Boy's Avatar
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    Not the best rendition, but here's the cycle of keys depicted on The Circle. We all have our own ways of memorization, but I find "BEAD" easy to remember, then the following G. Writing out the major scales beginning with C using just 'pencil and paper' a few dozen times really helps too. Write the scale degrees and chord type across the top (first row) and you'll have the info you need, as follows:

    I   ii  iii IV  V   vi  viio 
    maj min min maj maj min dim
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    Last edited by Bongo Boy; 12-31-2002 at 05:01 PM.
    Pulsing the System with Confirmed Nonsense.

  5. #5
    Resident Curmudgeon szulc's Avatar
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    Building the Major Scales Mathematically

    KEY CENTER / KEY SIGNATURE
    The chromatic scale has twelve unique tones, and each one can be the starting note of a major scale, we must have twelve unique major scales.
    Looking at the interval spacing, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 2, 1, we can make it 2, 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 1 by raising (sharping) the fourth degree (fourth scale tone) a half step, now the fifth degree becomes the new root (note from which the new major scale takes its name and begins on).

    By a similar, but inverse, process we can make the interval spacing 2, 2, 1, 2, 2, 1, 2 by lowering (flatting) the seventh degree a half step, the new root becomes the fourth degree.

    Notice in the first example we sharped the fourth degree and started on the fifth degree, and in the second we flatted the seventh and started on the fourth.
    This produced two new major scales which each differ from the first by one altered (sharped or flatted) tone.
    These two processes can easily be shown to be inverses of one another by observation of the intervals (sharping the fourth tone F in C major we get G major, by flatting the seventh tone F# in G major we get C major).
    By continuing each of these processes seven times starting with C major, we can build a structure called the circle of fifths which contains all seven sharp scales, all seven flat scales and C major. Notice that this adds up to fifteen and we know there should be twelve, this is due to enharmonic spelling of three of the scales (C flat=B, G flat=F sharp, D flat=C sharp).
    When building the scales it is important to remember the guidelines ; each letter name must be used exactly once ; only one type of accidental (sharps or flats) allowed per scale ; no note can have more than one accidental
    "Listen to the Spaces Between the sounds."
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