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Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Devin, Jul 25, 2005.
Can someone explain exactly what this is and how I could practice it.
Do yourself a favour. If you are practicing scales, or anything else in the circle of fifths pattern, practice it counterclockwise. Music tends to move in fourths, not fifths, so practicing the circle backwards will lend itself more to helping your actual playing and makes more sense, IMO.
Circle of Fifths
(...oh yeah, try using the search function, it's pretty helpful... )
I'm just starting to get into the ii-V-I thing and I know what you mean.
If you had put the word "fifths" (insted of 5ths) anywhere in your post it would be much easier to search for
The Circle of 5ths (or 4ths as some people are asking for it to be called) is an awesome tool for the bassist. I use it all the time in my praise band when transitioning between songs. It just never fails.
Oh I dunno. Music tends to move around in a lot more directions than just 4ths. I tend to recommend practicing scales in as many different and random ways as possible. The Circle of fifths isn't really a practice tool, it's just what happens as you add accidentals to the key signature. It's a good way to think about how keys relate to each other, a good memorization tool for remembering key signatures. It's a logical approach to practicing sales, but one of many logical approaches.
Circle of Fifths is used to modulate to any key - kind of like a map.
Practice scales and chord patterns clockwise and counter-clockwise.
This is a really good point. The advantage of "Circle of Fifths" is that any pattern takes you through all the keys. Nice, but it does limit the ear.
To break from these patterns I've often told students about "The Triangle of Major Thirds" (C-E-G#(Ab), and "The Square of Minor Thirds" (C-Eb-Gb-A(Bbb), and "The Pentagon of Whole Steps" (C-D-E-F#-G#). Of course that's all a bit of a joke, but it does bring in different ways of practicing.
Oh, and don't for "The Line of Tritones".
I see by your profile that perhaps you are somewhat new to studying the bass? The supplied link led me to a very complicated definition. In very simple terms, the circle of fifths refers to a motion.
The above advice is very good. While Ed F is an excellent musician, his admonishment was just a bit overselous as his Real Book also commonly contains the movement of a fourth from one chord to the next SO many times that it is in fact a good movement to learn to hear and play well.
Start with using the root motion C F Bb Eb Ab Db Gb/F# B E A D G C (cycle of 4ths) as a pattern for practicing one octave major scales. Try beginning each (all) scales on the same string. First, C maj. Then F maj. Then Bb, etc. This will get you shifting up and down the neck, learning the fingerboard, and help overcome the fear of those "no-mans-land" areas on the bass.
Do the same with minor scales and then dominant scales. (mixolydian). Soon you will be learning to play ii-V-I in all keys!
Hope this helps.
First, the cycle of fifth IS the most useful way of practicing scales and arpeggios. Why? Because music tends to resolve down in a fifth interval.
Try this: Play the last five notes of the major scale in a descending manner. You'll get the starting point of a new major scale everytime and it is a very natural way of hearing the resolution of the harmony.
C-B-A-G-F then F-E-D-C-Bb then Bb-A-G-F-Eb and so on.
Try the same thing going up and you won't get that same feeling of resolution. Actually, you have the feeling that it never resolves.
All the songs uses a circle of fifth somewhere. Some tunes are totally based on the cycle of fifths.
We bassist and guitarist get confused with the cycle of fifths and fourths because our instruments are tuned in fourths. But we are talking about the same thing. The most important part is to make sure that we go C to F,either a fifth down or a fourth up.