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Circle Of Fifths???

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by LarryM317, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. LarryM317


    Jun 28, 2005
    Ohio Valley
    Before I ask, I did search the forums for about 30 minutes now and can't find the answer. There are TONS of threads that talk about the circle, but no clear explanation that I can find. Am I overlooking something obvious here??

    What is the circle of fifths? :bag:
  2. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    See "Alice's Restaurant" by Arlo Guthrie prime example.
  3. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
  4. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    That's a nice link. I may bookmark that.

  5. I found it really tricky getting my head around it and spent hours reading but one day when I was playing it just kinda clicked and I could see the point in the whole thing.

    I'm definately not the best person to help you out, especially over the internet. I'm pretty sure I'd leave you more confused but there'll definately be someone here that'll be able to help. Good luck!! :)
  6. Bass


    Nov 10, 2003
    That is a terriffic link!

    So now I know what the "circle of fifths" is, but how do I use it?

    How do I implement knowledge of closely related keys practically, to improve bass playing?
  7. Its more useful just to know how each major (and relative minor) key sounds. And ive found it very useful for getting to know the fretboard, ie what notes i can play in which key, and where they live on the neck.Thats a pretty good link, if you dont get it after reading that, come back and the members of talkbass will help you through it.
  8. steveb98

    steveb98 [acct disabled - multiple aliases]

    Mar 15, 2006
    Venice, CA
    I think of it as V resolving down to I. Now the I is the V and resolving down, and continuing on unti back where you started.

    C, F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, B, E, A, D, G,
  9. Thats how I practice scales on sax, I go up in C, down in G, up in D, down in A and so on
  10. Gyoon


    Nov 12, 2004
    Toronto, Ontario
    Don't feel that bad if you don't get the point of the circle of fifths (sometimes called the circle of fourths). I hadn't even heard of it until I was in my last year of University music school.

    It seems to be first introduced to children to help them learn how many sharps are in each major scale. C-none, G-one, D-two, etc . . . You go backwards from C to find the flats: F-one flat, Bb-two, Eb-three . . .

    I find the Father Charles Goes Down And Ends Battle method waaaay more comfortable to use and to teach others because that was the way it was explained to me.

  11. Throckmorten


    Aug 3, 2006
    Central NY
    Look at the strings on your bass.
    Name them.
    Look at the circle.
    See anything familiar?

    If you have a 5er it's even harder to miss.

    As to what it all means, that becomes more clear the more you learn about how songs are constructed and how most western music progresses and resolves.

    FWIW, print out a copy and paste it on your wall at work or something. After a year of picking up bits and pieces of theory and glancing at the circle, you'd be surprised how much you can take away from it.
  12. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jan 18, 2021

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