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Cycle Fourths?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by BeastSternecker, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. BeastSternecker


    Aug 5, 2013
    So I was on YouTube and I stumbled across a cover of a Jay-Z song. It was played on a moog.
    There has been a reoccurring riff I've been hearing in a lot of soloing. Especially Berklee-ish stuff. Very modern. I've posted a link to the cover:

    Jay Z - Show Me What You Got SYNTH BASS (doc skim)

    The riff I'm talking about is at 2:30. In the comments people have called it "cycle fourths" "circle fourths" I just want to know, what is it? And where can I learn it? Any instructional websites? Videos?

    I'd really love the help. Thanks!
  2. dtsamples

    dtsamples Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    Wilmington, DE
    If that's what it is, then I asume he's playing arpeggiated major triads through the cycle.

    Cycle of Fourths: C - F - Bb - Eb - Ab - Db - Gb - B - E - A - D - G - C

    It's just progressing through the keys by ascending fourths. Start on any note and go through all twelve and you're back to where you started. I assume if you played through all of them over a pedal point it'd sound pretty interesting. Way above my skill level though to tell you exactly what inversions he's playing, and I don't have a bass in my hands to confirm that's actually what he did.

    Edit: based on the tonality it makes more sense that it'd be minor triads.
  3. BeastSternecker


    Aug 5, 2013
    It does seem tough but too cool to not try. Thank you much for the help! I would agree with the minor triads.

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