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Circle Of Fifths: An Introduction

Plus 11,000 More Guitar Lessons.

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In this lesson we'll look at applying the concept of the circle of fifths to a basic chord progression.

I use this chord progression in C major.

C (I) / F (IV) / D (V of V) / G (V)

We're using 2 positions or a small slice of the circle of fifths: mostly C major and briefly G major. Typically any modulation or transposition is a way of using or applying the concept of the circle of fifths.

We can add another position or enlarge the slice we are using by adding a A chord. Now we are including the D major key.

C (I) / A (V of II) / D (V of V) / G (V)

This is also known as cycle five motion. It can help to quickly organize the overall structure of a piece of music in order to know which notes to use for a melody or a lead line.

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