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  • Lesson Title:

    Application In A Popular Song

  • Guitar Instructor: Christopher Schlegel
  • Lesson Added: October 2nd, 2009
  • Lesson Files: Guitar Tab, Notation
  • Lesson Difficulty: Intermediate
  • Lesson Focus: Theory
  • Lesson Style: All Styles
  • Lesson Keywords: circle of fifths, what is the circle of fifths, using the circle of fifths
Guitar Instructor
So how is the circle of fifths actually used in music?

Although the circle of fifths is very common in Baroque and Classical music, it is also used in popular music. From popular songs, to jazz standards and neo-classical rock, the Circle of Fifths gets put into actual practice quite often!

In popular music, the Beatles song "Yesterday" opens with and shows the power of the secondary dominant chord (and as a result the idea of the circle of fifths, or cycle five motion).

"Yesterday ..." G (I)
"all my ..." F# min (ii of vi)
"troubles seemed so ..." B7 (V of vi)
"far away ..." E min (vi)

This motion of F# - B - E (a small slice of cycle five) adds so much depth to the piece. Try it without the two modulatory chords. Try simply G to E min; I --> vi and you will immediately hear how much more ric...

End Guitar Video

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