Circle of Fifths


It is important as a guitar player to understand at least basic theory. The wheel represents all of the

different Keys as well as each Keys relevant minor. If you start at the top of the wheel at the key of C

and move to the right, each additional Key adds a sharp to the time signature. The reason its called

the cycle of 5ths is because each time you move to the right on the wheel you go up an interval of a

fifth to a new key and add a sharp to the time signature. So the key of G has one sharp in the time

signature and is a fifth above C. The key of D has two sharps and is a fifth above G. If you start at

the top of the wheel and go to your left you would go down a fifth each time and add a flat to the

time signature. Some times the same note will have two different names depending on which key

you are  in. For instance a G flat is the same note as F sharp. This is called and enharmonic tone.

Learn all of the names of the notes all over the guitar fret board. Start with C Major which has no

sharps or flats. On the piano the C Major scale is all the white keys starting on C. By learning the C

Major on the guitar you establish a solid foundation to then add sharps or flats and be able to

understand better. On the guitar you will see that once you learn a scale pattern in C you can just

move the pattern up or down the guitar fret board to change keys but you will learn also how to stay

in the same position on the guitar fret board and change keys.


Comments are closed.