• There’s An Easier Way To Memorize The Circle Of Fourths And Fifths

    in Experienced players,Gospel music,Piano,Theory

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    This lesson will present to you, an easier way to memorize the circle of fourths and fifths.

    The circle of fourths and fifths is important in music for a variety of reasons like the determination of key-signature, chord progressions, and more. Therefore, memorizing it is of the greatest possible importance; versus relying on the music clock.

    At the end of this lesson, you’ll not need any graphical representation of the circle of fourths and fifths; rather, you’ll have a mental grasp of it that you can rely on anytime, anywhere.

    Alright! Let’s get started.

    An Easier Way To Memorize The Circle Of Fourths And Fifths

    Although there are so many ways to memorize the circle of fourths and fifths, what we’re covering in this lesson is an easier way that I’ve personally tested and proven.

    That’s why I’m doubly sure that it’ll help you.

    Memorization Of The Sharp Keys/Notes

    In the music clock:

    …sharp keys are reckoned in the clockwise direction; from the 12 o’clock position to thee 6 o’clock position.

    The following keys are sharp keys:

    G is at the 1 o’clock position

    D is at the 2 o’clock position

    A is at the 3 o’clock position

    E is at the 4 o’clock position

    B is at the 5 o’clock position

    F# is at the 6 o’clock position

    These sharp keys can be memorized using the mnemonic below:

    Go Down And Eat Bread, Father

    The mnemonic above can help anyone memorize 50% of the notes in the circle of fourths and fifths.

    Attention: Always bear it in mind that the sixth note/key in the sharp series is F# and NOT F.

    “Here’s A Test For You…”

    Test #1 – What’s the third sharp key/note in the circle of fourths and fifths?

    Go………1st

    Down….2nd

    And…….3rd

    Answer: The third word in the mnemonic is and, which represents the note/key A.

    Test #2 – What’s the fifth sharp key/note in the circle of fourths and fifths?

    Go………1st

    Down….2nd

    And…….3rd

    Eat………4th

    Bread…..5th

    Answer: The fifth word in the mnemonic is bread, which represents the note/key B.

    Memorization Of The Flat Keys


    Flat keys/notes are reckoned in the counter-clockwise direction (from the 12 o’clock position to thee 6 o’clock position) in the music clock:

    The following keys are flat keys:

    F is at the 1 o’clock position

    Bb is at the 2 o’clock position

    Eb is at the 3 o’clock position

    Ab is at the 4 o’clock position

    Db is at the 5 o’clock position

    Gb is at the 6 o’clock position

    The mnemonic below:

    Friends, Be Excellent At Doing Good

    …can help anyone memorize the flat keys.

    The mnemonic above can help anyone memorize 50% of the notes in the circle of fourths and fifths.

    Attention: Apart from the first note in the flat series (which is F), other notes are flat: Bb, Eb, Ab, etc.

    “Here’s A Test For You…”

    Test #1 – What’s the sixth flat key/note in the circle of fourths and fifths?

    Friends……….1st

    Be………………2nd

    Excellent……3rd

    At……………..4th

    Doing………..5th

    Good…………6th

    Answer: The sixth word in the mnemonic is good, which represents the note/key Gb.

    Test #2 – What’s the second flat key/note in the circle of fourths and fifths?

    Friends……….1st

    Be………………2nd

    Answer: The second word in the mnemonic is be, which represents the note/key Bb.

    Final Words

    Using the mnemonics below:

    Go Down And Eat Bread, Father [sharp notes/keys]

    Friends, Be Excellent At Doing Good [flat notes/keys]

    …you can memorize all the notes in the circle of fourths and fifths.

    I’ll see you in the next lesson where we’ll delve into how the circle of fourths and fifths can be used as a guide while playing chord progressions.

    Until then!

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    Hello, I'm Chuku Onyemachi (aka - "Dr. Pokey") - a musicologist, pianist, author, clinician and Nigerian. Inspired by my role model Jermaine Griggs, I started teaching musicians in my neighborhood in April 2005. Today, I'm privileged to work as a music consultant and content creator with HearandPlay Music Group sharing my wealth of knowledge with thousands of musicians across the world.

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    { 1 comment… read it below or add one }

    1 Melluce

    That is so good

    Reply

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