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

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.

### 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

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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#### Chuku Onyemachi

Head of Education at HearandPlay Music Group
Onyemachi "Onye" Chuku is a Nigerian musicologist, pianist, and author. Inspired by his role model (Jermaine Griggs) who has become his mentor, what he started off as teaching musicians in his Aba-Nigeria neighborhood in April 2005 eventually morphed into an international career that has helped hundreds of thousands of musicians all around the world. Onye lives in Dubai and is currently the Head of Education at HearandPlay Music Group and the music consultant of the Gospel Music Training Center, all in California, USA.

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