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Question about circle of 5ths lesson

Pablo De Miguel

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    When Papa Gates talks about blues changes he say somethig about 1-4-5 and i guess that he refers to three points of the wheel that are together but im not shure of that.
    He also say that we should practice blues in all 12 key to practice the circle of 5th but im not shure of how to apli the circle of 5th to my guitar playing.
     

    Ids Schiere

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    Yes 1-4-5 are three points of the wheel together(for A 1-4-5 is A-D-E)
    Basically what the circle of fifths does is more theory based. It helps you figure out the key signature of what you’re playing. For example the slice of the pie(I hope that makes sense) with D in it also has Bm in it which is the relative minor of D. Then depending on the other chords you know it’s either in either D, D mixolydian or D Lydian. Maybe the modes stuff is a little to advance but the circle of fifths can really help you find out which key signature your piece of music is in which makes it easier to find out which scale to use when you want to solo over it for example.
     

    Pablo De Miguel

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    Ok, so if im playing for example over an E major backing track i know watching the weel that i can use D flat because it is the relative minor and i also know that i can use E,F#,G#,A,B,C# and D# scales over it because they are in the key of E, is that right?
     

    Ids Schiere

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    Take it easy for now. If you see a backingtrack in E major that means E, F#m, G#m, A, B, C#m are in there but these are all chords not scales(also there is a D# half-diminished in there but let’s not worry about that one for now) so no you now which chords will probably be in there but you can’t use all the scales you mentioned because E is only in A major and B major scales in all the others it’s either minor or not in it all(we won’t go into all the fancy exotic scales just yet). The respective degrees of the E major scales make up all the different modes which you can find out about later in the school. Of the backingtrack says in the key of E major you can use the E major scale.
    What you know from the circle of fifths is which chords make up which key not the other way around.
     

    Pablo De Miguel

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    So if the backing track is in E major i know for shure that I can use E major scale, I also can use the other scales i mentionated before but after doing that i must to know which chords of the key of E are in that backing track so then i can pick the correct scales to play over that backing track, is that better?
     

    Ids Schiere

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    It’s more like scales over which chord but that’s a pretty advanced thing to do. For example you could get away with playing a F#m scale over the F#m chord but it won’t nescecarily work I er the chord that comes after it. If the backingtrack is in E major you know tgat whatever is in the backingtrack you can use the E major scale over all of it. Different scales over different scales is a next step and isn’t nescecarily something the circle of fifths does. First try and focus in the basic major scale and the arpeggios go into that(lesson 7 is good for that one) before going into doing different scales over each chord because a different scales over each chord is a tricky thing to do and takes a pretty extensive studying of what you’re playing and what works over what. As I said before the circle of fifths helps to find which chords are in which key and therefore which scale you can use over the whole backingtrack. Just to be clear in the outer circle each chord is a fifth apart(A to E, E to B etc.) Now if you flip it around and go backward they are a fourth apart (A is the fourth of E and E is the fourth of B) l. Now take the C major scale and try to find it in the circle of fifths(either the notes or the chords you can find in there). Try to not worry to much about all the modes and different scales over different scales just start with the basics
     
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    Chris Johnston

    Music Theory Bragger
  • Nov 11, 2019
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    (Really Long post, apologies but should help! 😊) – This might seem like a long theory ramble but this is some info that really helped my playing.)
    Hey Pablo! When P.G is referring to a 1-4-5 he’s referring to the 1st, 4th and 5th chord in a Major Key.
    I’ll use E Major as an example (as you’re wanting to solo in that key)
    I’ve found that the ticket to understanding your soloing options is understanding how each chord in a chord progression fits in context of it’s wider key and fleshing out sounds and ideas from there using different methods.
    So E Major, right? First thing is knowing your E maj Scale: E F# G# A B C# D#
    Then understanding how you make chords out of the scale (giving you all chords in the key of Emaj). It’s easy peasy! You just stack every second note until you get a three note chord (Triad) – (You can stack one more note each time to get Seventh chords but its not important rn)
    For example, 1st chord would be: EG#B -E major Triad – (I got that from selecting E – missing F# – Selecting G# – miss A- Select B)
    If you repeat that process for every note in the scale as a new chord you get: 1.EMaj 2.F#min 3.G#min 4.AMaj 5.Bmaj 6.C#min 7.D#diminished – These are all chords in the key of Emaj.
    So a 1-4-5 would be Emaj, Amaj, Bmaj
    It’s important to know how the chords are made/ordered because this can give the hints as to where we go to solo.
    You mentioned about using the Minor Pentatonic from the relative minor, great idea! And the relative minor of every major key starts from the 6th scale degree in the major scale. (C#minor pentatonic) – You wouldn’t really call it Db minor but it’s not that important why 😂
    For a blues sound, the minor penta scale definetely goes a long way!
    I won’t go on and on but the best thing to do is look at the key of Emaj as a whole when approaching the chord progression and experiment with the modes of the scale and the arpeggios associated with the chords. – (Look up the Modes of the Major Scale absolutely nothing to fear with that stuff!)
    (I’m aware some parts of this explanation dive deeper than others but as long as you understand the wider key and experiment with the family of chords/scales/arpeggios/modes within the key, you should happen across some cool stuff! – There is a LOT more to unpack regarding all this but hopefully this is an alright start.
    In short, the Key is key, ha!
    Sorry for the lengthiness and vagueness in parts, let me know any Q’s you have. Happy soloing man! 😊