Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Improvising Around The Circle of Fifths

In my latest piano lesson, I try and show students how to improvise while playing the circle of fifths. The term circle of fifths is pretty self-explanatory but some students have trouble understanding it.

If you play a C Major scale and go up five notes, you get the G note. The key of G has one sharp in it. Go up another five notes and you get the D note. The key of D has 2 sharps in it and so on as you go up.

Anyway, when you play the chords using the circle of fifths you get a really cool sound - a sound that's perfect for the New Age style. Why? There's no Key center. It sounds like it could go on forever and like a circle, it actually could.

But the comprehensive article at Wikepedia on the circle of fifths explains it much better than I can.

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