Circle of Fifths: Everything You Need to Know

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Brad Harrison Music

Brad Harrison Music

Yıl önce

Learn to play piano with my friends at Skoove:

The circle of fifths is a unique pattern of the 12 pitches in western classical music theory which is commonly paired with information about key signatures but also gives many insights into harmony, intervals, transposition, and chord structure.

Check out my other videos here:
Key Signatures -
Major Scales -
Minor Scales -
Intervals Part I -
Intervals Part II -
Concert Pitch and Transposing Instruments -
How to Play 3000% Faster -
3000% Faster Playalong Video -
Note Naming -
Dynamics -
Modes -
Parallel Scales -

Brad Harrison Music
Brad Harrison Music 2 aylar önce
Learn to play piano with my friends at Skoove:
ネセソトナニツキノハコスモ 6 aylar önce
Something notable is that if you take a key, let's say G which has 1 sharp, and look at Gb, it has 6 flats. A key signature and its flattened counterpart have sharps/flats that always add up to 7. C has 0 sharps while Cb has 7 flats, E has 4 sharps while Eb has 3 flats, D has 2 sharps while Db has 5 flats, etc.
Original Man
Original Man 11 gün önce
That’s really cool and helpful thank you! ^^
Ruth Harry
Ruth Harry Aylar önce
@Jett Alton yes, I saw that Victor Wooten video too 🎶
KFC Hundur
KFC Hundur 2 aylar önce
Thank you I did not notice this
Dane Allan
Dane Allan 2 aylar önce
@Welcome blah blah blah. It's sure is hard learn something you have no clue about.
Dane Allan
Dane Allan 2 aylar önce
Nope, I feel like I'm back at high school trying to learn something I can't comprehend. Sorry guys, it's not you .... it's me.
Christian O
Christian O 5 aylar önce
I appreciate the taupe/beige background. It is more calming on my eyes and less harsh than a bright white screen that feels overwhelming while I’m trying to study this lol
Dale Alan Bryant
Dale Alan Bryant Aylar önce
He's in the desert. 'Paper towel'....haah!😉
Luiz Aylar önce
Not sure why I'm finding this so funny lol.
Christian O
Christian O 2 aylar önce
@John Mc yes. I use that, too! But I do a lot of reading on my screen for school bc I commute so it’s easier to have the texts or videos on my laptop/phone. For Kindle sometimes I switch to the beige background kind of like this video. It sounds silly, I know. But it just feels less straining in my experience.
John Mc
John Mc 2 aylar önce
Do you have brightness control?
LT DYb 2 aylar önce
Dr. Blue
Dr. Blue Yıl önce
I've always found parallels between music, painting, and science in the sense that the infinite complexity of it all is produced by combinations of a small set of basic primary elements. The way you explained it in this video puts everything into perspective. Also, I spent close to half an hour trying to figure out that stairs diagram before I finally gave up lol. Thanks man, your videos are the gift that keeps on giving.
Praise Jesus, Repent or Likewise Perish
Praise Jesus, Repent or Likewise Perish 2 aylar önce
Repent to Jesus Christ “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”” ‭‭Luke‬ ‭6:38‬ ‭NIV‬‬ hi
501st Egg
501st Egg 2 aylar önce
Art and science are forever connected
Superclarendon 5 aylar önce
I’ve also thought of that; it’s extraordinary how life is just like that, basic elements coming together to inversely, and paradoxically in a sense, make absolutely everything.
よしみ 5 aylar önce
@Rafael Shahoyan Well, no. That's not necessarily math. Logic also can be build that way. And as we already know, maths and logic cannot be fused. You can build various axiomatic systems, not only math.
FREE THE TIDE 5 aylar önce
M.C Escher did an art piece with stairs like that. He drew a large amount of art that used opposing concepts simultaneously. If you like art, his work is very fun to take in and analyze.
Chris Hamilton
Chris Hamilton 4 aylar önce
My guess is that it will take me about a year to absorb most of this. Everything moves from seemingly elementary to complex is a very short time. thank you very much for doing this for the music community.
Nish Aylar önce
@Joseph Kalish you can slow the speed from settings
Brad Harrison Music
Brad Harrison Music Aylar önce
Learning some scales and chords and beginning to recognize patterns will probably make learning pieces a lot easier in the medium-long term. And every time you absorb something new, it will feed understanding of other related concepts. But of course, you should pursue your own goals for your own satisfaction. Good luck!
brassholio Aylar önce
@Phillip Donnelly I don't think you're wasting your time at all. I was lucky that I started at 6, but there are prodigy type musicians who are way above my level and always will be. That doesn't mean I can't have a fulfilling and rewarding career. There's always going to be someone better than you, but that doesn't mean that you can't get an amazing amount of satisfaction with whatever you choose to do with your music. The fact that you're even approaching this sort of level after only 2 years is admirable. To me, music is for everyone. We're not in the 18th century where only the noble were taught, we're better than that and we can all share in it together. We're not in competition, there's no reason that we can't share in it for pure joy and learning. Keep going.
Phillip Donnelly
Phillip Donnelly Aylar önce
@brassholio Morale of the story...start young.....if you're too old......listen. Is that it. Because after 2 years....I haven't even got my head around any of this completely. Or should I forget music theory and just play what I can. I started piano at 65. Have I just been wasting my time!?!
Joseph Kalish
Joseph Kalish 2 aylar önce
It doesn't help that he speaks so fast. Playing it over and over is of help though.
Jugem16 Yıl önce
I'm getting back into music after a looooong time away from it. Knowing how lacking I was in theory, finding this video serves as a perfect reintroduction for me. Brilliant resource. Thank you!
Jon Jeffries
Jon Jeffries 6 aylar önce
Mee too..
John Long
John Long 5 aylar önce
I learned more here in 10 minutes than I did in a year of music lessons at my school. Thank you.
John Long
John Long 3 aylar önce
@Brad Harrison Music No worries, I got it out of my system now. I think I can move on even though it was 50 yrs ago. Lol
Brad Harrison Music
Brad Harrison Music 3 aylar önce
Sounds rough! I was actually replying to robert who said teachers never teach you what you need to know.
John Long
John Long 3 aylar önce
@Brad Harrison Music Hi Brad, I say that because the music teacher I am referring to (remain nameless, probably long time dead) was a complete arsehole. He chose to pass the lesson with sarcastic comments to members of the class, generally wittering on about how great he was and making what should have been an interesting subject very very boring. He had no style or strengths but plenty of weaknesses. Regards.
Brad Harrison Music
Brad Harrison Music 3 aylar önce
Why do you say that? All teachers have different strengths, weaknesses, styles, etc, but if almost sounded like you were hinting at a conspiracy! Haha.
robert shelton
robert shelton 3 aylar önce
They will never teach you what you really need to know
Don D. Lewis
Don D. Lewis Yıl önce
As a visual learner, I've always been able to grasp a new concept, skill or task when demonstrated and explained exactly as you have. Thank you for this exceptional video that finally turned the "lightbulb" on in my brain!
Brad Harrison Music
Brad Harrison Music Yıl önce
Excellent! That was the plan!
Dawson Zentz
Dawson Zentz 4 aylar önce
I just started learning music theory and this just absolutely BLOWS my mind. I’m currently a premed student in my junior year and am playing guitar/learning theory as a hobby. Basically just doing anything music because I love music so much. I spent about 3 hours on this 11 minute video just soaking up every piece of info here and this is by far the best video I’ve come across about this topic. I can not thank you enough
Duane Steen
Duane Steen 5 aylar önce
This was fascinating. I think this got me closer to knowing what I don’t know than I’ve ever been before. One wonders if musicians like Donald Fagen-known to be familiar and conversant with theory-push aside their theoretical knowledge as they seek the music in their head. Obviously such musicians have immediate access to that theoretical knowledge, but I’m guessing the sound drives their genius more than the math.
Terry Law
Terry Law 2 aylar önce
This is an interesting question. Also comments about Beethoven being deaf. Was just talking about that recently. I find that I can conceptualize or"hear" music in my mind. Kind of understand how he could compose 9th while deaf. Problem I have is translating what's in the mind to keyboard. That's where a sound knowledge of theory is valuable. I find videos like this very helpful and my abilities are gradually expanding. I believe that the theory enabled Fagin to bring his ideas to life. But technique is also a vital component.
Gillypen 5 aylar önce
@ralis groffen incredible genius to be able to ‘hear’ the notes in his head!
laskartrece 5 aylar önce
Intuition is our capacity for direct knowledge of complicated things... I agree. All these elements and connections are representations of what is already there, in existence. Marvelous use of the left brain, though... Thank you.
ralis groffen
ralis groffen 5 aylar önce
Imagine making music if you are deaf, like Beethoven at his end
Joan Rusche
Joan Rusche 5 aylar önce
The circle of fifths has always baffled me. Thank you for explaining it. In the past I just memorize which keys had flats or sharps and which were the fourth and fifth of the tonic. I learned a lot in this video.
Laura Martin
Laura Martin 3 aylar önce
This is great! I have a couple of degrees in music and this is the first time I've seen anyone work the circle of fifth like this. Thanks 🎻
Brad Harrison Music
Brad Harrison Music 3 aylar önce
High praise! Glad you enjoyed!
CHITUS💖⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻⸻ 11 gün önce
The circle of fifths has always baffled me. Thank you for explaining it. In the past I just memorize which keys had flats or sharps and which were the fourth and fifth of the tonic. I learned a lot in this video.
Anthony Nunyabizness
Anthony Nunyabizness 5 aylar önce
I've watched many of these explanations and without a doubt this has been the best. Perfectly simple and straight forward. Clearly spoken and not a word wasted. Thank you sir this is my new go to circle of fifths lesson.
Charles Perumal
Charles Perumal Yıl önce
This is beyond fascinating. Fantastic work. Reminded me one of Albert Einstein quotes on how one cannot explain “any” concept using simple terms unless he/she doesn’t understand it fully. You love what you teach and it is evident in your videos. Thanks a lot. Good luck.
Linda Ginn
Linda Ginn 6 aylar önce
Like everyone else, I appreciate how thoroughly, yet concisely you explain everything in a manner that is easy to understand. The visuals and illustrations are excellent! I don't have anything to add to what others have commented on. This comment is mainly to appease the algorithm gods. 🙂 Thank you for all your efforts to make these videos!
empireman 2 aylar önce
I had piano lessons in the 1990s, I was in my late 20s I never was told about this by my teacher, however, I wanted to learn the basis skills I could write down the music on manuscript form, I could read it and learned my own instrumentals in a few months You can be self taught, but to be a real talented musician this is essential to study in my opinion 👍🎹🎼
Brad Harrison Music
Brad Harrison Music 2 aylar önce
Check my channel for the videos on major scales and on key signatures. I think that will clear everything up for you! Good luck!
Brad Harrison Music
Brad Harrison Music 6 aylar önce
Haha. Thanks for the support! Glad you enjoyed and let’s hope the algorithm smiles up on me. ;-)
Chris Greyling
Chris Greyling 19 gün önce
Thank you, great videos, no extraneous info, easy to understand and well presented with a good flow.
lastdaysguitar 6 aylar önce
This is a wonderful explanation of the circle of fifths - the only thing I would have elaborated was that the circle can also be used as a key for modal playing. For example if I want to play all the major modes of C if I travel 6 steps to the left (F, Bb, Eb, Ab, C#/Db) and one step to the right from C (G) I have identified each of the major scales that all use the note of C - these scales contain the notes for all the major modes of C, i.e.: F major scale notes using C root = C Mixolydian; Bb major scale notes using C root = C Dorian; etc. and the same idea/key can be used for other types of interval scales such as harmonic minor, and others.
James Jones
James Jones 2 aylar önce
You both explain it perfectly, this is how I think he should have taught it, because it adds the teaching of the modes
Ramón Saldaña
Ramón Saldaña 2 aylar önce
Thanks for your comment that started an enlightening discussion. Maybe that's why we call it "theory" instead of "law."
M0odez 5 aylar önce
@lastdaysguitar I was trying to rephrase it in a way that helps derive the modes in a more natural ordering - I got really confused by your derivation and I think relying on all major scales to derive modes is one of the fundamental causes of confusion around modes (common questions arise like "if it's just F major starting on C, how is it different to F major?"). Even if you find the words darker/brighter too narrow, it's hard to deny that overall they do a decent job of describing the way modes are overhwelmingly applied, and as the terms are only describing the modes relative too each other, they are much better than terms like "dreamy" for Lydian, "Jazzy" for Dorian etc. This is why I love the pattern; not only does it make the modes easier to learn (you can read them off the circle of fifths, rather than needing to know all your major scales by heart) but it also gives you some basic guidance as to how to apply them. As with all music theory, it's just a guide on what might be best to try at any point. if you have a metal riff using Aeolian and it just isn't evil enough, swapping that 2 to a b2 to bring it into Phrygian is very likely to push the riff in the direction you want it.
lastdaysguitar 5 aylar önce
@M0odez yeah, that's just another perspective of what I said. I've never been a fan of the "Brightest" and "Darker" explanation of the modes - as the feel and flexibility of them goes much deeper than that.
M0odez 5 aylar önce
The pattern is actually much more than just this; the order in which the diatonic modes (I believe this is what you meant by "major modes") appear actually moves from the brightest (Lydian) to the darkest (Locrian). If you take the 7 notes going round clockwise from C (C, G, D, A, B, F#), you have the lydian which is the brightest diatonic mode. If you move this selection set one step round anticlockwise, the F# becomes an F and you have C Ionian (or C major) which is the second brightest mode. If you do this again, the B becomes Bb and you have notes of the C mixolydian scale, which again is less bright than Ionian. The full order is: Brightest C Lydian: C, G, D, A, E, B, F# C Ionian (major): F, C, G, D, A, E, B C Mixolydian: Bb, F, C, G, D, A, E C Dorian: Eb, Bb, F, C, G, D, A C Aeolian (minor): Ab, Eb, Bb, F, C, G, D C Phrygian: Db, Ab, Eb, Bb, F, C, G C Locrian: Gb, Db, Ab, Eb, Bb, F, C Darkest
Charles Armstrong
Charles Armstrong 6 aylar önce
Teaching my grandson how the Circle of Fifths hangs together was possibly going to be difficult. Now I have your excellently detailed video. Many thanks.
Aniket Prabhu
Aniket Prabhu 5 aylar önce
All I've learned are the basic scales and chords on the piano, and staff notations (that I have mostly forgotten) on the piano, but from a mathematician's POV, this was quite interesting!
avipatable 6 aylar önce
I have just watched 3 of your videos and all have been incredibly insightful, watchable and easy to understand. Thank you very much.
Brad Harrison Music
Brad Harrison Music 6 aylar önce
Excellent! Glad you enjoyed!
theNecksLevel 2 aylar önce
This is a great video. I've been a musician for most my life and I've never had it explained to me this clearly.
Greg Harradine, Composer
Greg Harradine, Composer 5 aylar önce
One of the best and most succinct explanations of the circle of fifths that I've come across. Thanks Brad!
Andrew Boland
Andrew Boland 4 aylar önce
Even though I'm only playing guitar 5 months I feel like I've learned a couple of years knowledge (I'm learning the circle of fifths at the moment at my guitar lessons) I find it very interesting how you can mix the notes to create different chords
Paul Masarik
Paul Masarik 5 aylar önce
this is one of the best explanations I have ever seen for this - very well done!
Pause Break
Pause Break 2 aylar önce
I was so fascinated with John Coltrane's Giant Steps, as were thousands of others, that I'm thinking this will help me to take baby steps on learning more about the circle of 5th's. Great video!
MarkS 3 aylar önce
You weren't kidding with everything you need to know. I'm subscribing because you explain this so clearly
ResidentEmil 3 aylar önce
This was probably the most approachable explanation I've seen so far. Very well done.
Roberto Mighty
Roberto Mighty 3 aylar önce
Excellent explanations using creative graphic representation and musical examples. Thanks so much for teaching and sharing!
Shaun O'Leary
Shaun O'Leary 4 aylar önce
I'll have to watch this 700 more times but I'm fascinated so thank you for making it!
luvyesmusic I
luvyesmusic I 2 aylar önce
I almost always had my diagram of the circle of fifths within eyesight of anything I played in band and jazz lab. Also when I was writing music on my workstation. Close to the Edge by YES, does the entire circle of fifths, btw. Not sure if there is another song in history that does that.
Cathy Goltsoff
Cathy Goltsoff 5 aylar önce
Thank you for the wonderful reference tool! I recently love to play double stops on the violin and now the cello. I read music and play by ear. I love to play chords on my stringed instruments it’s almost like learning a new instrument or like a child with a new toy. Thank you for making this video.
Micheal Peterson
Micheal Peterson 16 saatler önce
Hello Cathy, How’re you doing ?
Irene Ruth Wall
Irene Ruth Wall 5 aylar önce
This description is really great and interesting - need this to proceed in your musical journey.
Ramón Saldaña
Ramón Saldaña 2 aylar önce
Like facets of a diamond, each new perspective reveals more of its beauty. Having played the mandolin (by ear) for about three years, I "discovered" the Circle of Fifths around age nine when I picked up a guitar for the first time and compared the two analytically. That curiosity made music theory and transposition a breeze as I played alto/bari sax and piano in my teenage years. Thanks for posting this awesome mini-lecture.
Ultravice 5 aylar önce
Great video. I know the Circle of Fifths, but you still showed a few things I forgot. And your video is so well done and interesting.
djevlhelvete Aylar önce
Very informative and complete video. Thank you!
Tim Holden
Tim Holden 4 aylar önce
This is undoubtedly the best explanation of the circle of fifths I’ve ever seen. I am self taught and been playing guitar off and on for 25 years. Most theory videos require some degree of abstract prerequisite knowledge (reasonably so); however, this often translates to very abstract explanations. But this video just tied together more in 11 minutes than I’ve been able to do alone in 11 years. Thank you so much for creating and sharing this video!
Ted Felsberg
Ted Felsberg Yıl önce
Learned this years ago, but it seems so much clearer, now. Some of that is due to your excellent line upon line-presentation. Thanks, so much.
JC More
JC More 6 aylar önce
Wow! I’m learning more with with your videos than what I learned from going to music classes. Thank you.
KingArthur Aylar önce
Well explained, thank you so much.
Sharona Clarke / PianoBea Music
Sharona Clarke / PianoBea Music Yıl önce
If you could do one on Rhythm that would be great!! 👍 These are very useful for my online theory classes.
Kama 5 aylar önce
As a horn student who really struggles with transposition this is going to be very useful! I’ve heard about the circle of fifths before but I’ve never heard transposition explained this way before. Thanks!
Francis Hruszka
Francis Hruszka 6 aylar önce
A great explanation! Worth watching several times. 👍
Kirk R
Kirk R 3 aylar önce
I've probably watched 50 different videos about the circle of fiths and none of them explain it the way you did. This video answered my question that I have had for a long time. Thank you so very much.
Jeff Duflo
Jeff Duflo 2 aylar önce
Pretty clear that the circle of fifths are the basic foundation of harmonies and rellatons to chord progression. Very useful
Bruno Rocha
Bruno Rocha 3 aylar önce
Congrats! Arguably the best explanation I found among many in TRshow
Cat 5 aylar önce
Fantastic video, I'll be sure to share this with people who are interested in learning about the circle of 5ths!
Evan Hodge
Evan Hodge Yıl önce
So clearly shown. Thank you. You also take this a step further than other videos - by showing the chord formulas as part of the circle. That is very much appreciated by someone writing music.
Rod Equis
Rod Equis Aylar önce
04:58 I'd like to have a vst plugin that makes just that; play the circle of fifths and record the notes in a midi track. Nice vid man!
Ivann Villanueva
Ivann Villanueva 2 aylar önce
The most condensed lecture on the subject i have seen. Thank you for the simplification
Mark wright
Mark wright Yıl önce
Best explanation of the circle of fifth I’ve ever seen. Thank you.
adam flory
adam flory 6 aylar önce
I play accordion, and the setup of the bass keys is pretty much a flattened out version of your circle. You can find the relative minors from stepping two spaces back from your main chord and you the relative chords are one up and one down. So many other similarities too but I used the bass keys to learn how to piano. The bass is a full chord that will match with a full piano chord perfectly. Easy way to learn all the chord shapes
African Girl
African Girl 5 aylar önce
wow, thanks. very simple and to the point. i'm studying music and this very helpful
Reggie Storm
Reggie Storm 10 aylar önce
Hey Brad, I found your channel today I’d like to think it’s fate everything you’re teaching on here is changing the lives of many aspiring musicians. I’d like to encourage you to keep posting more often. We need you on this journey.
Brad Harrison Music
Brad Harrison Music 10 aylar önce
Thanks for writing! The videos take a long time to make and it’s been a bonkers busy year. But I’ve got two more coming soon!
BAK87 Aylar önce
Big thanks for explaining how circle works!!
Elizabeth White
Elizabeth White 3 aylar önce
Newbie to music here - thanks so much! Just trying to learn - when you said the keys connect around in a circle like steps going up and down, I imagined kind of a moving sidewalk or escalator instead of static steps. Do the steps connect and you can go up and down because music connects on sound waves?
D Sanj
D Sanj 6 aylar önce
This is the most comprehensive video on the Circle Of Fifths that I've seen to date. Thank you!
J.D. Harvis
J.D. Harvis 4 aylar önce
Quite the lesson in music theory. I study, and this is a perfect tool. 🤘
DinoNuggies 6 aylar önce
I've watched Piano Pig for a long time, he taught me just about everything I know, and this video just strapped it all together. Now I just need to memorize the circle, practice the licc around the circle, learn how to read sheet music, and I'm a full out musician.
Elæ-¶hântwüddFullMoonGtr 6 aylar önce
🔵 thanks super great post ❕👍 i normally avoid music theory because i've found it a little bit difficult to catch onto (even though i am not bad mathematically) and been playing finger style steel string guitar above forty years now - but videos keep popping up about the importance of the circle of fifths - i'm determined to learn and apply some theory now that i've got the time ❕🐊 🐸🍀
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