The Circle of 5ths Explained—Plus Three Ways You Can Put It to Use

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The circle of fifths is a chart that shows the relationship among the 12 tones of the chromatic scale. It’s a central aspect of music theory, and it’s a fairly simple concept to grasp, even if you have no experience with theory. Best of all, understanding the circle of fifths can help you as a songwriter and performer.

In this video, guitar instructor Sean Daniels explains the circle of fifths and demonstrates three ways you can use it: to compose, to help you memorize chord progressions and to further your music education by identifying key signatures.

This is a crucial concept that can benefit all musicians. Check out the video and put it to work for yourself. Also, take a look at the circle of fifths chart at the bottom for a visual sense of its connections.

Be sure to check out Sean’s YouTube channel for more of his educational videos.

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ILLUSTRATION: Just plain Bill | Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike