So you’ve learned the names of the notes on your guitar.
You’re using a metronome like a boss.
You’ve left behind some of the esoteric-but-popular stuff to work on the things that pros know & do.
Allow me to suggest that you learn The Circle of Fifths.
Why Should You Learn The Circle of Fifths?
Simple. Because it lets you:
- understand keys,
- make sense of Nashville numbers,
- transpose easily,
- communicate with other musicians,
- play with more talented musicians,
- organize and understand music more easily by adding language to the things that your hands already understand,
- and it’s filled with awe-inspiring beauty
The circle of fifths is one of those concepts that’s usefulness isn’t immediately obvious. While I could spout a bunch of reasons why I think it’s important, I don’t think that they’ll convince you until after you’ve learned it all. So allow me to take a different tack.
The reason that I’m constantly harping on you to learn the names of the notes on your guitar is that once you have a language to describe a problem, it becomes vastly more simple to understand. Easy even.
Moving from “intermediate guitarist” to “advanced guitarist” requires that you update the operating system between your ears.
Trying to make sense of music without first understanding the language is like trying to write a novel by speaking it into a tape recorder.
Learning the circle of fifths is the next most obvious piece of the language puzzle. And it’s dizzyingly beautiful. Stunning. There’s a certain mathematical symmetry & grace to it––like atoms, or the cosmos.
So if you can spare a few minutes each day, I can help you dramatically improve your understanding of the underpinnings of all music, simply by updating the “operating system” in your brain.
So What Is the Circle of Fifths?
The Circle of Fifths is simply all of the major scales. But instead of listing them alphabetically, they’re listed as they relate to each other.
Again, once you’ve internalized this information, you begin to intuitively make sense of things like keys, chords that belong together, and which scale(s) to reach for in any given setting. You gain the ability to transpose quickly, the ability to communicate with a better class of musicians, and the ability to understand and organize all of those things that we call “music theory.”
The thing about learning and internalizing this (and a hundred other concepts) is that they’re too damned big to consume in one sitting.
The people who are able to make sense of these bigger concepts just by reading a book (or a blog post) are the people who were going to figure this out anyway.
But most of us aren’t those people (I know I’m not anyway).
The thing that I’ve discovered again and again and again is that there is nothing that can’t be learned easily if it’s
- presented in the right order,
- broken into the right sized chunks,
- and reviewed at the right time.
I love books. I love blogs. I love one-on-one instruction. But they suck at teaching things like this. They’re simply the wrong format, no matter how good the teacher.
That’s why I created GuitarOS. It’s the perfect format for this: a tiny daily email with the next ONE thing you need to know and do.
If you want to up your music game, join us.
What You Need To Know First
If you can’t look at any note on your fretboard and instantly know its name, you’re not quite ready for the Circle of Fifths.
Fortunately for you, that’s why GuitarOS doesn’t start here with the Circle. It starts with Note Names.
After the Circle of Fifths, we move on to assembling those notes into chords, and from there into assembling those chords into progressions. We learn how to read rhythms, understand charts, master the metronome, and practice like a pro. To tame the massive influx of information, you get a set of intelligent flashcards that automatically adjust themselves to quiz you on the areas you need the most help with.
In short, we’re tackling all of the things you need in order to play guitar like a pro.
And we’re doing it one day at a time––Tiny, Practical, Sequential, Daily Lessons.
If you need more convincing, read more about GuitarOS: Practical Theory here.