## Circle of Fifths – The Scales (Part 1 – Addendum)

Holy Crap, I forgot a very important point in the last article! If you’ve read Part 1, then you already know that if you shift the numbers around the circle, you get the scale for whatever the 1 is on. However, the shift follows some interesting rules that allow you to determine how it’s going to change. Looking at our example scale of G major, we can see that shifting the numbers 1 position to the right gives us this:

Given we already know the 6 notes from the Gmaj scale will still be in the Dmaj scale (the CoF says they will be), then we only have to figure out the missing two. And given the “2/9” note is the same in both positions, we know that the blue “?” will be “E”. So what will the green “?” be? Well, the rule is that when shifting clockwise, whatever was the 4th  in the previous scale get’s sharped and becomes the 7th in the new scale! So, given that rule, the 7th position value must be C#. That means that our scale for Dmaj is:
D  E  F#  G  A  B  C#

Now looking at our original Circle of Fifths reference image, we know that the Dmaj scale has 2 sharps, so that’s correct. And looking at the bottom part of the reference image we’ll see that the new scale that we determined based upon the rules of shifting clockwise gave us exactly the correct scale! And we didn’t even have to look back at our reference image at all!!!!

“But what about the other direction, counter-clockwise?”, you ask (or perhaps “anti-clockwise” from across the pond).  Well, that’s exactly the reverse. Let’s look at it:

Again, we can discount the 2/9, as in this case it will be D. So now we just need to know what the 4th will be. In the CCW shift, you’ll simply flat the 7th from the Gmaj scale, making it an “F”. That means that the Cmaj scale is this:
C  D  E  F  G  A  B

And we know that the Cmaj scale has no sharps or flats, so were good! It’s that simple.

Ok, now for the minor Scale. It’s very much the same thing. Here’s the clockwise shift for the Em scale:

In this case, we know that 4th position will be E, so that’s done. For the 2/9, it’s simply the same as earlier except we’re going to sharp the 6th position, making the 2/9 a C#. That makes the Bm scale this:

B  C#  D  E  F#  G  A

And if we do similarly for the couterclockwise shift of the Em scale, we get this:

Which makes the 4th another D and the 6th becomes a flatted F#, or F.

And that’s it. In summary, you now should understand that if you:

• shift a Major scale one position toward it’s 5th (clockwise), then the scale only changes by one note, and that note is going to be the original scale’s 4th sharped.
• shift a Major scale one position toward it’s 4th (counterclockwise), then the scale only changes by one note and that note is the original scale’s 7th flatted.
• shift a Minor scale one position toward it’s 5th (clockwise), then the scale only changes by one note, and that note is going to be the original scale’s 6th sharped.
• shift a Minor scale one position toward it’s 4th (counterclockwise), then the scale only changes by one note and that note is the original scale’s 2/9 flatted.

I hope that’s helpful, and sorry for the omission from the original Part 1. It’s probably just as well, as this is a lot to absorb.

Next up: Chord Construction.

## Circle of Fifths – The Scales (Part 1)

Ok, so hopefully you’ve already downloaded the reference image for this for the Circle of Fifths/Fourths. If not, do that now:
http://i.imgur.com/ZeG4t.png

We’ll be using that throughout the next three posts, so you’ll need to keep it handy (or just bookmark it).

First let’s take a section out of our reference image, focusing on the G Major. Here it is:

And now let’s straighten that out and add some reference numbers to it and voila!

“Wait, what the hell is that?” you’re asking.  Ok, I guess we need a bit of explanation. Let’s go back to our original reference image. First you’ll note that the scale has 1 sharp, and you’ll note the scale is this:

G  A  B  C  D  E  F# (G)

So now, if you go by the numbers in the above image, you’ll see that reading the notes in the order of the numbers above, you get that exact scale (the 1-note is also the octave). Going back to the reference image you’ve downloaded, moving that number pattern so that the “1” corresponds to the note-scale you want, it will follow precisely.

It’s just that easy. We’re done with the Major Scale.

Let’s look at the Minor Scale, now. We’re going to use the same section we used for the Major Scale, but with a bit of renumbering:

Now based upon that, the Em Scale should have a single sharp, and should be this:
E  F#  G  A  B  C  D  (E)

And lo and behold it is! This pattern follows the same rule in that if you move it around so that the 1 is on your root (1-note) then it will let you work out the scale for any minor key.