Berklemusic-Triads in Root Position 3 (cont.)  

Posted by T ZAMAN in ,

Now let's try the same triads, only in a different order. In contemporary, jazz, and popular music, chords frequently move in intervals of a fourth up (or a fifth down). If we move from chord to chord by intervals of a fourth, we arrive at what is called the cycle of fourths, also known as "cycle 4," shown below. A cycle is defined as a series of events that recur regularly and usually lead back to the starting point. If you start at any note and continue around the wheel to the note that is up by a fourth, you will eventually end up back at the same note. In so doing, you will have covered all twelve notes in the chromatic scale, without repetition.

This serves as a useful reference to allow you to take anything through all twelve keys. Although not as intuitive as half-step motion on the guitar neck, knowledge of this set of key relationships will help prepare you to play the countless songs whose chords move in intervals of fourths, including thousands of blues, rock, r&b, and jazz tunes. If this is new to you, don't worry. You'll get a lot of practice with it. In fact, let's start using this approach to the twelve keys now.



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