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Circle of Fourths
In the western musical scale, we recognize 12 unique notes. Each note can be the starting point for a scale. When the notes from that scale are used together, we call that a “key”.
In other words, we recognize 12 unique musical keys. The Circle of Fourths chart is a convenient way to organize all this information.
A “fourth” is an interval between notes consisting of five half-
There is an interesting relationship between the two intervals, perfect fourth and perfect fifth (which consists of seven half-
So what? Why is this important? Many musical compositions, including most jazz music, involve multiple keys – sometimes several keys within a single measure. To play at a high level, you must be able to play comfortably in all 12 keys. The only way to become proficient in all 12 keys is to practice all 12 keys.
You can use the circle of fourths to practice all 12 keys. Please study the information on Common Scales page and then proceed to the Scale Practice page, which contains accompaniments you can use while you are practicing the scales. Have fun!