Music Theory Basics for Guitar: Lesson 3 – Circle of 4ths

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NOTE: That handy chart I point to around the 5:25 mark I carelessly cropped out of the video looks like this:

# F C G D A E B
b B E A D G C F

Time to learn about that Swiss Army Knife of musical concepts, the circle of 4ths!


Sruti Md says:

That's very well explained. You have really simplified it. Thank you!

Lance Williams says:

This helps so much appreciate he easy it is to get information you need now a days

anthony levario says:

Great lessons

Tone Fingerz says:

so part 1 and 2 i gotit. im lost on the 3rd lesson. so if u wanna play over key of E . u go to the 4th note of the E major scale and start the major scale over with WWHWWWH?

Snooze00 says:

I have yet to find a person who can describe to a beginner a description of a circle of forth or fifth that wasn't nonsensical. Just learn your chords open and bar form, learn your penatonic scales in all positions along the fret board, learn your modes all along the fretboard. Then learn how to bend, hammer on. pull off slide etc and last of all use your ear, blend all together and you get music. I hate this crap.

imoen00 says:

I had to watch this 3 or 4 times, but I finally got it! Each notch around the circle means 1 more flat/sharp depending on if you go left or right than the last notch. So C has 0, but F has 1b and if you go the other way G has 1#. They meet at the bottom where both F# and Gb has 6# and 6b's. The b's increment up 1 each time you go up counter clockwise, and the flats increment up by 1 each time you go up a notch clockwise. Got it!

Adrian_ Zombturtle says:

I dont really gey how this is difrent from lesson 2

Hans Franz says:

It's so much easier to learn this stuff in English. Here in Germany, music theory is being taught with a terminology designed to sound smart, not to be easily understandable. Everything's gotta be Latin and obscure. Additionally, they don't call the B a B in German, they call it an H (and a B flat is called a B). Complete nonsense. When I was in school, I understood nothing about this and I really didn't want to. In English, the name tells you exactly what the purpose of this cycle is. In German, it just sounds fancy. I regret refusing to learn about music theory these past nine years of my life, but school made me absolutely despise the theory and just stick to playing my guitar without knowing what I was actually doing.

Alberto Estrada says:

Thanks, man! This was extremely helpful. I'm gonna start applying this every time I get a chance to pick up the guitar.

Taylor says:

I don't understand in the C sharp scale there is 7 sharps because on the chromatic scale there is no E#. can someone please explain/help me

Ryan T says:

what's throwing me here is how do we know how many flats are in each key? I'm confused man..

John Law says:

Well I can't see the bottom left table! How stupid! I 'd thought you'd explain 'keys' first , but you didn't. Maybe when you say b-flat has two flats, you're meaning in the major scale? Maybe you're describing a key…. Who knows?

Mitchell Chapman says:

Kind of abstract hahahaha You did well man

Cosmo Ruckaz says:

yeah you lost me on this one. Im gonna have to watch this a few times.

Captain Nobody says:

I've learned so much in 3 lessons, thanks for making them so easy.

Chris Shearwood says:

Great lesson but I think I maybe missing something?! .. Memorising FCGDAEB or BEADGCF is great for figuring out which Sharps or Flats are in a key signature, but how do you easily remember the number of Sharps/Flats that key has to begin with without referring to the chart? Thanks

Bengali bulletin says:

You talk too much…. One thing again nd again

Ger Wheelz says:

My advice smoke joint and watch it again .

Winnie Blues mate says:

But how the fuck are you supposed to actually translate this into anything? Just memorize every single fret on the guitar? God damn lol this shit makes me wanna die

Sai Srinivas says:

How can you guys be so dumb? Just get a paper and write down all major scales as per his lesson 2 and number them. You will understand this! You guys don't do fucking homework and need everything to be spoonfed!

David Atwell says:

Can you spend more time with the chart on the bottom, or make a new video for it? The video cuts it off, and we can't understand why there are 2 flats in the B flat scale and why there are 3 flats in the E flat scale. This needs to be elaborated.

Gabriel Alfaro says:

Now you are reading the comments? You did not understand shit huh? watch it as many times needed because this is very important in building music and playing progresions on the guitar, and pay attencion to the fourths, you know guitar is tuned in fourths!

Mark Co-Dyre says:

good explaination.. thank you

twisted7766 says:

i understand u but i need time to disolve, i think i need to learn the notes inside and out before my mind melts lol, love the BEAD G part…. thats stuck in my brain forever.. if only the rest was that easy lol. thanks dude !!

mike opheij says:

What are the symbols in the middle of the circle?

Indra Kumar Sahu says:

Hunter macdermut bro
Explain this lesson again
In some easy way
Many ppls as well as i am confused
please help out

Indra Kumar Sahu says:

Hunter macdermut bro
Explain this lesson again
In some easy way
Many ppls as well as i am confused
please help out

Adrienne Huntress says:

Thanks Hunter! This was definitely a tricky lesson. I watched the video twice- the first time, I just watched it straight through. The second time, I wrote down the circle and order of sharps/flats to follow along, and paused frequently. It did make sense after I slowed down a bit!

I see how it is especially handy to have the order of sharps/flats to refer to when dealing with major chords. I think it was a little challenging at first to understand how you use it, but now I get it- if there are two flats in a chord (e.g. Bb), you simply start from the left of the flats and work your way across… which means that the two flats are Bb and Eb. If there are three (e.g. Eb), the three flats are Bb, Eb, and Ab. Yay!

FYI y'all reading this- Hunter replied in a previous comment on the part of the whiteboard that is hard to see. I just wrote it down and followed along in my second go at watching this video.

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