Many theory books teach the cycle of fifths without the crucial explanations of Why?, and then they list the “order of flats and sharps”, again without the Why? Okay I got a bit of a beef with that. My pet peeve. A pet beef…
What we are really doing here, is building major scales, getting to the keys and keys ignatures. And while we of course can do that using the good old time tested Cycle, I prefer to:
- use a much easier and faster method to figure out the make up of a scale and how to name it without driving yourself crazy with sharps and flats and double flats! —> see the article.
- and, instead use the cycle of fifths for much more exciting things such as
- using it as a practice tool
- using it to analyze songs
- have some super jammy fun with it
- make pretty mandalas to understand how note relationships work.
And since we are talking beef…
that whole “WWHWWWH” thing is lost on me just the same. I prefer knowing the relationships (ie intervals!) of every single note within the scale to the root.
- Less counting!
- Less miscounting!
- Thinking relationally rather than linearly
- You know how the notes will sound within the scale context
- It’s closely related to chord naming -> useful!
- Helps to understand how the scale and chords are put together!
But I digress with my beefs and pet peeves here! The question reveals confusion that we can clear up easily. This will make your life much easier. Hope this helps! Check it out! If you cannot see the Quora Box below, click here