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Circle of Fifths

The circle of fifths is an invaluable tool that reveals important relationships between pitches and organizes them in a way that’s very useful to understanding diatonic harmony.

Les Paul guitar fretboard
Jimi Hendrix playing the guitar on stage Marjut Valakivi / Public domain
Warren Haynes - Soulshine songwriter, Allman Brothers Band pitpony.photography [CC BY-SA]
John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers playing guitar Flickr photographer Chad Carson [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Pink Floyd's David Gilmour playing guitar Photo by Jan Hagelskamp1
Pentatonic scale extensions, guy playing guitar
Man playing guitar chords

Chord Functions in the Major Keys

Chords within a given key have a function, or role they play within the key. Understanding these chord functions can help you understand why some chord progressions sound good while others sound not so good.