Almost all of Hayden’s exercises have us going around the Circle of Fifths. I do see the benefit to this, but would it also be helpful to try playing them chromatically and/or randomly? Or is that somehow counterproductive?
Great question here.
I’m creating some notation examples for this and I will reply in more detail shortly.
Looking forward to these examples…
Apologies for the delay in response here. Here’s my opinion/insights:
Benefits of using the circle of 5ths
The benefit of drilling chords/voicings/progressions/licks/lines around the circle of fifths is that it gives us a structure to work through the 12 keys. We start at a point on the circle and work our way around until we are back to where we started.
Sometimes, taking something through all 12 keys in one sitting can be a big task and so we can split the keys into groups of 3 or 4 to make the task more manageable. Again I find the circle of fifths useful to visualise the different sets of keys and the ones I am working on.
Here’s a variation on the circle of fifths for practicing progressions
A nice variation on the circle of fifths is to follow this descending whole step pattern:
ii-7 --> V7 --> Imaj7 then turn the Imaj7 into a minor 7 chord, and that is that starting point for a 251 a half step down.
When we repeat this pattern 6 times, we get back to the start, ie:
- D-7 --> G7 --> Cmaj7
- C-7 --> F7 --> Bbmaj7
- Bb-7 --> Eb7 --> Abmaj7
- Ab-7 --> Db7 --> Gbmaj7
- F#-7 --> B7 --> Emaj7
- E-7 --> A7 --> Dmaj7
then if we change Dmaj7 to D-7 we are back at the top.
Here is is doing ii-9 to V13b9 to Imaj9
Midi file here:
First Set Midi.mid (2.8 KB)
Now that takes us through half of the keys, if we raise our starting chords by a half step, we start on Eb-7 --> Ab7 --> Dbmaj7 and then following the same pattern as above it takes us through the other 6 keys.
Here it is with the same progression as above:
Midi file here:
Second Set Midi.mid (2.7 KB)
We can also have some fun by adding other things into the exercise, for example, here I am adding an inner voice over the Imaj7 chord using the first set of chord changes:
and midi file here:
Major 1 Chord Inner Voice Midi.mid (3.5 KB)
More exercises and examples to follow:
That’s just one variation on taking things around the circle of fifth, I will post some other ideas in this thread later this week.
It’s a somewhat open ended question and there are a potentially infinite number possibility to spice up our practice drills. I will have a think about some other fun variations like the one above.
This topic will tie in nicely to my Live Seminar on Friday so I’ll be sure to elaborate: