1 3 5 b5 guitar pattern 2

1 3 5 b5 Pattern & Cycle OF Fourths - Guitar Warm-up Exercise

This warm-up exercise for beginner guitarists is designed to help you build dexterity, finger strength, and familiarize yourself with the essential intervals within the context of the cycle of fourths.

The Cycle Of Fourths

First, you need to know that the cycle of fourths, also known as the circle of fourths or circle of fifths (since it's essentially the same sequence in reverse), is a fundamental concept in music theory. It's a sequence of pitches or key signatures that move in ascending or descending fourth intervals.

Here it is starting from C major (or A minor, the relative) :

  • C major - A minor (no alterations)
  • F major - D minor (1 flat - Bb)
  • Bb major - G minor (2 flats - Bb, Eb)
  • Eb major - C minor (3 flats - Bb, Eb, Ab)
  • Ab major - F minor (4 flats - Bb, Eb, Ab, Db)
  • Db major - Bb minor (5 flats - Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb)
  • Gb major - Eb minor (6 flats - Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Cb/B)
  • B major - G# minor (5 sharps - F#, C#, G#, D#, A#)
  • E major - C# minor (4 sharps - F#, C#, G#, D#)
  • A major - F# minor (3 sharps - F#, C#, G#)
  • D major - B minor (2 sharps - F#, C#)
  • G major - E minor (1 sharp - F#)

Remember that when dealing with relative minor keys, the key signature of the minor key is determined by the major key's key signature. For example, A minor shares the same key signature as C major (no sharps or flats), and E minor shares the same key signature as G major (1 sharp).

The cycle of fourths (or fifths) is an essential tool in music theory, especially for understanding key relationships, chord progressions, and modulation between different keys. 

1 - 3 - 5 - b5 Pattern Exercise

The "1-3-5-b5" pattern refers to a specific combination of notes or intervals commonly found in various musical contexts, such as scales, chords, and melodies. Let's break down each element of this pattern:

Root (1)

The "1" represents the root note or tonic of the musical structure. It serves as the foundational note from which the rest of the pattern is derived. In the context of a scale or chord, the root is the note upon which the other intervals are built.

Major 3rd (3)

The "3" stands for the major third interval, which is composed of four half-steps or two whole-steps above the root. For instance, if the root is C, the major third would be E.

Perfect 5th (5)

The "5" represents the perfect fifth interval, which consists of seven half-steps or three and a half whole-steps above the root. For example, if the root is C, the perfect fifth would be G.

Diminished 5th (b5)

The "b5" denotes the diminished fifth interval, also known as a tritone. It is formed by reducing the perfect fifth by one half-step.

In other words, it is six half-steps or three whole-steps above the root. If the root is C, the diminished fifth would be G♭.

Putting it all together, the "1-3-5-b5" pattern is represented as a combination of these intervals above the root note.

Here it is in twelve keys following the cycle of fourths.

  • C - E - G - Gb
  • F - A - C - B
  • Bb - D - F - E
  • Eb - G - Bb - A
  • Ab - C - Eb - D
  • Db - F - Ab - G
  • F# - A# - C# - C 
  • B - D# - F# - F
  • E - G# - B - Bb
  • A - C# - E - Eb
  • D - F# - A - Ab
  • G - B - D - Db

In the exercise below, you can hear the pattern played in twelve keys and organized following the cycle of fourths.

Once achieved, try to play it anywhere on the guitar neck and then try to create your own melodic pattern.

1 3 5 b5 guitar pattern exercise
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