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I've watched tons of tutorials on YouTube and it seems most people go counterclockwise when doing the Circle of 5th exercise. My teacher wants me to practice clockwise (I-V-I).

Which is preferable and why?
It's generally preferrable to do as you teacher says and when in doubt just ask him/her why. Why do you want me to do this way and not the other way? You don't need to mention internet tutorials, it's just normal for a curious mind to make such questions.

There are often several ways to practice things and they all have their benefits. Eventually you should be able to do things in different ways just as easily. But people's minds are not "symmetric" and often one way to do things is easier to grasp mentally than the other. Some people think it's best to do what comes more naturally/is more common first and others feel it's best to start learning the harder way first to overcome the natural preferations.
Maybe he's just trying to keep things simple at this stage.

If you go clockwise, it's a circle of fifths. Counter-clockwise, it's a circle of 4ths. Relative minors are 6ths (ascending), vice versa, relative Majors are 3rds (descending).




Ok. I just didn't know if there was an advantage to counterclockwise in that the progression is different (I - IV vs I - V)
Practicing chords like this is about learning progressions and cadences. You are getting the simplest progression down by practicing the chord I V I, also a feel for how to move voices to the nearest notes by practicing in different inversions. The next step would be to practice I IV I V I.

The circle of fifths is a relationship for key signatures. You can't really follow the circle of fifths in a diatonic progression. What I mean is that if you look at the progression ii V I as following the circle of fifths, then the ii chord should be the II chord with a major third. For example if I is C Major chord, then the progression along the circle of fifths would be D Maj G Maj C Maj, with the F sharp in d major. Theprogression is really d min g majc maj.

In diatonic harmony, the I chord can go to any other chord. The cadence V I is a perfect cadence.
Originally Posted by DragonPianoPlayer
Practicing chords like this is about learning progressions and cadences. You are getting the simplest progression down by practicing the chord I V I, also a feel for how to move voices to the nearest notes by practicing in different inversions. The next step would be to practice I IV I V I.

The circle of fifths is a relationship for key signatures. You can't really follow the circle of fifths in a diatonic progression. What I mean is that if you look at the progression ii V I as following the circle of fifths, then the ii chord should be the II chord with a major third. For example if I is C Major chord, then the progression along the circle of fifths would be D Maj G Maj C Maj, with the F sharp in d major. Theprogression is really d min g majc maj.

In diatonic harmony, the I chord can go to any other chord. The cadence V I is a perfect cadence.


The next step wouldn't be I - IV - V - I
?

Just curious why your progression listed is considered next.
Thanks for reply.
Originally Posted by DeadPoets
Ok. I just didn't know if there was an advantage to counterclockwise in that the progression is different (I - IV vs I - V)


There's no advantage: learn both.
Originally Posted by DeadPoets
[quote=DragonPianoPlayer]The next step wouldn't be I - IV - V - I
?


You need to distinguish between something like I - IV - V - I, which is a chord sequence in a particular key, and the circle of fifths, which is a visual representation of the relationships between different keys.

you need both directions

>Counter-clockwise, it's a circle of 4ths

No, it's fifths both up and down.
Originally Posted by wouter79
you need both directions

>Counter-clockwise, it's a circle of 4ths

No, it's fifths both up and down.

True, but it depends on whether you look at it ascending or descending, you can do it both ways.
The distinction between progressions and keys was my point. A bit long winded,perhaps ...

On I IV I V I vs I IV V I - I've seen this type of exercise in many books on scales and chords nd the one in every one is I IV I V I pra0cticed to get the way to switch inversions between the chords for smooth Playing. Example C Maj in root pos, F maj 2nd inv. C maj root. G maj 1st inv. Cmaj root. Practicing inversions like this doesn't flow the same I IV V I. In I IV I V I you are shifting two our of three fingers on eah chord change. From IV to V every finger changes. The practical first step is to get the pattern moving only two keys. Simple one step patterns to drll the sound and feel into beginner fingers and ears.
Just my opinion. Yours may vary.
Originally Posted by Groove On
Originally Posted by wouter79
you need both directions

>Counter-clockwise, it's a circle of 4ths

No, it's fifths both up and down.

True, but it depends on whether you look at it ascending or descending, you can do it both ways.


If you are descending, you should talk about descending intervals. It makes no sense to me to talk about descending in terms of ascending intervals.
Thanks for replies
My (jazz) instructor focuses on counterclockwise. A bunch of jazz standards have chord progressions that roughly follow the circle of fourths. Autumn Leaves, for example, is
Cmin7 F7 BbMaj7 EbMaj7 Amin7b5 D7 Gmin6 or someting like that.
Originally Posted by rice nachos
My (jazz) instructor focuses on counterclockwise. A bunch of jazz standards have chord progressions that roughly follow the circle of fourths. Autumn Leaves, for example, is
Cmin7 F7 BbMaj7 EbMaj7 Amin7b5 D7 Gmin6 or someting like that.


Once again, the circle of fifths is not a chord progression. It is a tool to show the relationships between the diatonic keys.
Originally Posted by MRC
Originally Posted by DeadPoets
Ok. I just didn't know if there was an advantage to counterclockwise in that the progression is different (I - IV vs I - V)


There's no advantage: learn both.

Yes, you should be familiar with both directions. The one used more in actual compositions is the descending one (adding flats or subtracting sharps), but the other one is important as well.
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