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Mandolin Lessons: 1-6-2-5 Progression

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We're gonna, talk about the Circle of 5ths
for just a second.
You'll see here next to me, this beautiful
And what that is is all the keys.
All 12 keys.
Put in a circle in moving in 5ths.
So at the top you have C, and to the right
of it you have G.
And to the right of that, going clockwise,
is D.
And then A, and then E, and then B.
So many, many tunes.
We talked about 1, 4, 5, G, A, B, C, and
The 5 chord many tunes will use the 5 of
the 5 of the 5 and what in the world is
And if you look at the Circle of 5ths here
you'll see that E is actually the 5 of,
of A.
A is the 5 of D, D is the 5 of G, and G is
the 5 of C.
So many tunes will do this thing where
they'll jump on the wheel.
You'll be in one key, then all of a sudden
you can jump to any one of these chords.
And if they're functioning as 5 chords
they will lead you back to where you came.
So one of the first tunes we learned in
Bluegrass that uses this trick
is Salty Dog Blues.
So it's in the key of G.
And then it goes to the E chord.
A couple of wheels down, couple of,
notches down on the wheel, and then it
goes to the A chord, and, of course,
it's on its way back, and it goes to the D
chord, and then it ends on the G.
So the G is the tonic or the root key.
E is the 5 of A, so E is gonna lead you to
A is the 5 of D, so that's gonna lead you
to D.
And D is the 5 of G, it's gonna take you
back home.
So you guys know Salty Dog Blues, but
this is kind of a nice little theoretical
approach to it.
So I'm gonna play it, the melody, for you
with the backing track here and
then I'll play some rhythm and you
improvise a solo.
The main thing I want you to think about
when you're improvising over the set of
chords like this is that to really be in
in the new chord as it happens, don't just
play in G through the whole thing.
But play in G and then when it goes to E7,
really be in E7.
Play your E7 arpeggios and your, and
your tonality of E7 during that moment and
then when it goes to A,
really be in A, and when it goes to D, be
in D, and then back to G.
Let's give it a shot.
>> A one, two, three and.
So just to explain in a little more detail
what I'm doing.
I'm really being in the G chord.
For those 1st two bars.
For the two beats, I mean.
Now, I'm really in E7.
Then, I'm really in A.
Then I'm in D.
And now, I'm back to G.
Okay, now it's your turn.
I'd love to hear you play over Salty Dog
Let's see what you can do.
Again, you know, make it through all those
different chords,
but try to not make it an academic
exercise either.
You wanna find nice melodies that, that
float through the changes, and.
But this is a starting point.
A way of getting you thinking about the
instrument in a new way, so
that you're trying to deal with the
harmonies that are in front of you.
But of course, you wanna make a nice
melody that connects through and
weaves nicely through those changes.