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Jazz Circle of Fifths

Circle of Fifths for Jazz

The Circle of Fifths displays in graphic form the foundation of harmonic movement in jazz music.  The chords shown here are four-note chords, known as 7th chords, that are common to jazz music.  This interactive diagram shows chords grouped according key. The colored arcs indicate chord type.  The Roman numerals indicate the chord's scale degree.  The guitar chord diagrams represent common fingerings for the given position on the fretboard. There are no open strings in these chords. The "R" represents the location of the chord's root. The number next to a diagram indicates the fret on which the root of the chord occurs.  There are three keys that enharmonically equivalent. These pairs of keys share the same pitches but they go by different names.  The looping arrow in the center of the diagram suggests the natural harmonic movement of each key. It is good practice to play the indicated chords in this natural order to get familiar with the progression of chords moving toward the tonic chord.  While these chord groupings in each key have been chosen for easy of playing, they are not the only possible shapes. This diagram is a good starting point for your own harmonic exploration of jazz chords.


Mouse over or click any of the key-note buttons below the main diagram to view the chords that belong to that key. If the diagram does not change immediately, try reloading it on your device. 

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