The Music Theory Advantage
Rapid Skill Development with the Cycle of Thirds
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How to Practice
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THE FIRST THREE
It is time to summarize your
Below is a list of what you should know and be able to do
You MUST be
able to recite the Cycle of Thirds both forward and
quickly and as easily as you can count from 1 to 10. The
whole course depends on your mastery of Focal Point One.
You MUST know what type of
third (Major or minor) is the distance between any two
adjacent notes in the Cycle of Thirds. For example, you
should be able to quickly name what type of third is the
distance between A to C (minor 3rd), or G to
B (Major 3rd) and so on. Knowing what type of
third exists between each pair of adjacent notes in the
Cycle of Thirds is going to be powerfully useful for the
rest of the course. You must also be able to apply this
knowledge to notes that are sharp or flat. For example,
if A to C is a minor 3rd, then so A# to C#,
Ab to Cb, Abb to Cbb and A## to C## are also minor 3rds.
You must master this.
You MUST know how to find
any Major or minor 3rd above any note,
including when you start with notes that are sharp or
flat, or start with notes that are double sharp or
double flat. It is not enough to just find them. You
must do it so well that it feels easy for you. This
means being an expert at converting Major 3rds
to minor 3rds and converting minor 3rds
to Major 3rds.
The best way to practice finding 3rds is to count out a
series of ascending 3rds above a given note. Pick a
random note and a major or minor 3rd. If you chose to
find a Major 3rd above A, that is C#.
A Major 3rd above C#
A Major 3rd above E#
a Major 3rd above G##
Keep adding a Major 3rd above until you run into a triple
sharp or flat. Then pick a new note and start over. Get to the point
that you can do it fast enough that it seems like counting. Use the
chart for intervals above a note in the appendix to check your
not proceed until you have mastered the first three Focal Points!
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Copyright © 2008-2011 Kenneth J. Maxwell Jr.