Circle of Fifths

Here is a visual diagram of the musical circle of fifths and how it relates to the bass
Circle of 5ths
How to Use The Circle of Fifths:
  • The key of C is at the top and contains no sharps and flats.
  • As you move clockwise around the outside of the circle (toward G and D), you will find major key signatures that contain sharps (#), and the number of sharps in each key grows with each step around the circle. Each new key that you encounter is a perfect 5th up from the previous key. This corresponds to 7 frets up on your bass.
  • As you move counter-clockwise around the outside of the circle (toward F and Bb), you will find major key signatures that contain flats (b), and the number of flats in each key grows with each step around the circle. Each new key that you encounter is a perfect 5th down from the previous key. This corresponds to 7 frets down on your bass.
  • You can find the relative minor of any major key by looking at the corresponding key on the inside of the circle that matches the location of the major key on the outside of the circle.