circle of fifths
Starting up a blog about practicing and trying to practice more piano.

Matt Crump


December 23, 2023

“A piano keyboard shaped like a perfect circle. Very bright and colorful. Lightning bolts in the sky.” - LCM_Dreamshaper_v7

Back into practicing the piano and working on my chops. It’s been a little bit painful because I am so out of practice. Perhaps there is a new year’s resolution here to practice more. But, what to practice?

My recent routine is working through the circle of fifths and reclaiming some basics.

  1. Playing Maj7 chords anti-clockwise and then clockwise through the circle of fifths
  2. Playing II-V-I through the circle of fifths
  3. Playing V7-V7 through the circle of fifths
  4. Playing I-VI-II-V through the circle of fifths. This is the same progression as in “Heart and Soul”, a duet we’d play as kids. Currently, I’m asking the question whether I can play this song effortlessly (chords in the left hand, melody in the right) in a key as I go around the circle, and if the answer is yes, I shouldn’t practice this key, and if the answer is no, then I should.

Starting to get some fluency back. I was never that diligent at practicing through all of the keys, and some of them need a lot of work.

Ideally, I’d like to keep a little journal here of practice strategies, reporting on: what I’m doing, what I’m hoping to get out of it (or did get out of it), and other observations that could relate to musical connections and/or connections to the cognitive science of skill learning.