Improv & Accompaniment
Improv & Accompaniment

Music, in a Circle

Understanding the intrinsic connectedness of vibrations, is the key to being able to understand another's melodic thought

Have 11 minutes?

Ever wanted to NOT have to memorize the Circle of Fifths, but maybe discover how simple it is to build instead? 
And…while you’re at it, learn why it is as it is, and how you can actually use it to create conversations in Music?

All of Music can be seen within the geometry of the circle, and the connecting lines within

Where the intervals come into the round –


The relationships that can be found within the Circle, where calculation, geometry, wave, light, and sound intersect, is vast.


Let it sink in.



or just build it.
Circle of Fifths with Minors and notation

Roll the Dice

Music is a language, and languages have structure, pattern, and expression. 

Creating conversation by chance. Using the dice as a reference point, either as a bass note, a chordal suggestion, a scale or Key framework, or even a skeleton melody line, we can learn to move through the frequencies with ease, expression, and intrigue.

Keys, in Music, hold a list of ingredients and a set of instructions.

The ingredients are the notes, and the instructions are how those notes are put together. Sometimes the same set of ingredients can produce different dishes, depending on how they are combined, cooked, not cooked, or prepared. Music is the same. 

Keys, like recipes, have instructions on how to blend those ingredient notes, in certain orders, with timing and space in between steps.

To understand better how to use the dice to create, explore, challenge and develop your skillsets, and use them to inspire your conversation, please reach out.

Intervals: The Spaces In Between

Understanding intervals is the key to being able to follow, and more or less, complete another's melodic thought

Composition in Music, just like in spoken word, or structure, organization, and all other forms, requires a dance and balance between the spaces. Sometimes original, sometimes repurposed, sometimes entirely reworked, the outcome is one that will become a thing if the combinations flow. The key to creating that flow is to understand what makes it so, and why.  

In Music, the intervals are the spaces between the frequencies. How they flow together is the why behind the what that creates the thing. 

Find some stairs and get someone to read this to you while you follow the, er.. steps

Stand at the stairs, starting on the floor/base (not on a step yet), state (aloud) “A”.

Take a step up
Say “B”
Take another step up
Say “C”
Step again
E, F, G, and arrive (finish) when you get to A again.
Mark it visibly somehow.
Now, turn around. 
Say “A”
Take a step down
Say “G”
Another step down
Say “F”
And again, down a step
E, D, C, B, and finally
You’re now on the floor where you started

Here’s where the intervals come into the frame –

Start on the floor again, stairs going up in front of you.
Now the floor is C (before it was A)
Take one step.
Where are you?
Do you feel like you’ve gone very far?
Maybe it feels like you could either go up a step further, or step back down to the floor?
That SECOND step is useful but not a great place to pause for very long – can you feel your body’s inclination to move beyond the second step?
Now step back down to the floor.
You’re on C again.
The floor in this case is also known as the FIRST in terms of an interval.
It’s where you started, and where you will end, one way or another.
It’s where your feet begin-where they are ROOTed. It’s where the ANCHOR is, at least at the moment.
From the FIRST, the floor, the ROOT, skip the next step (the SECOND step), and land your feet on the THIRD step.
What letter is this step? ………
If you said E, this is making sense. 
It’s most excellent if you have only 7 stairs because of the sense of completion when you reach the next level, however with a longer set of stairs, just give yourself a good visual to represent arrival on that 8th surface, or completion point.
Go to that EIGHTH, that completion/landing point. You’ve returned to the root, only this time you’re an octave higher than where you began.

Turn around, it’s time to descend.
Your goal now is to return to where you began, but maybe don’t do it step by step, that’s rather predictable.


  • From that top surface, if it’s the same letter as where you began on the floor, take a single step down; now you’re on the SEVENTH step from the floor. Now decide whether you’re going to start down a step at a time, two, three… how about five? (Don’t fall.)

Ok, so if you managed to land safely, take a moment to catch your breath. You’re a fifth step from the top (a FIFTH down from the ROOT – the landing, like the floor, functions as a placd to take root).

Notice how, while you catch your breath, it’s a good place to be, though it does seem to have a sense of something, doesn’t it? 

Let’s say you really can’t just sit in the middle of the staircase forever because, well, you’re hungry. You’ll need to return to the floor where you began so you can get some lunch.
Ok, you have some choices: you can step down the rest of the way, one step at a time. You can try a “skipping a step between” pattern… It’s up to you how you descend the spaces between.

Which fits your mood, which seems more like what you want to do? Lot’s of options – some are more comfortable than others, depending on previous choices. Comfort is harmony. 

Comfort is harmony, but comfort is subjective. Sometimes, stretching is comfortable. Sometimes we have to have a solid plan to be comfortable, but sometimes we can be comfortable with indecision, spontaneity, moments of what’s needed (tension). Existence without tension is incredibly bleh, so use it well.

Feel the steps, the spaces in between, as you move up/down/around the stairs. Feel your body’s inclinations, hesitations, preferences. Find someway of hearing the tones of the steps/notes you land upon.

Let it sink in.