Chords around Ionian cycle of 4th & 3rd Guitar Lesson – Step 7

Chords Guitar Lesson - S7
Let's now play all chord shapes around the major scale suing the cycle of 4th and 3rd!

All Chords Through The Cycle Of 4th

This cycle of 4th exercise does not use only perfect 4th intervals. Between chords IV and VII we get a #4.

The full exercise goes like this:

I – IV – VII – III – VI – II – V

Call out the chord numbers as you go along. For maximum effect, sing each root note.

When you can play this, also try other keys before you move on and play using the cycle of 3rd.

All chords through the cycle of 3rd

Let’s take a look at how to play through all the chords around a major scale shape using the cycle of 3rd.

This movement is common in songs, for maximum development, sing the root notes as you play the exercise.

The cycle of 3rd within the scale shape exercise reads:

I – III – V – VII – II – IV – VI

Notice how the third interval is sometimes minor, sometimes major. The third of each chord tells you where the next chord starts.

Next time is the final step, the master exercise.

Chords | Related Pages

Chords | Step-by-step guitar course

This was lesson 7 from the Guitar Chords Course.

The CAGED system is the best way to organize the guitar fretboard. Starting with the open-position chords, we extend and connect them in this chords course.

Follow the 8 steps of the self-eliminating practice routine to map out the fretboard, it will be the best thing you’ve ever done.

Arpeggios | Cycle of 4th

Check out this lesson on arpeggios using the cycle of 4th as well.

To ensure you really do know all your arpeggios, in this step we put them through the cycle of 4th. This means we play Amaj7, Dmaj7, Gmaj7, Cmaj, Fmaj using the closest possible CAGED shape.

To complete this step, you must do the same to Dom7, Min7, and the peculiar Min7b5 as well.


Chordacus can display all chords.

Spytunes chords, scale, and arpeggio software, Chordacus is a refined version of the so-called CAGED system.

Now available as both a chromatic (original version) and “within a key”, developed with the help of a Spytunes student.

About me

Dan Lundholm wrote this guitar lesson on chords around Ionian using the cycle of 4th.

This guitar lesson on chords around Ionian using the cycle of 4th was written by Dan Lundholm. Discover more about him and how learning with Spytunes.

Most importantly, find out why you should learn guitar through playing tunes, not practising scales, and studying theory in isolation.

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