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Europa: Use The Circle!

Posted on: February 3rd, 2010 by dville

Aldrine Guerrero from Ukulele Underground has posted a very nice play-along version of Santana’s Europa on YouTube. But before trying to memorize all the chords, first try mapping the chord progression out on a Circle of 5ths.

The key is D minor which we’ll number as i. Notice that the IV chord is to the left of the root and the V chord is to the right. The chord progression starts on the iv (Gm) moves to the VII7 (C7) to the III (F) then a quick turnaround to the v (Am) and back to the root (Dm/follow the black arrows). The second half of the A Part (red arrows) again starts on Gm then goes to A7 (which has the tension) that forces the progression to resolve back to the D minor. Then there is a quick Dm to A7 to Dm turnaround. This chord progression continues throughout the tune.

Mapping chord progressions on the Circle of 5ths is a great way to begin to understand the underlying concept of tension and resolution found in Western music.

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