sorry, i guess i was mentally mixing up the actual 'circle of fifths' and the Chord Wheel I mentioned above, which is similar but different in concept because it arranges the key sigs with chords and helps me better understand progressions.http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1180676064l/1064839.jpg
Oh yes, and there shows your relative minor chords as well.
Listen, don't get too hung up on these cute little illustrations. Know and understand our diatonic system of music. It is the fundamental core. Look at the chords for just one single key. Let's look at the key of C. Music is written in one key or another. You can think of it as meaning that all of the melody and chords to a song will be in one scale. Let's look at the key of C because it deals with just the white keys, no black keys
C Major Scale:
Note scale: C D E F G A B C... like you didn't know that.
OK, now lets look at the "chord scale":
C Dm Em F G Am Bdim.... Leave out the Bdim for a moment and we have 3 major chords and 3 minor chords to play with in the key of C.
And what is unique about all these chords again? Just the White keys! all white, right? How easy can that be. You can play a lot of songs with just those 6 chords and believe me there are a lot of songs out there that are "purely diatonic"!
Purely Diatonic? What does that mean? It means that the entire melody and chords to a song will belong to one key only and no deviation, 100% Diatonic! Again, in the Key of C that means nothing but the white keys.
Why did I pick the key of C again? Just the white keys.... right?
If we were looking at the key of E for example, we would have the same chord scale scenario but it would include 4 sharps or 4 of the 5 black keys. All else being the same in terms of scale notes and scale chords. You would see in the circle of 5ths the key of E having 4 sharps.
If you can understand just one single key you can understand all of them because the same rules apply to all of them in regard to the diatonic system. Written music or notation is designed and based around the diatonic system. That's why you see written music with a key signature. Blank or no signature just means the key of C because there are no sharps or flats to be identified.
You will also realize that in written music, the musical staff only accommodates for letter notes or all the white keys of a piano. Lines and spaces are devoted to only white key letter names of notes. What Key signature does is mark which notes must be flatted or sharped. That's a whole other discussion. The point is to show the reality of our diatonic system in music.
Give it a try. Play around in the key of C. Progression C F G. In Roman Numerals that you might have seen or read about that's your I IV V and guess what is true about those 3 perfect major chords?
The notes to those 3 chords make up the entire C Major scale. Think about this: Music is based around the Major Scale. Key signature is based on the major scale. The relative minor scale is a modal shift of the major scale. It's the same notes out of phase as are all modes of that one scale and in fact, the major scale is the first or primary mode itself called the Ionian scale.
Relative major and minor:
C Major scale: C D E F G A B C (Ionian)
A Minor scale: A B C D E F G A (Aeolian) ("natural" "relative minor" scale to C Major)
Same notes right? Just shifted. A Natural Minor is the Aeolian Mode.
When you finally see this diatonic system for yourself and realize how simple it really is you will finally see the forest for the trees in music. Music will no longer be a mystery. All you have to concentrate on for starters is the:
1. Major note scale
2. Major chord scale
This is fun stuff to learn.