View Full Version : Chords with +0.5 steps

08-10-2010, 11:31 PM
Hey guys!

I was just wondering, when a tab/chord page says that the song is +0.5 steps, does this mean that i have to use a capo on the 1st fret, or is it alright to play the stated chords? I understand what moving +0.5 steps means (from A to A# etc).

Also, is moving x steps the equivalent of changing key?

Thanks for the help :) im slowing trying to pick up on all the music theory!

Ukulele JJ
08-11-2010, 01:17 AM
Hmmmm... usually if chord sheet wants you to put a capo on a particular fret, it will simply say "capo on the Nth fret".

I'd suspect that if it said "+0.5 steps" it would mean that the song sounds a half-step higher (which would imply a capo). But to be honest, I've never seen that sort of thing. Do you have an example you could link to ?


08-11-2010, 01:22 AM
some of the tabs on UkeTabs have it, as well as other tab sites (for guitar too). eg: http://www.ukulele-tabs.com/uke-songs/relient-k/must-have-done-something-right-uke-tab-6725.html

Ukulele JJ
08-11-2010, 02:45 AM
eg: http://www.ukulele-tabs.com/uke-songs/relient-k/must-have-done-something-right-uke-tab-6725.html

Ah, I see. Well they're telling that the original version of the song is actually a half-step lower than the chord sheet is written in (this is not any sort of standard musical notation... maybe it's an internet thing?). Anyway, I just checked a YouTube video of the song, and that's actually the case. They do it in the key of Db (or C#... same thing). The chart is written in D.

That's probably just to keep the chords easier. You've got a G, D, A, Em, etc., which is much easier to play than Gb, Db, Ab, Ebm, etc.

In this case, a capo won't help you much because you have to play lower, not higher. So what can you do? Well...

Just play it a half-step higher and don't worry about it.
Transpose the chart down a half-step, so that you are playing the tricky chords like Gb, Db, etc.
Tune your entire uke down a half-step: Gb B Eb Ab. Then play it as if it were in D, like the chart is written.
Transpose the song down far enough to get another set of "easier" chords, then capo back up to get to the key of Gb. For example, put it in the key of C (so your chords are F, G, C, Dm, etc.) which is a half-step lower than the song, then capo the first fret to get back to the key of Db.
Do the same thing as above, but tune your uke up a half-step instead of using a capo.

Whew! That's a lot of options. I say just go with option 1 play it in D. :cool:


08-11-2010, 05:01 AM
Thank you very much for the help JJ :)

so basically, if I want to be accurate I should play it back up 0.5 a step, to take it to Gb Db etc. It definitely does sound better (and more accurate) that way!

thanks again ^_^

Ukulele JJ
08-11-2010, 08:25 AM
so basically, if I want to be accurate I should play it back up 0.5 a step, to take it to Gb Db etc.

Yes, to be more like the recorded version, you should change the chords to Gb, Db, etc.

(For what it's worth, though, that's actually moving the printed chords down a half step, not up. Gb is lower than G, and so on.)

Again though, there's no harm in keeping it in the key of D. Personally, I almost always change the key of songs I do. To make the chords easier and/or to fit my vocal range better. You do give up being able to play along with the record though. :-)


08-11-2010, 04:28 PM
playing along to the recorded version isnt an issue. Id rather have it sound good just playing along to myself, as the end goal would be playing along with mates around a camp fire :) I guess the next step for me is figuring out what key best fits my voice...no idea how to do that though without going to a music teacher and ask :p