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View Full Version : Transposing-a little help understanding please.



chappyware
02-21-2011, 06:45 PM
I'm new to Uke and have no musical training. I do play some lapsteel and I know if a song is in F and I want to play it in G, I just slide up 2 frets and play the same pattern.

However, I'm a bit confused about Ukulele. I suppose if a song is in F you could Barre 2 frets up and play whatever the pattern is but dropping back to c seems tough like playing up 7 frets where you're pretty darn high up there.

take this example an maybe someone could plain how to play it it G and in C. It's in F from a tabbed version of St Louis Blues

an example

0--3--0--
1---------1
0---------3
2---------2


I recognize a F chord and an F7 so I could play a G and G7 or for C, C and C7 but what do I do with the notes in between?????? I see they fit in the G or C major scale so do you leave them alone? Do the have to be shifted up or down like the chords.

Sorry if I'm dense, and I appreciate whatever you can tell me.

mds725
02-21-2011, 08:01 PM
A scale has eight notes (you could call them "do, re, mi ...." or just number them 1 through 8. The first and eighth notes represent the key (so the key of C begins with the note "C"). There's also a pattern of steps and half steps, as you could see by looking at the white and black keys on a piano. All steps from one note to the next are whole steps, except the step from note III to note IV (in the key of C, F is one-half step up from E) and from note VII to VIII (or I) is one half step (in the key of C, C is one-half step up from B). On an ukulele, each fret is one-half step, so on an ukulele in C tuning, D is two frets up from C, while F is only one fret up from E.

With this information, you can make a chart, like this one I found online (The use of sharps and flats adjusts for taking full steps and half steps where appropriate)

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=20894&d=1298357811

To transpose, you use the position of the note in the scale. So if a song in C has an E, which is the third note on the scale, and you want to transpose to the key of F, you would look for the third note in the F scale, which is A.

I hope that helps.

GreatGazukes
02-21-2011, 09:09 PM
Here is a handy wheel for tansposing

wheel for transposing (http://www.tikiking.com/circle_of_fifths.html)

Print out and keep close!!!!

Kekani
02-22-2011, 06:06 AM
I'm new to Uke and have no musical training. I do play some lapsteel and I know if a song is in F and I want to play it in G, I just slide up 2 frets and play the same pattern.

Someone told me once that you don't need to learn scales or music theory to play. This is a perfect example where it helps. Because my Bass is tuned in 4ths (5ths if you go bottom up), I learned "patterns" fairly quickly - just like you do on your steel. However, the `Ukulele is not tuned that way on all strings, only the 3rd & 4th strings.

Yours is simple, learn your C scale (you should aready know), learn your F scale and match up the chords. That's the simple way. The hard way is "knowing" there's a Bb in there, then transposing from there. In this case, you're not just going up two frets, but two and a half steps (that would be your chromatic scale).

I know, confusing. Remember, there's only 8 notes in a scale, and only 12 possible from there. Even if you guess, you'll get it 50% correct all the time.

-Aaron

pulelehua
02-22-2011, 08:29 AM
I'm new to Uke and have no musical training. I do play some lapsteel and I know if a song is in F and I want to play it in G, I just slide up 2 frets and play the same pattern.

However, I'm a bit confused about Ukulele. I suppose if a song is in F you could Barre 2 frets up and play whatever the pattern is but dropping back to c seems tough like playing up 7 frets where you're pretty darn high up there.

take this example an maybe someone could plain how to play it it G and in C. It's in F from a tabbed version of St Louis Blues

an example

0--3--0--
1---------1
0---------3
2---------2


I recognize a F chord and an F7 so I could play a G and G7 or for C, C and C7 but what do I do with the notes in between?????? I see they fit in the G or C major scale so do you leave them alone? Do the have to be shifted up or down like the chords.

Sorry if I'm dense, and I appreciate whatever you can tell me.

It's a I-I7 progression with a little fill. The scale degrees of the fill are 3-5 (mi-sol, if you swing like that).

So, in C

3------1
0----0--
0------0
0-0----0

This is where the ukulele tuning is important. The notes you want CAN be played on open strings. You could also play:

3------1
0-3-0--
0------0
0------0

In G

2-5-2--
3------1
2------2
0------0

without a convenient alternative. But if you look at it in G, you basically ARE shifting everything up 2 frets.

I'm a music teacher, and I always get annoyed with the attitude that somehow knowing music theory detracts from one's experience of music. To me, it's like claiming that you will have a better time in France by NOT knowing how to speak French. (Oh dear, here I go again... apologies. Sorry. Really.)

ichadwick
02-22-2011, 10:27 AM
Here's a chord wheel (http://www.ianchadwick.com/essays/ukulele/chord_wheel.pdf) I made to make transposing keys fairly easy. Instructions are on the sheets. There's a large and small version included in the file (different pages). Hope it helps.
http://www.ianchadwick.com/ukuleles/images/ukulele/misc/chord_wheel_01.jpg (http://www.ianchadwick.com/essays/ukulele/chord_wheel.pdf)

Plainsong
02-22-2011, 09:31 PM
Just as an example, assigning Roman numerals to each chord, let's say in F, you have a really common progression:

I-IV-V-I - In F that's F-Bb-C-F. (F has one flat, Bb, and in this case it's the root of the 4th chord.)

In C, what are the chords that match those intervals? C-F-G-C (C has no flats or sharps.)

In G, the same progression then becomes: G-C-D-G (G has one sharp, F#, and it appears in this progression in the 5th chord.)

seoulsister
02-22-2011, 11:43 PM
Plainsong gives good info concerning Nashville Numbering.

Maybe this will help too.

http://i.ehow.com/images/a04/7v/72/transpose-chords-new-key-800X800.jpg