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Thread: How to transpose chord sequences to other key signatures

  1. #1
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    Default How to transpose chord sequences to other key signatures

    I as a daily practice use these chord sequences and transpose them to all 12 signatures.

    C/Am:

    C G Am F

    C Em Dm G
    C Em Dm7 G7

    C F G7

    Am Dm E7

    C Am F G


    This is a nice tool.
    https://www.chordchanger.com/


    It will give you the ukulele chords also in traditional diagrams, though one can use his/her own fingerings. It won't be able to give you all the various chord types as fingerboard diagrams of course. Refer to ukebuddy.com for them

    Notice you will have to be able to know that keys like E/C#m uses sharps and Ab/Fm uses flats. Refer to circle of fifths for that knowledge.

    Notice also that this tool is rather a kind of crutch than can be used before having learned all those basic sequences by heart in all key signatures. You should learn them that way. Say each chord name in your mind before playing it. This way you are not depending so much to say some movable shapes etc. It is easiest to change key signature by fifths or fourths, that is go the circle of fifths clockwise or anticlockwise.

    But you can also take chords from any songbook song and then transpose them. This is not as automatic to mind as the above chord sequences and I would not call this tool then a crutch at all.

    Alternative would be to assign roman numeral degrees to chords and do the transposing in head, instead of using this transposing tool. It is just somewhat more difficult for the brain cells certainly

    -----------------

    ultimate-guitar.com has many songs in the database that you can use also for transposing as an alternative for this tool.
    Last edited by Jarmo_S; 10-12-2018 at 02:22 AM.

  2. #2
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    I found that site only today and wanted to spread that knowledge.
    Unfortunately now that I checked, some chords given in diagram form are wrong. After brief check C#m and Ab7 were wrong, could be many others.

    So trust only the main transposing function and get your fingerings elsewhere!

  3. #3
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    Circle of fifths wheel, maybe useful for doing that.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

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    this may be a 'simple' procedure:

    write out the 7 letters of the original key (A B C D E F G)
    then write out the 7 letters of the target key below the first line of letters (A B C D E F G)
    .................................................. .................................................. .(F G A B C D E)

    fill in the 'accidentals" [#, b, m, M, 7, m7, dim, aug, etc)
    Key of A = F#m, D, E7 becomes Key of F = Dm, Bb, C7

    you can begin with the 7 letters of any key and transpose to any other key by this simple method.

    it begs the question "How did you know that the Key of A uses an F# and the key of F uses a Bb?"
    I do not have a good simple answer to that. Someone else can contribute the answer to that one.
    I would only say that you should experiment with either # or b, but don't change the NAME (letter).

    I hope this helps. It's a quick and dirty method I use

    keep uke'in',
    Uncle Rod Higuchi
    ( rohiguchi@seattleschools.org )

    MP3s: http://www.mediafire.com/?50db7nls4o6m6
    Ukulele Boot Camp, FREE Songbook, Holiday, Hawaiian & More: http://ukulelebootcamp.weebly.com
    Crazy G tutorial on YouTube ( uncle rod crazy g )
    pdf file for Crazy G:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0o6id06c06...20TAB.pdf?dl=0

  5. #5
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    I'm not knowledgeable on music, as far as theory goes. When I want to transpose a song, I'll first print it out, then figure out what key is best for my voice. So, if the song is in C, and starts with a C, then goes to F, but I want it to start with G instead, I just start with the C chord, then count up to F, getting 4, then transpose up 4 from G, getting C, and so on, throughout the song. I know, kinda dopey, but it works for me.
    John

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Croaky Keith View Post
    Circle of fifths wheel, maybe useful for doing that.
    That is one good way if the chords to transpose are all diatonic. Look at the circle and you can find C/Am chords in a 2x3 block:

    F C G
    Dm Am Em

    Em can be replaced with E7 too when transposing a dominant 7th chord. Does not matter in fact what kind of the chord to transpose is, just the letter.

    That block is at 11, 12 and 13 "a clock" in a fifths circle. Then just take another 2x3 block to a key you like to transpose into and find in it the replacing chords.

    The site above transposes any chords, not just diatonic.

  7. #7
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    it begs the question "How did you know that the Key of A uses an F# and the key of F uses a Bb?"
    I do not have a good simple answer to that. Someone else can contribute the answer to that one.
    Each key is made out of notes in a sequence.
    Whole - Whole - Half - Whole - Whole - Whole - Half
    Key of C
    W = C to D
    W = D to E
    H = E to F
    W = F to G
    W = G to A
    W = A to B
    H = B to C
    Last edited by Croaky Keith; 10-12-2018 at 09:05 AM.
    Trying to do justice to various musical instruments.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Rod Higuchi View Post
    this may be a 'simple' procedure:

    write out the 7 letters of the original key (A B C D E F G)
    then write out the 7 letters of the target key below the first line of letters (A B C D E F G)
    .................................................. .................................................. .(F G A B C D E)

    fill in the 'accidentals" [#, b, m, M, 7, m7, dim, aug, etc)
    Key of A = F#m, D, E7 becomes Key of F = Dm, Bb, C7

    you can begin with the 7 letters of any key and transpose to any other key by this simple method.

    it begs the question "How did you know that the Key of A uses an F# and the key of F uses a Bb?"
    I do not have a good simple answer to that. Someone else can contribute the answer to that one.
    I would only say that you should experiment with either # or b, but don't change the NAME (letter).

    I hope this helps. It's a quick and dirty method I use

    keep uke'in',
    It is too mechanical for me. Without a site like https://www.chordchanger.com/ , I would use the circle of fifths like I replied to Keith above. But your approach certainly works.

    The answer to your question about sharps and flats is in the circle of fifths:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle_of_fifths
    In the picture of that rather scary article I admit too, so you are not alone. You can see that the key of A/f#m has a key signature of 3 sharps. Takes to be able to read G-clef to see that they are F#, C# and G#.
    I tried tell that in my original post, but I guess you missed it.

    Try that site! Write some chords like my basic sequences, or your bootcamp sequences say in C, or some song , and then transpose them to any key. It is a great way to utilize your computer
    And does not really require any theory. Except maybe that sharp/flat thing. But Bb is practically A#, just seldom seen and use Bb if you can.

    To ukecaster: Your counting approach is also a bit too mechanical for me, but works great when the transposing interval is say fourth or fifth
    Last edited by Jarmo_S; 10-12-2018 at 09:42 AM.

  9. #9
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    I play in my church worship band, using guitar lead sheets. When I pick up the music mid week and see those words ..... capo 1 or capo 2, I cringe. I hate using a capo on a ukulele. Yes, I’ve tried a bunch of different brands & styles. I just fundamentally hate using one. For guitar players it’s no big deal. This forces me to transpose. Ukecaster’s approach is pretty much my main method, but I do use a transposition programs also. Mostly to see if I got it right on my own. Often, I’ll look for the song on Ultimate Guitar or Chordify & use their transposition feature. Sometimes transposing leaves me with some funky chords, like lots of sharps. I have to decide if I want to play the funky chord or use the evil capo.
    Last edited by RafterGirl; 10-14-2018 at 03:40 AM.
    My ukulele family.....
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RafterGirl View Post
    I play in my church worship band, using guitar lead sheets. When I pick up the music mid week and see those words ..... capo 1 or capo 2, I cringe. I hate using a capo on a ukulele. Yes, I’ve tried a bunch of different brands & styles. I just fundamentally hate using one. For guitar players it’s no big deal. This forces me to transpose. Ukecaster’s approach is pretty much my main method, but I do use a transposition programs also. Mostly to see if I got it right on my own. Often, I’ll look for the song on Guitar Pro or Chordify & use their transposition feature. Sometimes transposing leaves me with some funky chords, like lots of sharps. I have to decide if I want to play the funky chord or use the evil capo.
    Yes exactly! The feel to ukulele's neck is destroyed if using a capo for playing open chords.
    But we as uke players are lucky in that our instrument allows to play in all keys, so we don't need a capo unlike guitarists. Maybe slim string electric players can get by with barre chords, for other types of 6 strings chord players capo is a must. Only a few keys that are guitar friendly.

    See 4 strings, 4 fingers, it just works much better yes.

    EDIT:
    I want say I'm agnostic (not atheist), but I do like listening some Christian music, like probably your kind too
    Last edited by Jarmo_S; 10-12-2018 at 12:20 PM.

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