Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Transposing Music

There are several reasons to transpose the key of a song, the original key may be out of your singing range, or you don’t know the chords.  I’ve provided a chart of some of the most common keys and the chords within those keys. 
Here’s how to use the grid.  Let’s suppose you have a song in the key of  ”G” like Viva la Vida by Coldplay. Here’s your first line.
Em            C            D
I used to rule the world
                        G                                   Em
Seas would rise when I gave the word

So you’ve got Em, C, D, G, and then back to Em and repeat.  That would be vi, IV, V, I.  So if you want to move it to the key of “F” just find vi, IV, V, I in the key of F which would be Dm, Bb, C, F.  It’s almost the sensitive female chord progression.
Once you’ve figured out the Roman numerals with the grid you can transpose into any key.  Learning to think in Roman numerals is a good tool to have for a guitarist, but since this is a beginner lesson, I won’t go too much into why.  You can just use the chart and see that it works without having to worry too much about the mechanics of it.
Of course you can always use a capo to transpose a song, but that only works if you want to transpose a song higher.  You can transpose to a lower key with a capo, but you’ll have to change your chord shapes and then you’re back where you started, figuring out I IV V in your new key.
By the way, I can’t embed the YouTube video of the song because Warner Music Group forbids legions of people promoting their music all over the net for free.  For some reason the record companies are still confused why it is that nobody is buying and everybody hates them.

written by project-d

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