Transposing For Dummies

author: musicalcitcat10 date: 01/16/2012 category: chords
rating: 5.3 / votes: 3 
Ever read a song, try to sing it, epically fail, and then just give up? Well, chances are (unless you're just a crappy singer which, no offense, you may be) the song was just in the wrong key for you! Now, we've all been through the transposing thing where you try to change the chords and it is just so tedious that you give up. Don't worry, you're not alone. But, if you want to know how to do it nice and easily, you've come to the right....article. Oh and I realize that this is a guitar site, but I know there're other instruments too, like piano! I play piano. So, here we go. STEP ONE: Analyze First, you need to figure out what key your song is in. This part is kind of tricky for some people, but cheer up! I'm sure you'll get it. STEP TWO: Write it down Grab a sheet of paper! Once you've figured out what key your song is in, write the scale at the top! After that, write down the numbers of the notes.
i.e. C Dm Em F G Am Bdim
     1 -2 -3 4 5 -6 7dim
These are going by the modes Ionian, Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, Aeolian, Locrian (an easy way to remember is I DO PHollow Lonely Men And Laugh) STEP THREE: New Chords! After you learn these, figure out what the best key is for this song and then write that scale down.
i.e. C Dm Em  F G Am  Bdim
     1 -2 -3  4 5 -6  7dim
     A Bm C#m D E F#m G#dim
STEP FOUR: Rewrite Now for the easy part. Take your chords and exchange them with the new ones! In case you didn't understand the process, (based on the chords above) if you have a C chord, you replace it with an A. If you have an F, you replace it with a D! Simple as that.
i.e. (Say the chord progression was this)
     Am  F  C  Em
     (Replace it with this)
     F#m D  A  C#m
STEP FIVE: Play it You are now ready to play your transposed song. Have fun with it! And in case you're wondering, this works on any song. I'll even do it for you! Here's a verse of Yellow by Coldplay
B                                         F#6 
Look at the stars, look how theuy shine for you
                     Emaj7
and everything you do, yeah they were all yellow.
B                              F#6 
I came along, I wrote a song for you.
                        Emaj7 
And all the things you do, and it was called 'yellow'.
B                     F#6
So when I took my turn.
                         Emaj7                         B  Badd11  B 
Oh, what a thing to have done, and it was all yellow.
I'm gonna say that this is in B, so....
B  C#m  D#m  E  F#  G#m  Adim
1  -2   -3   4  5   -6   7dim
E  F#m  G#m  A  B   C#m  D#dim

E                                         B6 
Look at the stars, look how theuy shine for you
                     Amaj7
and everything you do, yeah they were all yellow.
E                              B6 
I came along, I wrote a song for you.
                        Amaj7 
And all the things you do, and it was called 'yellow'.
E                     B6
So when I took my turn.
                         Amaj7                         E  Eadd11  E 
Oh, what a thing to have done, and it was all yellow.
And KAPOW it's done! So have fun singing all the songs you want, even if you're a horrible singer!
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