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#1 2010-03-18 15:34:40

resprod
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From: Georgia, USA
Registered: 2008-02-19
Posts: 57

Transposing chords

If I have a song that I like but I want to change the chords to go down a step, I transpose that as a -1 on the Chordie page.  But is that really possible to play if the original song is not capo'd anywhere?  Or is that for something that starts with the Capo on the 4th fret and you move it down?


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"What I want is songs that echo. The stuff we're doing now is like somebody's bedsheets; spread 'em out, soil 'em, ship 'em out to laundry, you know? But our songs...I want us to be able to fold ourselves up in them forever...understand?  Words and music."

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#2 2010-03-18 19:52:40

Russell_Harding
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From: A black hole in deep space
Registered: 2007-10-29
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Re: Transposing chords

that depends on if you want to use open chords or bar chords, transposing down or up is easy if you understand the scales construction if you want or like open chords then a capo will make it easier but say for instance the song is in A you can play an open E form with a capo on the 4th fret the open A form on the 4th fret is a D and the open D is a G I mentioned the cycle of 5ths clockwise its the cycle of 5ths counter clockwise its the cycle of 4ths now if the song is to high to sing lower the capo two frets and an open E form now becomes a G the A form is a C and the D form is an F an easy way to understand it is start with 1st posistion open E then A D G C these are all open chords and also the cycle of 4ths if you start with open C to G D A E that is the cycle of 5ths smile


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#3 2010-04-04 17:50:09

Astronomikal
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From: Texas
Registered: 2009-11-01
Posts: 644

Re: Transposing chords

resprod -

Russell is exactly right, but if you like the fingering you're using in the normal EADGBe tuning, you can always tune each string DOWN one semitone.  I think this is the tuning McCartney used when recording "Yesterday" (for example).

Get a good digital tuner which will pick up Eb-low, Ab, Db, Gb, Bb and eb-high and then you should be OK.

Tuning down is OK, but I wouldn't try to do it more than TWO semitones because you're likely to get a lot of buzzing.

'Nom


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#4 2010-04-05 09:06:07

Stonebridge
Senior Member
From: Cardiff, Wales, UK
Registered: 2008-08-25
Posts: 182

Re: Transposing chords

To transpose down one step (semitone) using the chordie feature is great but you often end up playing in some potentially quite difficult keys.
For example, if the song was in G, chordie will transpose it into F#, which could prove tricky for some.
The solution (which is echoing what Russell said) is to use chordie to transpose down, and then the capo to get back up to where you want to be.
Example: transpose down 5 on chordie and then capo up 4 frets. Down 5 and up 4 means overall you are down 1.
Why down 5 you ask?
If the original is in C, for example, this puts it into G and keeps the chord shapes fairly simple and open.
The trick is to use chordie to transpose down till you get a key with chord shapes you are happy with. Then, note how many steps down that was, and capo back up one step less.

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#5 2010-05-13 10:45:54

crevs.1972
Senior Member
From: Wales
Registered: 2009-01-09
Posts: 220
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Re: Transposing chords

This whole subject fascinates me and I'm only just getting to grips with it.  In my experience, most of the early songs I learned were in the key of G (G C D Am Bm Em), mainly because all the mojor chords are easy to play, but I found my voice suited the key of C so I had to use a capo on the fifth frett (I think thats right?) and I think with the capo that high the guitar looses depth and tone.

Now the key of C is a little harder with the F chord (C F G Dm Em Am) but now I've mastered the F I have transposed most of my songs to the key of C and happy days, no capo needed.

It's amazing how deep and complex the subject is but with a bit of effort and thought there's a lot of help available.  It's certainly makes learning easier with a little knowledge of this.


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