At times, the chord sheet of a song you get from the internet is not in a suitable pitch for you to sing comfortably. Learn the basics of transposing to change the chords to a pitch that suits you
When do we need to transpose?
Transposing to a few notes above
The chords could be given in C. Some parts of the song maybe lower in pitch than you can comfortably sing, when you start with C as the pitch. You may want to change the chords to D or E as the root / pitch.
Transposing to a few note below
For some of us, it is easier to sing and express minor songs better when the pitch is B, one below C. A song given in Dm or Cm is then to be transposed to Bm.
Transposing by larger intervals
Women may find C pitch too low for them. They maybe comfortable with an F# or G.
Similarly, men my find it difficult to sing a song in the pitch of G. Transpose the song to C or D in such situations.
How to transpose – Transposing from C to G
Counting from C to G
Example chord progression in C : C Am F G
Note sequence : C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C C # D D# E F F# ….
Count the notes from C to G, including C and G : C(1) C#(2) D(3)…. G(8)
We get a count of 8.
Writing the new chords
The first chord in the chord progression will be G. (Instead of C we write G wherever C appears.)
The second chord in the original progression is A.
To get the equivalent chord in the transposed progression:
- use the note sequence
- count till 8 starting from A, including A.
A(1) A#(2) B(3) C(4) C#(5) D(6) D#(7) E(8) F F#
The equivalent chord for Am, in the new progression will be Em
Remember if the chord is a minor in the original progression, it will remain a minor in the new progression, only the note / root changes.
A becomes E, but minor stays.
The third chord in the original progression is F. Counting 8 from F, including F, gives C
The fourth chord in the original chord progression is G. Count till the 8th note, starting from G.
G(1) G# A A# B C C# D(8)
The fourth chord in the new progression is D
Transposed from C to G
The progression in C : C Am F G when transposed to G is rewritten as: G Em C D
Transposed from C to D
The same progression transposed from C to D will become : D Bm G A
Next time you want to change the pitch, transpose the chords as you wish, by counting as mentioned in this article, and finding the new chords.