Transposing for dummies — and zombies!

how-to-chartDo you ever run across a song you’d like to play on the ukulele, but it’s in a hard key for singing, or the chords are too hard?

It’s easy to transpose to a different key. A lot of people can do it in their heads (depending on how many heads they have, of course), but I’m not that smart. I get tired of thinking through all those whole steps and half steps, so I made myself this handy transposition chart. (Of course there are online tools and there’s probably even an app for this —  I just felt like making it old school, okay?)

Transposing Chart Printable PDF

Using the chart is simple:

1. In the top line, select the “too hard to sing or play” chord that the songs starts on (or any chord in the song, actually).

2. Trace straight down that column until you find a chord that’s easier for you to sing or play. (It helps to place a piece of paper below the selected row to mark it.)

3. Then, go along the top line again, and find each chord in the song. Trace straight down the column to your selected row, and replace each chord in the top row with the corresponding chord from the selected row.

You’ll soon see patterns, so you won’t have to look them all up. For example, once you know a G changes to a D, it’s going to be that way through the whole song.)

If the chord is a minor or 7th, etc., you still make it minor, 7th, etc — just with the new note name.

In the sample above, I changed a song that starts on Am to start on Em. (The gold stars are just an exciting visual aid!) transposing chartJust experiment until you find a key that fits your voice and playing ability.

(FYI: the green shading indicates the increments in the major scale…. err… I think…)

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One thought on “Transposing for dummies — and zombies!

  1. ukulelegeek says:

    Thanks for posting this!

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