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The Interactive Transposition Wheel

The Transposition Wheel goes high-tech

This is the online version of the Guitar Transposition Wheel. In the interactive image below simply drag the inner wheel around (with your mouse) until it lines up with the key you want to transcribe from. See below for detailed instructions

Using the Transposition Wheel
Finding chords that aren't on the Transposition Wheel
Why change key anyway?
Make your own handy Transposition Wheel (with scissors and paper)

How to use the Transposition wheel

        • Chose the key the song is in on the outer wheel (e.g. A)
        • Line up the key you want to play in with the inner wheel (e.g. C)
        • Now find the rest of the chords in the song on the outer wheel and the chords you should play will be lined up with them in the inner wheel.

    So for example, if the song is in A and the chords are A D E you should turn the inner wheel until the key you want to play in lines up with A, in this case G. With G directly below A check the D on the outer wheel and you’ll see that it lines up with C and E lines up with D. Congratulations you’ve just transposed your song from the key of A to the key of G. Now play G C D instead of A D E.

Chords that aren’t on the Transposition Wheel

The Transposition Wheel contains all the major chords. If the song has variants on the major chords the Transposition Wheel can be used just as effectively. For example a 7th chord would still be a 7th chord in the new key and a minor chord would still be a minor chord. Just chose the major equivalent, e.g. if the song has a Bb7 in it just chose Bb on the wheel and if the new chord is a C on the inner wheel you would play C7.

Why Change the Key At All?

We all have different voices and you don’t want to be straining for notes that are too high or too low for you. It’s best to sing in a key that you find comfortable for your voice.

Different situations can call for a change of key. If you’re singing on a street corner you might need a different key than if you are singing in the living room. Also if you are singing with a group of other people you might need to use another key again.

It takes a bit of experimenting to see which key suits you best for each song. Some songs like "Impossible Dream" are just plain difficult to sing because they have a large range of notes for you to sing. Fortunately most songs can be conquered with a bit of patience.

Make a Low-Tech Version of the Transposition Wheel

If you'd like your very own offline transposition wheel just follow the instructions on the next page. It's easy to make and incredibly useful. (No programming experience needed, just scissors and paper!) Click here to find out how.

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Designed by James Newman for the Gospel Music Archive

The Gospel Music Archive.
Copyright 1999 The 3W Gospel Music Archive. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07 May 1999