Transposing Key On The Fly
zoom
May 15 2012, 01:26 PM
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From: Australia
I need some tips on how to transpose from one key to another quickly. I can transpose if I'm given a few minutes to run through a song and figure the changes out but on the fly is another thing. My mind goes blank.
Say the song is in E and the progression goes E - B - C#m -A which is pretty simple really and we decide to change to G then the progression goes G-D-Em-C I find in my head I'm going ok were in G now ok it was B which is the 5th of E so that would be C no D ok next it was C#m so that's the relative minor of E so that's Em in G and then to A so that would be hmm 4th or 5th confusion Bla...Bla ok it's ___ stuff! I've missed it wasn't D it was C.
Yeah I know my mind is crazy but unfortunately it's the only one I've got. wink.gif
Now I hope there is an easier way so I'm open to thoughts. I know some of you are gonna say you hear the chord in your head and know what to play. I wish! I'm getting better a doing this with single note melodies but chords no chance at this stage.

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Cosmin Lupu
May 15 2012, 09:22 PM
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Mate, the only way as I see it, is to know the relationship between chords so that you may discover the chord progression formula and then know your scales like a god so that you can instantly play by applying the formula in the context to which you want to transpose smile.gif brain frying but, I guess it will work once you get the hang of it smile.gif

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Alex Feather
May 16 2012, 03:42 AM
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The one and only way is to learn numbers! After that you can transpose any song in any key very easy!
Here is an example:
C - I
D - II
E - II
Etc.
Learn it in every key and say you have this chord progression

G-D-Em-C it's in the key of G

So I see I - V - VI - IV
Now if i need to transpose it in the key of E for example I will automatically know that it will be
F - C - Dmi - Bb
It might seem hard at first but as soon as you will get the idea you will see how easy it is!

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zoom
May 16 2012, 06:47 AM
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Thanks guys I was hoping for an easier option wink.gif But the upside is I'll be a scale god and be an expert at roman numerials. I understand the concept but doing it quickly is the issue. Homework for me.
Question? What if the chord is outside the key say where in G and the chord to play is F how do you write that in roman numerials?
VIIb?

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Cosmin Lupu
May 16 2012, 07:00 AM
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F can be in G smile.gif G natural minor (Aeolian) that is wink.gif

G A Bb C D Eb F and yes it is bVII as the formula is I II bIII IV V bVI bVII

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PosterBoy
May 16 2012, 10:27 AM
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Yep Learn the Nashville number system.

I instantly replace the chord names with numbers when i look at them now (albeit most of what I play is fairly simple and 80% diatonic)

It really helps with transposing on the fly because you don't memorise it in a certain key.

Saying that most of the time I hear the chord change from the melody, so don't necessarily have to look at charts or memorise them

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zoom
May 17 2012, 09:06 AM
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That's a good idea Posterboy. Change it all to numbers. I like that.
Quote "Saying that most of the time I hear the chord change from the melody". I should practice this more also I get is some times like when it stepping down 6 - 5 - 4 but when it jumps around I get lost.

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PosterBoy
May 17 2012, 07:26 PM
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I think that's where being a singer has helped me,

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