How to Transpose
If the key of the song is in a key that is hard for you to sing, you may want to transpose, that is, convert the chords into a different key.
Use this transposition guide (TG) to help you transpose:
Am = Em
C = G
Dm = Am
Em = Bm
F = C
G = D
Another part of transposing is using the capo:
- Move the capo to a higher fret for a higher key.
- Move the capo to a lower fret for a lower key.
Here is the order of the keys (OoK), starting with Am:
(b = flat = -1; # = sharp = +1)
Each minor key has a corresponding major key, or relative major key, listed directly below it. The relative keys use the same chords but are centered around a different main chord, or root chord. So, for example, Bm is the relative minor of D major.
Here is an example to help you transpose better:
Let’s say you have a pretty high voice range. The chords are in Em with the capo on the third fret, but you think you’ll enjoy it better if it’s a few keys higher.
Refer to OoK simplify: Em + [capo on third fret] = Gm
Consider transposing up to Am or Bm. To do this, refer to TG:
Every time there is an Em in the song, change it to Am.
Every time there is a G, change it to C.
Every time there is a Am, change it to Dm.
And so on…
Now the song is in Am, which is two keys higher than you started.
If that’s not high enough, use the capo. For every fret you put the capo on, you have raised the song by one key.
On a keyboard, use the transpose function (+ or -).
Every fret higher that the capo is on equals one transposition on a keyboard.
Example: Capo on third fret = +3 transpose on a keyboard.
Note: The songs on this website are based on an adult voice range. To adapt for younger singers, try transposing three to five keys lower.