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Transposing: De-Capo-ing

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(@thegrimm)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 119
Topic starter  

Hi,

I'm trying to transpose a song; currently I have the chords written out with the capo on three. I need to transpose the song without the capo, for a keyboard player.

The chords are (capo 3):
D A Em G
...
Em Bm A G
D A C G

I've got it transposed as (no capo):
B F# C#m E
...
C#m G#m F# E
B F# A E

Is that right?

I've got another version of the song with:
G D Am C
...
Am Em D C
G D F C

which is easily playable on both guitar and keyboard, but then we lose the effect from playing the guitar at a different position to the keyboard. Whaddya all think?


   
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(@fretsource)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 973
 

No - If you're playing a D shape chord with the capo on 3 then really you are playing F. And that's what the keyboard player will have to play.

D = F
A = C
Em = Gm
G = Bb
Bm = Dm
C = Eb


   
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 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 3995
 

Fretsource, a question. I was thinking on the theGrimm's question and I found the same chords but, then, I tried to transpose again to the second version that wrote theGrimm.

So, I found the next table:

D = F = G
A = C = D
Em = Gm = Am
G = Bb = C#
Bm = Dm = Em
C = Eb = F#

which does not correspond to the chords in the second version. In particular, my last four chords are "G D F# C#" rather than "G D F C".

Am I right?

Thanks in advance! :)


   
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(@j-dawg)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 10
 

Here are the notes in western music:
C C# D D# E F F# G G# A A# B C and so on...

If the capo is on the third fret, that means the chords are three semi-tones higher which means all you have to do is move three notes higher(to the right) on that list. So if you play an open C major chord on the third fret, you actually play a D# major.

Also, what do you mean by the effect of playing the guitar on a different position to the keyboard?


   
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(@thegrimm)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 119
Topic starter  

Argh, I always go in the wrong direction! :cry:
Also, what do you mean by the effect of playing the guitar on a different position to the keyboard?

I want to play the same chords as the keyboard (i.e. the same key), but I want to use the capo to change the sound (but not the chords). Thus, with Fretsources help, I see that my D-shape (capo 3) is an F. Instead of, say, playing an F in the open position, I want to play it with the capo on 3.

So if I go UP the neck of the guitar (same shape), the chord goes DOWN?


   
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 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 3995
 

So if I go UP the neck of the guitar (same shape), the chord goes DOWN?
What is UP and what is DOWN? :lol:

I usually think in this way: Imagine the E chord in an open position. If you play it with the capo in the 3rd, you are playing the G chord, correct?

Then, in your song, when you play Em, you are playing Gm as Fretsource said.

Now, the notes in a chromatic scale are: ... E, F, F#, G... Three half tones.

You need to add three half tones to each chord. Try it: D -> Eb, E, F... and so on.

Ok? :)


   
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(@fretsource)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 973
 

Fretsource, a question. I was thinking on the theGrimm's question and I found the same chords but, then, I tried to transpose again to the second version that wrote theGrimm.

So, I found the next table:

D = F = G
A = C = D
Em = Gm = Am
G = Bb = C#
Bm = Dm = Em
C = Eb = F#

which does not correspond to the chords in the second version. In particular, my last four chords are "G D F# C#" rather than "G D F C".

Am I right?

Thanks in advance! :)

Not quite Nuno. You've miscounted at two points:
G = Bb = C (not C#)
C = Eb = F (not F#)

You're going up 2 semitones/ half steps so...
Bb > B > C
Eb > E > F


   
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(@boxboy)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1221
 

Argh, I always go in the wrong direction! :cry:

Maybe think of it this way, Grimm. Inherent in using a capo: you're voicing something higher than the apparent chord form. So you'll never be counting back/lower from the apparent chord to find out what it is. You'll be counting up/higher in the scale.

Don


   
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 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 3995
 

Not quite Nuno. You've miscounted at two points:
G = Bb = C (not C#)
C = Eb = F (not F#)

You're going up 2 semitones/ half steps so...
Bb > B > C
Eb > E > F
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Perfect! Believe me, I was counting Bb > C > C# but I knew I was wrong because the song was the same and the rest of chords were right. When you wrote your post I review my notes and I verified mines and... I'm not able to find my mistake!

Thank you very much! :D


   
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(@j-dawg)
Active Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 10
 

Argh, I always go in the wrong direction! :cry:

I want to play the same chords as the keyboard (i.e. the same key), but I want to use the capo to change the sound (but not the chords). Thus, with Fretsources help, I see that my D-shape (capo 3) is an F. Instead of, say, playing an F in the open position, I want to play it with the capo on 3.

So if I go UP the neck of the guitar (same shape), the chord goes DOWN?

Right, if you think it sounds better with the capo, go for it.

And, no, if you go UP the neck(as in closer to your strumming hand), the notes also go UP(as in higher).


   
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(@pearlthekat)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1468
 

i thought that without the capo the chord is the chord. so if you have on capo three and you're playing a D shape, it's a F. but without the capo, you play it at the regular open position and you're back to playing a D.


   
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(@fretsource)
Prominent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 973
 

i thought that without the capo the chord is the chord. so if you have on capo three and you're playing a D shape, it's a F. but without the capo, you play it at the regular open position and you're back to playing a D.

That's right Pearl

I think what TheGrimm means about the chord going down as the capo goes up is this:

Let's say the keyboard player is playing the chord D major. TheGrimm wants to play up the neck to get a higher sound - but he still must play D to match the keyboard's D. That means if he puts the capo at fret 2 - he must play a C shape to make a D chord. It will look like C but sound like D. If he wants the capo at fret 3 he must finger a B shape to make it sound like D.
The higher up the fretboard he puts the capo, the lower he must play the chord to keep it the same as the keyboard.


   
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(@pearlthekat)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1468
 

deleted.
sorry.


   
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(@thegrimm)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 119
Topic starter  

I think what TheGrimm means about the chord going down as the capo goes up is this:

Let's say the keyboard player is playing the chord D major. TheGrimm wants to play up the neck to get a higher sound - but he still must play D to match the keyboard's D. That means if he puts the capo at fret 2 - he must play a C shape to make a D chord. It will look like C but sound like D. If he wants the capo at fret 3 he must finger a B shape to make it sound like D.
The higher up the fretboard he puts the capo, the lower he must play the chord to keep it the same as the keyboard.

Yup. As the capo goes UP the next, the chord shape required to be playing the same chord goes DOWN. i.e. using a capo, but NOT changing the key of the song.

Whereas if I play the SAME chord shapes and move the capo, then the KEY of the song goes UP as the cape goes UP.

There, I think I have it now. Better go transpose about 20 songs to make sure I remember, though. :lol: Sorry for anyone I confused, myself included.


   
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(@pearlthekat)
Noble Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 1468
 

Then I think to play something that sounds like a D with the capo on three you need to play a B shape. The A would be an F#, the Em would be a C# minor, and the G would be an E shape.


   
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