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Transposition Wheel

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Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 48
Topic starter  

I've been generally disappointed with songbooks lately. Some of the books that I have say "For Medium Voice" which means they've transposed the songs into a key that is different from the original recording. So if you want to just strum along with the recording, you've got to transpose the chords back into the original key. This stinks because the reason I bought the book was so I wouldn't have to do any extra work – like figuring out the chords.

I've also come to the realization that some books, while they may be in the same key as the original recording, indicate chords that do not take into consideration the use of a capo that would most certainly be used by the original artist. What's worse, they provide chord symbols for these chords as if you would actually play the song without a capo. This again puts you in the business of transposing the chords for use with a capo (to get easier chord shapes). And again I say the reason I bought the book was so I wouldn't have to do any extra work.

It seems as though the people who put these songbooks together must not actually "play" the music they're writing down, or at least not on a guitar. Of course, I do have some songbooks that indicate the use of a capo and are in the original key, but that seems to be the exception, not the norm.

So the reason for this post is to pass along a cool little tool, likely appreciated more by beginners (like me) than anyone else. It's a transposition wheel you can build out of two printouts and can be found here:
and/or here:

This is nice since you're not likely to be at a computer when you're hunched over your songbook, you're less likely to have access to some of the computerized versions of the same tool. Anyway, I thought I'd just pass it along in case anyone else had the same frustrations that I do with songbooks.

Anyone else as annoyed as I am with songbooks?

Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. Psalm 33:2-4

Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 2849

Or you can get a copy off of my pages linked below.

Nils' Page - Guitar Information and other Stuff
DMusic Samples

Prominent Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 724

Or you can get one here. :wink:

Tim Madsen
Nobody cares how much you know,
until they know how much you care.

"What you keep to yourself you lose, what you give away you keep forever." -Axel Munthe

New Member
Joined: 1 second ago
Posts: 0

I purchased one of these HARMONY WHEELS. Several on the forum basically told me I wasted my money but I like it. It's hands on and I can use it even if I don't feel like picking up my guitar.