Basics/Raising The Key

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Pitch

Let’s talk about pitch. When we say we’re raising the pitch of a song what we’re doing is making the sound higher. When you lower the pitch you make the sound lower. For example if I play this note on the guitar (play note) and I want to raise the pitch I’ll move my finger up the guitar neck. Now the pitch is going higher.

The same applies when I move my finger in the other direction the pitch goes down. The sound is lower.

Sometimes you’ll want to raise or lower the pitch of a song to make it easier to sing. It’s common to say, in this situation, that you are changing the “key” of the song.

There’s a relationship between the pitch and the key of a song, but not exactly the same thing.

The main thing you want to know right now is that by changing the key of a song you will raising or lowering the pitch.

Raising the Key or Pitch of a Song

This start by using an example of a song that starts with the G chord. For this example will use the G chord, the C chord and the D chord. We could say this song is in the key of G. These three chords can establish the sound of the key of G.

If I wanted to raise the pitch of the song I could use a capo. I can put the cable on the first fret and I would raise the entire pitch of the song by one fret, or one half step. As you may know one fret on the guitar is equal to one half step.

If I put the capo on the second fret I would be raising the pitch of the song by one whole step. Two half steps equal one whole step.

The song is now in the key of A.

If I move the capo up another half step it will now be in the key of A sharp. Another half step and it will be in the key of B.

This is an easy way to raise the pitch of a song if the song is low for the singer’s voice. But what if the song is already too high and you need to make the pitch lower?

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