RGS Live #24 | How to Change the Key of a Song

Tomas ·July 4, 2019

​AUGUST 2019 RGS Live Questions and Notes

If you’re a vocalist or play with vocalists, it’s really important to be able to change keys. Sometimes on the fly. Everyone has a sweet spot for their vocal range, and it may not be the key you learned the song in. As guitarists we have to be flexible with this.

A lot of people change keys by simply using a capo. This definitely works to a certain extent. But once you go past the third or fourth fret the chords can sound thin instead of full. And what if you wanted to lower the key? 

Sometimes you may just want to play more comfortable chord shapes and voicings. If your song is in F#, you’ll be stuck playing only bar chords! Moving down to E or up to G will be much more comfortable. But how do we easily change keys? Believe it or not, there is a simple way! 

Let’s talk about this and answer some of your guitar playing questions.

(skip ahead to the time markers below to hear the answers to these questions)

[24:19] Song is too high. How do I lower the key?

[24:26] How can I tell which is the correct key for the singer? 

[24:33] What is the slash mean… such as C/E. How do I apply this to a Uke? 

[29:15] Many people want to record themselves. A simple recording can be a good tool to help people progress. Could you put together a basic list of what folks need to record? 

[35:41] How do I know what key I’m in when I use a capo?

[37:30] I understand intervals for descending strings. eg. e a d g…  min 2nd maj 3rd perfect 4th etc . But how do visualise ascending string intervals? 

[42:08] How do I know what fingerpicking pattern to apply to a song? 

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Tomas

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