Transpose Ukulele Chords: 5 Great Reasons Why!

Transpose Ukulele Chords


So what do you do in case you have a favorite song that you simply wish to play and sing on your ukulele and the key is too high?

Your struggle to hit the notes and really feel defeated. Don’t have any fear, there’s a remedy for this. The treatment is generally known as chord transposing!

Chord transposing includes the shifting of a musical pitch up or down while remaining in the identical interval.

There are a couple of causes as to why we would want to transpose notes or chords in our music, the primary cause being to change the key of a song and try different keys that will make the song easier for us.

For instance, in case you struggle singing a song in the key of Bb, you may transpose the tune to the key of C.

Doing this may make it simpler to sing because you’ll be decreasing the key. One more reason you may wish to transpose music is to make it simpler to play.

Utilizing the identical example, playing the Bb is way tougher than playing the open C. Chords related to Bb are Eb, F, and Gm.

Then again, the identical chords transposed in the key of C are C, F, G, and Am. Chords everybody learns when starting out on the ukulele! So let’s discover ways to transpose chords.

kid holding ukulele

Discovering The Key

Before you can begin transposing it’s a must to know what key you’re in. Here is a hint, it is often the primary chord of the track. However, when it’s not, you’ll have to have a look at the other chords within the tune to get a concept of the key.

If you have the knowledge, try recognizing if the chord is a major chord, diminished chord, or minor chord. This will help you when you try to play ukulele in a different key.

After you discover the key, it’s a must to work out which key you wish to transpose to. If you’re only involved with playing less complicated chords, discover a key that includes chords you already know.

For those who’re extra involved with singing in a comfortable key, then strive to shift up or down 2 keys. Always try a different key to find the best one for your capabilities.

For example, if you try a C Major scale, you can play every major key in this scale and still be in tune. If it’s hard for you to perform this scale – transpose!

Some songs are literally too low for singers so in these instances they should transpose to a higher key. Most of us mortals on the other hand have to decrease the key.

Chord transposition chart for ukulele

How To Change Key

Possibly you find a tune you wish to play and it‘s in the key of Bb. So the chords of the primary line of the tune are Eb, Bb, F, and Gm. You attempt to play it and two things become evident.

One, you possibly can’t maintain the chords right, and two, it’s pitched too high to sing. So it’s a must to change the key to unravel these issues. To convey down the key, chances are you’ll wish to try transposing to the key of C.

That is where the diagram below becomes helpful. This is a layout of a piano. Believe it or not, there are solely 12 keys. Counting from the primary C (white key), then C# (black key), on to D (white key), and so forth, there’s 12. For those who already know this from taking piano classes, then the remaining will is simple!

To transpose from Bb to C, it’s a must to first find how many steps are between the 2. Utilizing the diagram first discover the Bb key.

Then count every step till you get to C. In this case, it is going to be two. As soon as you know this, you then apply this to the chords that want transposing.

So shifting up two keys from Eb brings us to F. And Bb to C, F to G, and Gm to Am (G to A). Try it out for yourself utilizing the diagram and see if you get it.

For those who‘re successful, you‘ve transposed the music from the key of Bb to C! Congratulations! Now the music can be simpler to play and sing.

transpose ukulele chords helper

Why would you need to change the key?

1. You discovered the tune you’d prefer to play but it’s within the wrong key

Chances are you’ll discover a tune on the internet you’d prefer to play but it surely’s not in the right key. It might be a tune that is usually in G however the one example exhibiting all the chords is in C, and you have discovered it does not sound correct in C

2. It’s a song that you simply found in piano music so it has the chords but it surely’s not in a very good key for the ukulele

Chances are you’ll discover something in some piano music and it is in Bb and also you’d prefer to play it in a more appropriate key for the ukulele like C or A. Or, it might be that you must play the tune in a key that is simpler so that you can play or sing.

3. The tune is just too high or low for you to sing

Maybe you discovered that the music is just too low so that you can sing and you must play it just a bit higher.

For those who run into any of those issues you may nonetheless play the music using the sheet music or any version you discovered, you may simply have to know how to change the key so that you could play it in a more appropriate key.

4. To make the music easier to play on the ukulele

Some keys are tough to play on the ukulele, and some are simpler. E is a well-liked key for guitarists, but it surely’s a tough key for ukulele unless you may play barre chords (our article on barre chords).

After we discover a tune in E, we shift it into one other key, utilizing the strategies we are sharing with you right here.

5. To make the music easier to sing

Singing whereas we play the ukulele is essential. And if you get a song that is hard to play, probably will be also hard to sing it.

Many well-liked songs are pitched for men’s voices. E.g. John Lennon’s tune Imagine is simple to play on the ukulele in C, which is the unique key he sings it in. However, for girls’ voices, the key of G is a lot better.

Circle of Fifths

Online transposer tool

Once you go looking for tune charts on some well-liked music websites, e.g. and, you’ll typically discover that the songs embrace chords that might be hard to play. However, there’s a transposer tool that you should use to change the chords on the tune!

On the transposer instrument is above the song; on UltimateGuitar it’s on the bottom right. It has little “plus” and “minus” indicators. Keep going, step-by-step, till you like the look of the chords.

On the songs we covered on our website as well, you will be able to find the same option to transpose the key from them. This will help you find a new key and change the ukulele chords into a chord chart that you will find more friendly.

learning the ukulele

Conclusion on How to Transpose Ukulele Chords

Music theory can be tricky for newcomers. You need to learn the notes, then try to shape minor chords, major chords, diminished chords, etc. Then to learn the major scale, minor scales, and so on.

So this topic today was part of the music theory and we are changing original chords to another key – a process called transposing.

This is something that ukulele players should learn and know how to easily change the pitches from one key to another specific key.

In the beginning, this would basically be it – and starting from one chord to three chords to seven chords and more, you will face situations where you will need to transpose a complicated song to a simpler version for your uke.

We did what we could to provide a written lesson on how to transpose major keys, and minor keys to a different step from the original key, for the sole reason to make the song easier and with that, learn more chords.

Charles Steinhoff

Charles Steinhoff

Charles is here and I am guitar and ukulele enthusiast. Been playing these instruments for over 10 years now and I decided to share some of my knowledge and expertise with the world in terms of these stringed instruments and it's accessories.

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