Don't be a Trans-Poser

Learn how to do it right!

Do not fear the transposed song!  Every week we are going to offer you a challenge to transpose a song into a different key than it was recorded in with a set of parameters that you have to meet.  First let's take a look at the answer from last week's challenge and then get onto the next one.

Last Weeks Answer (Acoustic)

The challenge last week was to transpose Kari Jobe's "Forever" to the key of E without using a capo or bar chords.  If you've watched the transposing lesson in our 101 section you know that changing keys is all about scale position.  Here is an abbreviated cheat sheet:

Transposing the verse chord progression of G D Em7 C2 would give you E B C#m7 and A2.  Of course, voicings that sound great in one key at times don't sound as good in another so you may have to get creative.  As long as you keep the root and the major/minor consistent you are in good shape.  I went with these shapes:

The place where this gets a little tricky is on that A7sus.  Because the A is the 6 of the scale it would usually be minor but the 7sus keeps the droning notes of the chords consistent.  You have two options with this.  You can either play an F#m or and F#7sus which in the key of E actually works pretty well.

Make sense?

Last Weeks Answer (Lead)

For the lead challenge we asked you to take on the verse riff and play it without any open strings.  Part one of the verse is a simple shift down.  Part 2 is a little trickier.  In order to avoid open strings you need to shift over to the B and G but this creates quite a stretch.  The more natural way is still utilize the E string for the first 2 measures and then shift to the B string for the last 2.  Here it is tabbed out:

Did you get it right?


This Week's Challenge - You Make Me Brave by Bethel Live

Acoustic: This week we're going to bring the capo into the mix.  The song is in the key of Eb but it's capo'd on 3 and played like it's in the key of C.  Try transposing the intro into the actual key of C.  You'll be using the same chord shapes without the capo, but then capo on the 3rd fret and us Key of A shapes and then capo the 5th and use G shapes.

Lead:  We are going to transpose the intro riff up to the key of G.  We really start running our of frets in this situation so you're going to want to play the riff in the lower octave.  Bonus points if you can stay off of your high E string. 

Time to get to work.  As always, I've attached the relevant lessons and I'll take questions or comments below.  Good luck!




Jason Houtsma serves as Worship Pastor for Mosaic Church in Bellingham, WA, Husband to Alli, Father to Bjorn and Asher, and guitar instructor for

Don't be a Trans-Poser

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You wrote, "because the A is the 6 of the scale..." could you explain more on this. I do not see A as six in the key of G and E?