How To Transpose "The Lord Our God"

Take this Kristian Stanfill tune to the key of G

The tough part about dropping this tune down a full two and a half steps is the lead riff spans so many frets and the slides are necessary to capture the right tone.  Here's how you get the job done.  (Thanks to Jordan Skinner for the request).

(Note: If you are unfamiliar with this song, learn it here first and don't forget my original post on how to transpose a song in under 5 minutes)

Intro

Let's look at the intro riff at the top.  The first thing I do is figure out where my riff needs to start.  Plan A is always to keep the riff the same while dropping it the proper amount of frets but in this case, my riff starts on the fifth fret and drops to the second.  If I drop my starting place down 5 frets my string is open so I can't drop to any lower to finish the riff.  I have two options.  I know my 5th fret of my D string is the same as my open G string.  This is the easiest move because I play my riff exactly as I would in C, I'm just one string lower.  This might be adequate, but to my ear it loses a little "umph".  Instead, I choose to play the higher octave.  We know from understanding our fret board that the octave for any note on on D string is 3 frets up and 2 strings over so by starting our riff on the 8th fret of the B string gets the job done.  An added bonus of this key allows us to drone the open G string if we want to thicken the sound a little.

Chorus

We could stick with the same position on this one but the range of the slides takes us way up the neck.  It sounds fine but there's an easier way.  The first note is still the root note so start your riff on the 3rd fret of the high E and your slides will be more comfortable.

Get more transposing practice!

How to Transpose Glorious Ruins

Hillsong Worship's Hit in the Key of C

I got an email asking for help on this one.  Glorious Ruins is originally recorded in the key of Gb but the acoustic guitar is capoed on the second fret and playing those open E chords we've grown so accustomed to in worship songs.  While I love messing with these common guitar voicings, there are times when that's the voicing that best fits the song.  So what are we to do when transposing to a key those shapes don't work in?

Conclusion

Transposing gets easier the more you do it so keep practicing.  I'll take questions in the comment section below as well as other transposing requests.  Got a song in our lesson library you want in a different key?  Let me know and I'll feature it in this series.  Just be sure to clarify rhythm or lead.

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

How To Transpose "The Lord Our God"

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