Guitalele. Chords are normal guitar +5 semitones?
June 18, 2010 2:43 AM   Subscribe

Music Theory/Guitar; Guitalele is small guitar strung like big guitar with capo on 5th. Does that mean i take regular guitar chords and transpose +5 semitones?

I am moving from a uke and trying to learn chord shapes on a Guitalele. It is tuned ADGCEA - so like a regular guitar with a capo on 5th fret. To find the chord shapes I am taking regular guitar sheet music ( and transposing it by +5 semitones. Sounds alright. I am doing it right. I know nothing about music theory.
posted by priorpark17 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total)
That should work since that is what the capo would be doing, too...
posted by bardophile at 3:21 AM on June 18, 2010

Yup, that's the way to do it.
posted by cronholio at 4:45 AM on June 18, 2010

Actually, you're playing all guitar music up a fourth (i.e. 5 semitones). So if you're playing a C chord shape, you're actually producing a F major sound. If you learn the chord shapes of C major, while you're playing these shapes on the neck : C maj, D min, E min, F maj, G7, A min, B min5b... you're actually producing the chord sounds generated by the F major scale. (F maj, G min, A min, Bb maj, C 7, Dmin, Em5b).

I wouldn't bother to transpose anything. I'd just learn the songs the way they are written on the scores. Just learn the shapes but learn where the root of the chord is in each chord. In a little while, you'll be able to transpose anything according to the key you want to be in.
posted by nicolin at 4:49 AM on June 18, 2010

I agree with nicolin.

In fact, he's suggesting that you do exactly what I have done as a guitarist to learn to play ukulele. The Uke magically became unbelievably simple the moment I realized (a few minutes after getting the instrument) that it is tuned like the upper four strings of a guitar in standard tuning (with one string up an octave) and that you can just play the Uke like a guitar with the E and A strings removed.

And to that end, try thinking of the guitar as a Uke with two extra bass strings and start things off by using your Uke chords on the upper four strings of the guitar, just to get comfortable and confident.
posted by The World Famous at 8:44 AM on June 18, 2010

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