• Conversation With Students #1 (How to Transpose songs)

    in Theory


    (CHAT STARTED AT 10:29 am)

    Roger: Hello there

    ME: Hello, how are you today?

    Roger: I’m fine. Thank you

    ME: By the way, this is Jermaine. I’m on this live chat this morning to speak with some of my students. If you have any questions, I will be glad to assist you. May I ask your name?

    Roger: (we didn’t know his name at the time) Ok, this is great. I initially just wanted to see if this live chat thingy worked before I ordered. I had no idea I would be chatting with you. Oh yes, my name is Rooger

    Roger: Roger*

    ME: Well, as you can see, we’re live (but not in color). hehe. Do you have any questions about the course? or about playing gospel / jazz music in general?

    Roger: Actually, I’ve been playing for about 3 years. But I really need to improve my ability to play songs in every key. Do you have something for this?

    ME: Sure … my course actually covers transposition. However, I can show you a few techniques right now…

    ME: Say you know how to play a dominant chord. For example, the C7 chord (which is pronounced “C Seventh”) consists of 4 notes: C – E – G – Bb. My rule is… “if you know ONE chord, then you know them ALL.” Do you know why Roger?

    Roger: Uhhh … well I’ve only been playing for 3 years and I really haven’t gotten into all the theory. But why?

    ME: I see. Well, I’m not trying to pressure you. Don’t worry if you don’t know the answers. That’s why you have come to my website right?

    Roger: sure…

    ME: Well, here’s the technique (and its very easy). If you want to play ANY chord (and I mean any chord) and you know ONE chord of its same type, then simply follow these steps:

    ME: First, you must know one of the chords. In our example, lets say we know how to form a C7 (C – E – G – Bb). To form an Ab7 (A flat Seventh), we must first count how many half steps separate C and Ab. You can either count these half steps by going up the piano or down (whichever way the notes are closest together). Are you still with me?

    Roger: Ok, so you’re saying to count how many half steps Ab is from C? I’m not catching you when you say “half” steps.

    ME: My fault Roger. I should have explained half steps. A HALF STEP simply means the difference between two keys which are RIGHT NEXT to each other. In other words, B and C are 1 half step apart because there aren’t any notes in between them. However, C and D are 2 half steps apart because C# is in between the two notes. Got me?

    Roger: Ok, I see. So E and F would be 1 half step apart. But F and G would be two half steps?

    ME: Yes, that is correct. Also, another word for saying two half steps is to say 1 whole step. That’s because two half steps equal one whole step. But its easier in this case to count half steps because I don’t expect you to remember 1.5 whole steps (and all those decimals) when you can simply remember 3 half steps (my course is all about giving you theory in an easy format).

    ME: So how many half steps are in between Ab and C?

    Roger: Let’s see. Is the answer 5?

    ME: Ok… Roger. I think you might have miscounted. There’s actually two answers depending on which way you chose to count. You could have either started at C and counted down That is, from C to B is 1 half step, from B to Bb is another half step. Or … you could have started at C and counted up. That is, from C to C#, from C# to D and so on. Which way did you count Roger?

    Roger: I went backwards because it was much easier. Let me try again

    ME: Ok, no problem

    Roger: Ok, is 4 correct?

    ME: There you go! Because, from C to B is 1, from C to Bb is 2, from C to A is 3 and from C to Ab is 4.

    ME: … and here’s the trick. Just simply subtract the number that you get from 12 and it will give you the opposite end. That is, if you subtract 4 from 12, you’ll get 8. This means that if you count up (instead of down), you’ll notice that Ab is 8 half steps up from C. These two numbers should always equal 12. Make sense?

    Roger: Sure it does. I understand that because I teach math (despite my last error … lol.)

    ME: Ok, we’re almost done. Now that you know that Ab is 4 half steps down from C, simply move all of your fingers 4 half steps down. That is, if you have your fingers on C – E – G – Bb, just simply slide each finger down 4 notes.

    ME: C would now become Ab (obviously). E would become C, G would become Eb and Bb would become Gb. Tell me if I’m moving to fast…

    Roger: I see, so all of my fingers move down the same amount of notes right?

    ME: That’s correct. You MUST make sure that all of them move the same amount of notes for the Ab7 chord to sound correct.

    ME: This technique can be used to learn all chords … and I mean all chords! Here is a distance chart (relative to C) so that you don’t have to do all the counting that you did just now…

    C to B (1 half step down; 11 half steps up)
    C to Bb (2 half step down; 10 half steps up)
    C to A (3 half step down; 9 half steps up)
    C to Ab (4 half step down; 8 half steps up)
    C to G (5 half step down; 7 half steps up)
    C to Gb (6 half step down; 6 half steps up)
    C to F (7 half step down; 5 half steps up)
    C to E (8 half step down; 4 half steps up)
    C to Eb (9 half step down; 3 half steps up)
    C to D (10 half step down; 2 half steps up)
    C to Db (11 half step down; 1 half steps up)
    C to C (12 half step down; 12 half steps up)

    Roger: Wow … today was my lucky day!

    ME: Just happy to help. Did you print this out because I know that I can be long-winded at times (hehe)

    Roger: Oh, I haven’t but I will. I guess I got a huge preview of what your course discusses huh?

    ME: Yes, I guess you can say that. But Roger, it is 300-pages so you have a ways to go. But if you comprehended this (and we only used words), you’ll definitely understand some of the concepts in the book as you’ll have pictures, diagrams, charts, notations and more to guide you.

    Roger: Wonderful

    ME: And there’s also a BONUS CD. It’s very simple. Nothing too big and technical but its very helpful. It has three programs. One of them is “SOUND LIBRARY V1.0” which gives you access to over 330 sound examples from the course. The next program is “PIANO PLAYER PLUS V1.0” which allows you to train your ear with over 150 exercises, 500 questions, 20 chapter reviews and a lot more! The third program on the CD is CHORD POWER V1.0 which teaches you 10 additional gospel / jazz chord progressions step by step (with diagrams and sound examples).

    Roger: Wow… I’m going to order right away. How do I order?

    ME: There are a few ways to order. If you wish to place your order online (this is the fastest way), simply visit: http://www.hearandplay.com/ordernow.html

    ME: If you wish to send a check or money order, I have an easy form that you can print out and include with your payment. You can print this form at: http://www.hearandplay.com/offline.html

    ME: Or if you prefer, you can call us at 1-877-856-4187 and mention offer 69B

    Roger: I’d just like to say that this chat thing is wonderful. To think, I just wanted to see if it worked (and wasn’t a gimmick) and I got to speak with the author himself. I’ll make sure to tell all of my buddies.

    ME: I’m glad I was able to assist you. You might not get me next time you come on here but whoever it is, they can assist you with any questions that you may have.

    Roger: Thanks a multitude!

    ME: No problem Roger. Have a nice day and good luck with your piano playing!

    (CHAT ENDED AT 10:42 am)

    * If you are interested in checking out our 300-pg course, you can follow the same steps Roger did. Just visit:

    http://www.hearandplay.com/ordernow.html and it’ll be easy from there!

    *** The second conversation will be sent to your e-mail box separately. We must do this in order to keep the size of the e-mail minimal ***


    As always, I couldn’t get as “in-depth” into the material with ROGER as I wanted to as I was limited by space and time with the live chat system. However, I was able to convey one of my favorite techniques to him. Listen … this technique can be used for just about anything. When I say anything, I mean (1) learning ALL chords in every key, (2) transposing a song into another, (3) modulating into into the next key, and more. If you are like Roger and would really like to improve your piano playing and ear-skills, I really encourage you to read about my 300-pg course & bonus CD —-


    With 20 chapters and over 300 pages, the home piano course provides several resources, techniques, tips, principles, and theories to playing the piano by ear. Along with hundreds of chords and scales, you’ll also learn how to turn them into gospel, jazz and blues chord progressions and better yet, how to use them to play ABSOLUTELY any song you want … IN VIRTUALLY MINUTES! Again, don’t miss this opportunity. I’ve even added an additional bonus if you purchase the course this week — You can read more about the course at: http://www.hearandplay.com/course

    The following two tabs change content below.
    Hi, I'm Jermaine Griggs, founder of this site. We teach people how to express themselves through the language of music. Just as you talk and listen freely, music can be enjoyed and played in the same way... if you know the rules of the "language!" I started this site at 17 years old in August 2000 and more than a decade later, we've helped literally millions of musicians along the way. Enjoy!


    { 6 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Martha


    I am one of your students. I am taking your gospelkeys 300 course. I have studied and studied. I understand and am working on applying the instuctions you give me. It really does takes time. Like you said in the course, you’ve been doing it for a long time and I’m new at it. My question, for clarification reasons, is thus: Are there any A B songs that you can name for me? I’ve searched our church’s song book (a binder put together for the musicians) and I found a few call and response, but I think I’m missing it. Can you name a few more songs so I can get more of a grip on it. Just for sharing…I’m still trying to get part A under my fingers. I have the bass run in A flat. I have the right hand good seperate. It’s the putting them together…Yikes I’m slow put eventually my speed will come.

    Thanks for your response (Jermaine, HammondMan, E-man, Sam, Willing…whomever will respond to my post).

    Dedicated to my lessons. {wow my six weeks may need to be stretched for more time to learn all twelve major keys} :)


    2 Jermaine
    3 Bernice Gaymon

    Haven’t been able to get to the piano yet. Just had surgery on my hand. However,
    I can hardly wait to try out the good stuff I have been studying up on. Reading some
    of the e-mails from other students and studying your methods I believe I can do this.
    I am so looking forward to application at this point.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart and may God continue to bless you.


    4 vitamin

    salutations appreciate your time have a ganders of mine


    5 AutoSmart

    I considered posting this trackback wonderful gadget


    6 Renner

    this is nice.

    But the whole work is on mathematics, to me i’ll rather learn the number system and major scales on all 12 keys, i think this i better way of getting major chords on any key, e.g i know the major scale for the key of C and for me to get the major chord i’ll play th 1 3 5, min will be 1 b3 5, major7 1 3 5 7, i think this number system and chart is just the best to hold onto.

    well thanks Jermaine you thought me this, you ma mentor my boss i love your teachings tnx



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