Sunteți pe pagina 1din 3

The Amazing Chord Wheel

To make your own


Amazing Chord Wheel,
download the
guitarwheel.pdf file from
the 'Amazing Chord Wheel'
page of the website to
your computer, print it out
onto stiff card and follow
the instructions!
The Chord Wheel can be
used to perform many
functions including
transposing songs into
other keys, finding scales
and chords, and the keys
being played when the
guitar is capoed.
Transposing songs from one key to another.
Sometimes the original key of a song or the chords
sing or play, and the original chord
transposed into another key.
To transpose the original key to another find the l
outer ring of the wheel and then turn the inner whe
in its place is directly below it. For example to c
that the letter G is directly below the letter
Now leave the wheel set and do not alter the inner
!n the original song the chord of
of the original song is C then it will be replaced by the chord now shown on
ie G. !f the next chord of the original song is
below it on the inner wheel ie
For example we could transpose
turning the inner wheel so that
inner wheel set. The new chords to play would be as
The Amazing Chord Wheel
The Amazing Chord Wheel
Transposing songs from one key to another.
Sometimes the original key of a song or the chords as written make the piece difficult to
sing or play, and the original chords can therefore either be played capoed or simply

To transpose the original key to another find the letter of the first chord of the song on the
outer ring of the wheel and then turn the inner wheel so that the chosen chord to
in its place is directly below it. For example to change from G to D turn the inner wheel so
is directly below the letter D.
Now leave the wheel set and do not alter the inner wheel.
!n the original song the chord of G will now be replaced by the chord of D
then it will be replaced by the chord now shown on
. !f the next chord of the original song is D then it will be replaced by the chord directly
nner wheel ie A.
For example we could transpose Knocking On Heavens Door from the key of
turning the inner wheel so that D is directly below G on the outer wheel then leave the
inner wheel set. The new chords to play would be as below:

Transposing songs from one key to another.
as written make the piece difficult to
s can therefore either be played capoed or simply
etter of the first chord of the song on the
el so that the chosen chord to be played
turn the inner wheel so
D. !f the next chord
then it will be replaced by the chord now shown on the inner wheel
then it will be replaced by the chord directly
from the key of G to D by
on the outer wheel then leave the
Original chords (from outer wheel): G D Am7 C
Transposed chords (from inner wheel): D A Em7 G
Note that the transposed chord has the same characteristics of the original chord ie the
Am7 also transposes to a minor 7th chord (Am7 to Em7). Had the original key contained
the chord of G7 then it would have transposed to D7 and a chord of Gmaj7 to Dmaj7 etc
[but do not confuse those with sharps (#) or flats (b) which is not a characteristic of a chord
but simply its pitch|.
Sometimes the original key of the song has one difficult chord in an otherwise easy piece
and by converting the difficult to an easier version will make the whole song easier. For
example:
!f the chord of F#m7 is causing the problem try replacing it with Am7 as below.
Turn the inner wheel so that A on the inner wheel is directly below F# on the outer wheel.
The result is as below:
Original chords (from outer wheel): E Am B7 F#m7
Transposed chords (from inner wheel): G Cm D7 Am7
Play the transposed chords in place of the original.
Where to place the Capo?
Having worked out an easier way to play a song, by transposing to another key, you might
still to prefer to sing it in the original key but using the transposed chords. Use a capo! but
which fret will it need to be placed on?
Find the new key (quite often the first chord of the song.... but not always!) on the inner or
outer wheel (it doesnt matter which) and think of each segment of the wheel as a fret on
the guitar. A capo placed on the first fret of the guitar will raise the key by one semitone, so
that a chord of G played with a capo on the first fret will sound like a chord of G# (or Ab)
(the next note going in a clockwise direction round the wheel). On the second fret it will
sound like A, next A# (or Bb) and so on. Therefore to play a song using chords in the key
of G, but to raise it to the key of C, you will need to place your capo on the 5th fret of the
guitar (count how many segments of the wheel there are from G to C.
Barr Chords - At which fret do I barr for any given
chord?
Nost of the common barr chords are based on either E or A shape chords (ie E, E7, Em,
Em7, A, A7, Am, Am7) which are played up the neck of the guitar and instead of using a
capo to raise the pitch we use our first finger (as a barr or bar).
Looking at the chord wheel we can see that, clockwise, the next note to E is F and therefore
if we play the chord of E one fret higher either by putting a capo on the first fret or making
a barr at the first fret with the first finger and using our remaining fingers to make an E
shape, the sound that we then produce is a chord of F. Equally if we had capoed or barrd
an Em chord at the first fret the new chord would be Fm, and an E7 would become F7.
The same applies to A shape chords although, as we can see from the chord wheel, the
next note (clockwise) is A# or Bb (they both sound exactly the same!). !t therefore follows
that a chord of A capoed or barrd on the first fret will produce a chord of A# or Bb and a
chord of Am would sound as A#m or Bbm, A7 as A#7 or Bb7 etc.
Using the wheel we can see that a chord of E played with a capo or barrd at the 7th fret
would produce the chord of B, an E7 shape would become B7 and an Em shape would
become Bm (starting at E on the chord wheel count 7 segments clockwise and you will
reach B). !f instead of playing an E shape chord at the 7th fret we play an A shape then the
chord produced would be E, an A7 would become E7, and Am would become Em.
Which notes make up any chosen major scale?
To find the notes of any scale turn the inner wheel so that the name of the scale is directly
beneath number 1 (the brown ring on the outer wheel). The notes of the scale will be
directly below the numbers highlighted in brown).
For example the scale of C major is made up of the notes C, D, E, F, G, A, B and (an
octave higher) C.
Try the scale of G (by placing G on the inner ring directly below number 1 on the brown
ring) and you will find the notes G, A, B, C, D, E, F# (or is it Gb?) and an octave higher G.
The 7th note of the scale is F# as every major scale has one not of each letter and therfore
had we called it Gb there would have been no F and two G notes (Gb and G).
Try the scale of F and you will find the notes to be: F, G, A, Bb (or is it A#?) C, D, E and
an octave higher F. Of course the +th note of the scale is Bb otherwise there would have
been two A notes!
What makes a chord?
A major chord is made up of the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes of the scale of that name.
To find the notes played in a chord of C place C in the inner ring directly below number 1 on
the outer ring and find the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes of the scale (highlighted in red on the
outer ring) Any combination of those notes (C, E, and G) will produce the chord of C. Add a
flattened 7th note of the scale, Bb (ie the 7th note B played one fret lower) (highlighted in
yellow on the outer ring ) and you have a 7th ie C7 and if instead you simply added the 7th
note of the scale ie B the chord produced would be Cmaj7.
A minor chord is made up in the same way as a major chord except that the third note ot
the scale is flattened (see the green notes on the wheel) so that a chord of Cm is made up
of the notes C, Eb, and G) Add the flattened 7th note of the scale ie Bb and you have the
chord of Cm7.