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Start Playing Guitar's 'The Bridge', Vol 2 #1 - I Can't Sing That!
February 01, 2007's 'The Bridge'

Volume 2, Issue 1: Play in a new key. How?

New Content on

Chances are most beginners use guitar TAB more than they use Standard Notation.

If you want a full understanding of TAB: how to read it, how to write it, why many free TAB sites are shutting down... take a look at the new Guitar TAB page.

The Guitar Buying Guide my complete guide to selecting a guitar and getting a good deal, was updated for easier navigation and now has Bottom Line advice.

Work In Progress:

Coming soon to the web-site!

  • Recording your guitar on the Mac, my machine of choice. All about hooking up your guitar, recording it, and sharing your music with others.
  • A set of frequently asked questions (FAQ) for new guitarists. Some of the questions I hear and read over and over, with practical answers.
  • A guide for new readers of the web-site. Lots of information is helpful, not knowing where to start is not. I'll help sort this out for new readers of

SIDEBAR: Keep up to date with all the changes by subscribing to our RSS feed (click to open a window of help and subscription instructions). It will keep you up to date with new pages and other special announcements. I will not overload you with every grammar-fix, new image, or other minor mod.

I Can't Sing This... Now what?

If you're like me you decided to learn guitar for two primary reasons: to improve yourself, and to play the songs you love.

You begin by learning string names, some open chords, and a few easy songs.

Somewhere along the way you discover that there's a lot more to playing than learning chords, figuring our strum patterns, or learning a favorite riff or two.

You spend hours learning moveable chord forms, scales, techniques like muting, pull-offs, hammer-ons, more strumming, etc.

Finally, you take the big leap and start to play with others. Almost immediately you're faced with the fact that you need to play chords and notes other than those you practiced. You need to play chords and notes other than those your find written down in TAB or the song books.

Why? The people who sing the songs have a different vocal range than the version you've been learning.

Now what?

You need to transpose the song to a new key.

Once, not long ago, this would have meant sitting down, working through the song with pencil, paper, and your guitar to methodically determine each new chord.

To do it properly, you would need to study basic music theory, learn about the Circle of Fifths, modes, and more. That could take months of study.

Lucky for us, Jim Fleser created The Chord Wheel.

The Chord Wheel:

  • Shows you all the chords you can use for a particular key.
  • Makes key changes as simple as rotating a dial.
  • Helps map out chord changes for your own song-writing.
  • Can be used for chord substitutions, progressions, scales, and more!

The Chord Wheel is published by Hal Leonard.

It's a short 12 pages containing great explanations of how to use the wheel. The wheel that makes it all possibly is on the front cover of the book. Keys, and their associated chords, are layed out clearly. Changing keys is as simple as turning the sturdy dial.

There's even a web-site with additional explanations and tutorials.

You can pick up The Chord Wheel: The Ultimate Tool for All Musicians at for about $11.

Go For A Big Finish!

I hope you've enjoyed this issue of The Bridge. See you next month!


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