Thursday, October 27, 2011

Transposing the keys: Making keyboard playing simple


What is transposing on a keyboard?
Transposing is shifting of a note to another key, either left or right on the keyboard. Shifting can be done up to 12 keys, either on the left or right on the keyboard. i.e. up to one octave. This way one entire octave comprising of 12 keys (7 white and 5 black) can be shifted to either left or right on the keyboard.
How to do it?
I am considering a 5 octave keyboard.
Go to the function option and select transpose. Now select from the numerical numbers displayed on the screen ranging between +/- 12.

Now suppose you want to shift the note D# to the key of C position, then you have to select “+3” {1.D, 2.C#, 3.C (3rd C)} to move left  OR “-9” {1.E, 2.F, 3.F#, 4.G, 5.G#, 6.A, 7.A#, 8.B, 9.C (4th C)} to move to the right.

Now the D# note will play at C position. This way, you can play D# (black key) on a simpler white key (C).
By doing this, now all notes on the keyboard get shifted to relative “+3” or “-9” position, depending on what you have chosen “+3”or “-9”.

When    D# shifts to C
Then      E   shifts to C#
                D   shifts to B
Try for yourself:
              G# shifts to ????
             B   shifts to ????
             C# shifts to ????
             F# shifts to ????

How transposing is useful to new beginners?

By Transposing we can shift a difficult scale with more black keys to a relatively easier scale or all white keys scale (C major)
Let us look at an example:
B major scale with all 5 black keys:

B    C#    D#    E    F#    G#    A#    B

Now transpose B note to C position to the right (i.e.transpose by -1). Now B note is playing at C. Let us see what happens to the entire scale? All the keys in the scale (for that matter on the entire board) get transposed/shifted by “-1” (i.e. one key to right)

B   --> C
C# --> D
D# --> E
E   --> F
F# --> G
G# --> A
A# --> B
B   --> C

Eureka! The entire B major scale pattern is shifted to C major scale pattern (all white keys)

F# major scale:
F#    G#    A#    B    C#    D#    F    F#

Transpose F# to C to the left (i.e. transpose by +6)
F#    G#    A#   B    C#   D#    F    F#
C      D       E      F     G     A       B    C

This way all 12 scale patterns can be shifted to the C scale pattern for ease of playing. Similarly all 12 minor scale patterns can be shifted to A minor scale (again all white keys, A minor scale being relative to C major scale)

*This has been given based on the YAMAHA PSR keyboard. Other manufacturers may have different sequence of function in the setting mode. Please check accordingly.

After going through this article, I will appreciate if you can send me your comments/suggestions. This is the only fees I would like to charge to you.