Revised Chord Wheel

Revised chord wheelI have revised my transposing chord wheel/circle of fifths tool this week. It is now a three-ring version for use by all musicians (ukulele players who want to learn music theory or work on arranging songs especially). You can click on the image on the right to download the PDF.

The outer ring shows the Roman numerals for the key. This lets you see the chords by number – uppercase is major; lowercase is minor. Turn this wheel to the I identifier (capital “i”) above the key on the middle ring. The names in dark blue are some of the chord forms you can use in that position (i.e. I: major, major seventh, ii: minor).

The two inner wheels show the circle of fifths, with notes for the major triads for each key in green, with the relative minors named in blue. Fifths move clockwise; fourths counterclockwise. The middle ring also shows the number of flats (b) and sharps (#) in a key signature.

The inner ring is used for the key a song is in. Turn the key so that letter points to the letter of the key you want to transpose into. The chords shown on the middle ring relate to the new key.

For example, if your song is C-Am-F-G and you want to play it in F, turn the inner ring so C aligns with F on the middle ring. A on the inner ring will align with D (which means Dm since the original was Am), F with Bb and G with C. So the new chords will be F-Dm-Bb-C. And in G it would be G-Em-C-D.

Chord builder wheelPrint the pages, laminate those with the wheels, then cut them out, punch holes in the centres, and push a brass paper fastener through all three. Instructions are more fully described on page four. Page five is a larger version if you want something with bigger type. Print three copies of that page.

Please contact me if you find any mistakes on the wheels. For my chord construction tool (another free download; pictured above) see this PDF file. I’ll have to recover the files from my backup about its construction (I accidentally deleted the folder on the server). However, here’s the preliminary post I wrote about it in 2014.

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3 Comments

  1. Tom Schumacher

    Hi – would you mind fixing the link to the revised chord wheel? I came across a link to this and apprecieated the idea of chord wheel as you described it. But the picture and the link aren’t working. – Tom

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