Music for Holy Trinity Sunday and How to Transpose

On Trinity Sunday, I have chosen the song ”Father I Adore You” as a song choice.  Many congregations use this on Trinity Sunday.  There are other good contemporary song choices, such as “Glorify Thy Name”, but I chose ”Father I Adore You” because there is a portion of our congregation that normally does not sing, but they will be singing this song.  I’m talking about our smallest children, and more importantly, those too young to read.  At our church, this age group knows this song from previous VBS and other children’s activities.  I think it’s important for us as worship planners to include a song that they can join in on every once in a while.

“Father I Adore You” was written by Terrye Coelho Strom, many of us WELS types know it as LAPPY # 67.

Last week, during our monthly contemporary service, a teen in the congregation approached me after worship and offered to play her guitar in future services.  Apparently she has been taking lessons and is ready to use her gifts.  I am very excited about this because it’s a teen showing an interest in participating in worship which for some reason is an age group that we find to be difficult to get involved.

But here’s the problem.  “Father I Adore You” is written in the key of F and includes the chords: F, Gm and C.  Not a big deal for most guitarists, but for a beginner, the F and Gm chords can be difficult.  Here’s the solution: transpose.

In this instance, usually the best thing to do is to transpose down to a more guitar-friendly key, then use your CAPO to lift the pitch back to the original key.  For example, let’s transpose this song down to the key of D.  To find the new chords, we need to write down both of the major scales (F and D) as follows:

Original Key:  F  G  A    Bb  C  D  E    F
New Key:       D  E  F#  G    A  B  C#  D

Next, find the original chords in the original key (upper row), then read the new chords, in the new key directly beneath the original chords.  For example:

F becomes D
Gm becomes Em
C becomes A

The new chords are now D, Em and A which are all very easy to play.

The last thing we need to do is to find the CAPO position.  Remember that we lowered the key from F to D, which is 3 half steps (just count the number of frets between the F and D note on any one string). This means that we need to raise our pitch by 3 half steps so the CAPO needs to go at the third fret.

And here’s a neat trick; if you have two guitarists, let one play in the key of F and have the second guitarist play it in the key of D at the capo 3 position.  This will add some color and different chord voicings to your music.  Also, check your guitar tuning with the CAPO in place as this will sometimes throw your tuning off.

For future reference in transposing, here are all the major and minor keys:

MAJOR SCALE   R   -   2   -   3   4   -   5   -   6   -   7
   C  maj.:   C   -   D   -   E   F   -   G   -   A   -   B
   Db maj.:   Db  -   Eb  -   F   Gb  -   Ab  -   Bb  -   C
   D  maj.:   D   -   E   -   F#  G   -   A   -   B   -   C#
   Eb maj.:   Eb  -   F   -   G   Ab  -   Bb  -   C   -   D
   E  maj.:   E   -   F#  -   G#  A   -   B   -   C#  -   D#
   F  maj.:   F   -   G   -   A   Bb  -   C   -   D   -   E
   F# maj.:   F#  -   G#  -   A#  B   -   C#  -   D#  -  (E#)
   G  maj.:   G   -   A   -   B   C   -   D   -   E   -   F#
   Ab maj.:   Ab  -   Bb  -   C   Db  -   Eb  -   F   -   G
   A  maj.:   A   -   B   -   C#  D   -   E   -   F#  -   G#
   Bb maj.:   Bb  -   C   -   D   Eb  -   F   -   G   -   A
   B  maj.:   B   -   C#  -   D#  E   -   F#  -   G#  -   A#

MINOR SCALE   R   -   2   b3  -   4   -   5   b6  -   b7  -
   A  min.:   A   -   B   C   -   D   -   E   F   -   G   -
   Bb min.:   Bb  -   Cb  Db  -   Eb  -   F   Gb  -   Ab  -
   B  min.:   B   -   C#  D   -   E   -   F#  G   -   A   -
   C  min.:   C   -   D   Eb  -   F   -   G   Ab  -   Bb  -
   C# min.:   C#  -   D#  E   -   F#  -   G#  A   -   B   -
   D  min.:   D   -   E   F   -   G   -   A   Bb  -   C   -
   Eb min.:   Eb  -   F   Gb  -   Ab  -   Bb (Cb) -   Db  -
   E  min.:   E   -   F#  G   -   A   -   B   C   -   D   -
   F  min.:   F   -   G   Ab  -   Bb  -   C   Db  -   Eb  -
   F# min.:   F#  -   G#  A   -   B   -   C#  D   -   E   -
   G  min.:   G   -   A   Bb  -   C   -   D   Eb  -   F   -
   G# min.:   G#  -   A#  B   -   C#  -   D#  E   -   F#  -
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