I don't have a lot of knowledge of music theory and I am trying to learn all by myself online. I am trying to play and sing the song Drive by Incubus on my guitar. The original song seems to be in the key of G. The chords for verse and chorus of the song in this key are: [ Em - Em9 | Cmaj7 - Em/A (slash chord) ]. In the pre-chorus, the chords are: [ Cmaj7 | A ].

This key is too high for my voice and I want to lower it by two keys to the key of E. I am trying to use the following chart to find the chords in the key of E.

Key change chord chart

If we can simply transform the chords using this chord chart, I think the chords in the key of E should be, for the verse and the chorus: [ C#m - C#m9 | Amaj7 - ? ] (I am not sure how to transform the slash chord!). In the pre-chorus, I think the chords should be: [ Amaj7 | F#7 ].

Is this the correct way to change keys for a song? What am I doing wrong? What should the correct chords be for this song, if I want to go down two keys?


  • 1
    You are doing things correctly. Every chord, including the lower part of slash chords, should be lowered by the same amount.
    – Aaron
    Commented Mar 11, 2021 at 18:19
  • So the slash chord in the key of E should be C#m/F#?
    – Musa Khan
    Commented Mar 11, 2021 at 18:23
  • Yes, C#m/F# is correct.
    – Aaron
    Commented Mar 11, 2021 at 18:32
  • Lowering from G to E would be lowering it "three keys" (though I'm not sure that's standard terminology)- G down to F# down to F down to E.
    – Edward
    Commented Mar 11, 2021 at 19:15
  • Hmmm...perhaps its better to speak in terms of lowering by steps or tones? So G to F# is lowering by a half-step and so on.
    – Musa Khan
    Commented Mar 11, 2021 at 19:20

2 Answers 2


When transposing a chord chart, each letter name must be changed by the same interval, which is to say, the same number of half steps. This includes both sides of a slash chord.

Lowering from G to E -- a minor third, or three half-steps -- is indicated correctly in the question: Em becomes C#m, and Em/A becomes C#m/F#.


If you make a grid of the chromatic scale, i.e. A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G#

Repeat the grid downwards, forming a complete square, A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G# A and so on.

So if for instance we change the key from A to A#, and say the chord sequence is A /G /D

Then we track down the grid and the chords would be A# / G# / D#. Now if by chance the chords are Am or A7, you just transfer that as well. So say the A chord is an A7, then in the new key it would be an A#7. And if say it was an Am, then in the new key it would be an A#m. Scan the grid downwards until you find the key you want to change your song to. Then track along the top to find the chords in the song. Hope this helps. It's simple when you grasp it. Cheers.

  • Can you post a picture of the grid you suggest using?
    – Edward
    Commented Mar 18, 2021 at 20:26

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