Key transposition help

I have an issue with transposing keys on bass (after 40 years of guitar and mandolin I would normally hand transpose the music or slap on a capo).
Situation: I got a piece of music for this weekend, the music is in E and we will play it in E, but the audio off the internet by the original artist is in G. Hand transposing it for learning the song isn’t good because I would learn the wrong fingerings. As a shortcut tonight I slapped on a capo (and now I feel real dirty and icky and disgusted and dirty…).
Normally I would slide up the frets and play, but this is a complicated piece (for me).

  1. is there some software that I can adjust the tone down (that would run on an iPad?)
  2. Are my feelings wrong and a capos ok? (Just for practice — never in public )
    Your comments are solicited.
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There are several online tools that can change a key, most DAWs should be able to do it, I don’t have an iPad so I don’t know what tools beside the online tools work on that.

Do whatever you like you’re the one that has to face yourself in the mirror every morning :wink:

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Capos are fine. I wouldn’t buy one for this, but if I had one I would not feel bad about using it. Granted, my position on this may have changed after learning guitar :rofl:

There’s nothing wrong with capo. Unless you are counting on playing a lot of open string I’d just shift positions, it’s far less complex on a bass than guitar for sure. Most bassists are shape players. Its not very difficult to shift keys or transpose. I tried capo once on a bass I got confused with the whole thing, lol. Kudos to guitarists who could just move the capo up and down.

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Yep - transposing keys on a bass is just shifting positions more or less, and adding fingering for open strings

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The app should transpose keys. I am not sure if that feature is available for the free version (might not be) because i only use it for extracting Bass lines and mixing bassless audio from the original recording in order to learn and play the bass line of songs.
In any case the paid version is quite cheap (should be about 3$ per month) so you may consider paying it for just o month and getting done with the G-E transposition. :slight_smile:

Note that transposing E to G is simply shifting three frets and adding fingering for the open strings (in the third fret). It’s about as easy as a transposition gets. Since you plan to play this in E and presumably will want to practice those fingerings, a capo on the third fret might actually make the most sense. This would essentially simulate playing the song using the same fingering as playing it in E will, but on a short scale bass tuned to GCFBb :slight_smile:

That’s the beauty of the bass, it’s symmetrical, you just move your hand position. As you noted it may not be the most efficient fingering depending on which octave you are playing, but knowledge of the fret board and use of open strings as @howard stated, should make this very easy.

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Check out this article for reference. It presents a couple of ways of approaching transposing keys on a bass. Nicely laid out.

Thank you to all!

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