How to transpose songs – tools and safety equipment

Transposing songs is not difficult but it can be dangerous.


1) Tune vice – you can make a simple ukulele tune vice at home using a coconut shell (both halves), a bottle of whisky and a thermometer.

2) Key wrench

3) Chord hammer

4) Groove thang

Protective clothing:

1) Safety glasses (sharps can easily fly off and put someone’s eye out!)

2) Rigger boots (who hasn’t dropped a flat?)


  • Clamp song in tune vice
  • Rive at it with the key wrench and smack it hard with the chord hammer until your arms ache.
  • Nobody knows how the groove thang works. Just leave it to tease the tune for a while and see what happens.
  • If you don’t know what the thermometer is for, why are you reading this?

If you have time, you can get better results by first boiling the tune and soaking overnight (use any whisky left over from making the tune vice).

When finished and if inclined, polish with Grade A sandpaper.  You can use French Polish on classical stuff with no ill effects.

* Ukulele Tabs *

This could end in tears.  One slip of the ice pick and you will be digging them out the ceiling and carpet for decades.

The Future:  automated methods and the white heat of technology!

Purloined from

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