Quick, what notes are in the CM7 chord?
What notes are in the F#m7 chord?
What notes are in the E dorian scale?
The D pentatonic scale?
The G ake bono scale?
What is the minor 3rd of F#?
If you know the answers to these questions, you won't need this tool.
But if you don't know—our set of Transposing Wheels can teach you how to wrap your head around chords and scales, two of the most useful constructs of music.
Our Transposing Wheels are sold as a download for $8. This is a zip file with a number of PDFs for all the wheel parts, a 10 page instructional manual to tell you in detail how to use the wheels, and a one page quickstart quide.
Just print out the PDF files, cut them out and attach them in pairs to make 16 different transposing wheels, each with different lessons to teach you. The one page Quick Start Guide gets you started on the two most important wheels, and the 10-page guide explains in detail how to use these wheels to understand lots about music theory.
The lower wheel has all twelve notes in Western music. Actually, you should think of the wheel as a spiral staircase - after going around the wheel once, you are on the second floor, and you start going up the spiral staircase again, stepping on the same notes, but each an octave higher. And so one little wheel can teach you about all the notes on a piano, and their interrelations. But the notes are not referenced to a piano keyboard. They are not referenced to a guitar fret board, or even to a kalimba. I don't even include a single bit of staff notation. Hence, this tool can be used to understand the essential concepts and intervals of over a dozen different scales and a few dozen types of chords, in all twelve keys, no matter what instrument you play, even if you don't read music. Actually, reading music and understanding music are two totally different skills, and this is a tool to help you understand.
For the kalimba player, there is a special page about using this tool with the kalimba. For example, most kalimbas are diatonic and will be missing almost half the notes. A primary use of the Transposing Wheel for kalimba players will lie in transposing songs or chord progressions from the keys they are written in to the key your kalimba is in.
Each of the 16 wheels in this set consists of an underlying wheel with all the note names in order, and an upper wheel which encapsulates the logic of a scale or a set of intervals present in chords. When the root arrow is pointing to "G", the wheel tells you how to play that chord or scale in the key of G. When you rotate the upper wheel so the root arrow points to a different note, it shows you the notes of the scale or chord in that key.
Our Transposing Wheels are the first general purpose music instructional tool Kalimba Magic has produced. If you can learn half of this material, it will be a huge start towards a great understanding of music. Ultimately, if you work with these chords and scales for a while, you will internalize all of the information that lies in these wheels. But until then, you can have all of that information at your fingertips!