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What is it?

Modulation is a posh word to denote "going to a new key".

Typical modulations

Nothing is typical, of course, and some of the greatest composers have enjoyed parading their talent by weaving a melody that seamlessly takes the listener to a key that's totally unexpected - the musical equivalent of driving round a corner to see an unanticipated vista.

But expecting the expected will help you read more accurately and position the hands more appropriately.

Here are the most common modulations...

Playable examples

Here are some really cut-down examples so that guitarists of any ability can try out the common modulations...

From C to G
An extra sharp appears

C to G

From A to D
The "highest" sharp
in the signature is removed

A to D

From C to Am
The minor's leading note
is sharpened

C to Am

From Em to G
The minor's leading note
is naturalised

Em to G

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