Capo theory

Clouds84

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So in my band, I was playing with no capo with C shapes with overdrive and the lead guitarist (acoustic) was playing capo 5 with G shapes. I sounded quite low and just got drowned out. I'm wondering if playing higher up the neck is better with teles or not.

On other songs, when I've played higher up the neck than everyone else, my tele stood out and was quite clear, but the same position or lower and it blends in and gets drowned out.
 

Deeve

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I've noticed "better" capo sounds on acoustic guitars and less noticeable on electrics.
Not sure if that's cos I don't get out much or if there's an actual difference in how it rolls w/ solid body vs an actual acoustic.
Hive-mind - any basis for my half-baked observation?
Peace - Deeve
 

JuneauMike

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Yes, it would make you cut through a bit more. But why would you want that?

It sounds like you were playing rhythm guitar with an electric and the lead guitarist was playing an acoustic(?). You would be the guy laying down the foundation and he'd cut through that so you've got a more dynamic sound, which is good. You are in different registers so your sound has depth.

If you go higher with the rhythm then you would be drowning him out, which is bad.

If you are getting lost in the mix while the OD is on, maybe try turning up the mids and then you will be able to hear yourself again (I learned that one the hard way, ha). You could roll off gain too so it is not so overdriven, giving the rhythm chords more articulation if needed.
 

Clouds84

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Yes, it would make you cut through a bit more. But why would you want that?

It sounds like you were playing rhythm guitar with an electric and the lead guitarist was playing an acoustic(?). You would be the guy laying down the foundation and he'd cut through that so you've got a more dynamic sound, which is good. You are in different registers so your sound has depth.

If you go higher with the rhythm then you would be drowning him out, which is bad.

If you are getting lost in the mix while the OD is on, maybe try turning up the mids and then you will be able to hear yourself again (I learned that one the hard way, ha). You could roll off gain too so it is not so overdriven, giving the rhythm chords more articulation if needed.

On this particular occasion, we were both doing rythem guitar mine was using distortion. I don't know if I need to keep working on my tone, but I got drowned out into the background when I played lower down the neck.

Thanks for the tip about gain and mids. Will try that.
 

Chiogtr4x

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What pickup position are you using on the Tele? ( right?)

If you are playing with both pickups on Tone full on, or bridge pickup alone ( even with Tone rolled back a bit) I would think you would be able to be heard in lower, 1st position chords, against an acoustic.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding.
 

JuneauMike

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On this particular occasion, we were both doing rythem guitar mine was using distortion. I don't know if I need to keep working on my tone, but I got drowned out into the background when I played lower down the neck.

Thanks for the tip about gain and mids. Will try that.
What OD were you using? How much gain?
 

JL_LI

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I use a capo with both acoustic and electric guitars. At first, I used it to shift a key into my register. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's the most boring use of a capo. If you're playing alone or you're the only guitar, a capo can give you open or drone strings that can fill out the guitar part. This is especially important if you solo off chords. A single note solo can sound empty without some fill. I also use a capo to raise the register for the guitar. A capo on the fifth fret makes the guitar sound very different. On a Stratocaster, with the capo on the fifth fret, you no longer lose the powerful second harmonic from open strings when playing the neck pickup. A capo also can raise the guitar part above my vocal range. That can be important. Two instruments, and voice is an instrument, can sound a little muddy sharing the same space. That's one reason why solos are generally played higher up the neck. There's nothing wrong with an acoustic solo played with a capo over an electric guitar playing rhythm. We tend to think of the electric playing the solo over cowboy chords, but both can work well. A capo can also be used to shift the key to one more comfortable for brass or reeds, or even for keyboards. Only guitarists want to play in E. A capo may very well be the most useful tool that fits in your pocket.
 

hnryclay

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I think the op was playing a c shape on the 8th fret root against a g shape with a capo on the 5th fret which would both be F chords. His guitar was distorted, against the other players accustic. He felt like his sound was lost in the mix. My question would be how this was observed? In a monitor on stage, theough an in ear monitor, or from comments by someone in the audience? This could well be that the accustic was resonating better ronhis locationthan the speakers he was hearing?
 

Clouds84

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I think the op was playing a c shape on the 8th fret root against a g shape with a capo on the 5th fret which would both be F chords. His guitar was distorted, against the other players accustic. He felt like his sound was lost in the mix. My question would be how this was observed? In a monitor on stage, theough an in ear monitor, or from comments by someone in the audience? This could well be that the accustic was resonating better ronhis locationthan the speakers he was hearing?

I'm starting to think I was playing in the wrong key lol.. I was on capo 0 (open) using C shapes, and the other guitarist was on capo 5 using G shapes. I used my tablet's app to auto transpose. According to the app, G shapes on capo 5 is the key of C which I was playing.
 

hnryclay

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If he was barring the 5th fret with his capo, and then he was playing a g shape fretting the eigth fret of the E string he was playing a C. If you were barring the 5th fret and playing a c shape you were playing an F, with the root note on the 8th fret D string. If you were playing the c shape at the open position you both were indeed playing C. I wasnt sure from your initial post. To get to the original question though, how were you hearing this? Just from the ambient sound or through a monitor?
 

Clouds84

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If he was barring the 5th fret with his capo, and then he was playing a g shape fretting the eigth fret of the E string he was playing a C. If you were barring the 5th fret and playing a c shape you were playing an F, with the root note on the 8th fret D string. If you were playing the c shape at the open position you both were indeed playing C. I wasnt sure from your initial post. To get to the original question though, how were you hearing this? Just from the ambient sound or through a monitor?

I listened to the recording later on. I think what I was doing differently on this song was doing up and down strums as opposed to sharp downstrokes, which in my opinion, sounds better with distortion when playing rythem.

I'm new to teles (but not to guitaring) so experimenting what works and what doesn't.
 

JuneauMike

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I listened to the recording later on. I think what I was doing differently on this song was doing up and down strums as opposed to sharp downstrokes, which in my opinion, sounds better with distortion when playing rythem.

I'm new to teles (but not to guitaring) so experimenting what works and what doesn't.
Your ME-80 has a phrase looper function that is invaluable for at-home practice. You should look into using it. You can loop either guitar part and then rehearse your own part in the song at home before practice. Great teaching tool and even better confidence builder. The record time is short, but enough to record a verse, or bridge and chorus. You can record an acoustic guitar in it and then play electric off of it.
 

Clouds84

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What pickup position are you using on the Tele? ( right?)

If you are playing with both pickups on Tone full on, or bridge pickup alone ( even with Tone rolled back a bit) I would think you would be able to be heard in lower, 1st position chords, against an acoustic.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding.

I was using bridge pickup with the tone knob dialed back slightly. I'm thinking I need to work on my mids a little.
 

Martin R

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We do that a lot. We work on developing complimentary parts that are different but work well together.
This on has my distorted tele with Christina's acoustic...It's a little obvious. This one is more an example of working out parts. The tele is clean and the acoustic is capo'd up pretty high. We really spend a lot of time on this kind of stuff.
 

Clouds84

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We do that a lot. We work on developing complimentary parts that are different but work well together.
This on has my distorted tele with Christina's acoustic...It's a little obvious. This one is more an example of working out parts. The tele is clean and the acoustic is capo'd up pretty high. We really spend a lot of time on this kind of stuff.

Sounds pretty good. I think I don't have my tone setup correctly as I was faded into the background whereas the acoustic was clear as day..
 

gregulator450

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I'm starting to think I was playing in the wrong key lol.. I was on capo 0 (open) using C shapes, and the other guitarist was on capo 5 using G shapes. I used my tablet's app to auto transpose. According to the app, G shapes on capo 5 is the key of C which I was playing.

This is correct. You are both playing in the key of C.
 

T Prior

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Forget the volume , you got the capo thing totally right, different positions for two guitar players which uses two different chord forms at the same time. Don't change that, work on the levels !
 
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