Do You Use a Capo?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by P Thought, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Pretty much covered as above, for me, since I do a lot of lead singing, it's putting the song in a key/context that works. EDIT: thinking about it, probably used a capo more in an acoustic trio I was in, to add a different bandwidth, chord set, sound, etc.

    The only add I would offer is the partial capo technique, for which a regular capo works fine. One example, put the capo at fret two, across all the strings except the low E. Now you got a version of a drop D style tuning, but no actually re-tuning required.

    I've used all kinds, but favor the Shubb. There is a technique with a Shubb (and probably others as well) where you place the contact rubber bar on top of the fret, and that does minimize any re-tuning, if done carefully. That does cramp the available space near the capo a little, but like anything else, just takes a little getting used to it.
     
  2. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Meister

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    I sometimes use them to make specific voicings available. If it's a duo gig with two guitars I really like one capo'd around 5th fret to provide some definition contrast to the chord voicings.
     
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  3. Downshift

    Downshift Tele-Holic

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    My primary use for a capo is as a rut buster. Slap a capo on a random fret when you're practicing, and suddenly you've got a whole new way of hearing and seeing things.
     
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  4. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I rarely use a capo, especially for it’s intended purpose.
    I do use it to hold strings in place when adjusting old style Fender truss rods.
     
  5. basher

    basher Tele-Afflicted

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    I use a capo quite a bit when I'm using alternate tunings -- DADGAD, CGCGCD, and open G mainly -- when I want to use the open strings a lot.

    As long as your guitar is well set up and your frets are in good shape, a capo shouldn't mess with your tuning too badly. You just have to put it right behind the fret. I've been using a Kyser spring capo for decades and haven't had any problems to speak of.
     
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  6. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I use a capo on acoustic a lot, either to put the song in a key I can almost sing it in or to give me easier open chord combinations to play. I rarely use it anywhere other than the first three frets, occasionally the fifth, never higher. I might go higher but my acoustic is a short scale and it starts getting pretty crowded up above the fifth fret. I roughly never use a capo on my electric because it's just too easy to play barre chords and other voicings up the neck. The only thing I ever recall using it for on electric was Midnight Rambler, which sounds really good with a capo on the 7th fret.

    -Ray
     
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  7. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

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    I like using capos on electric. Sometimes it's just....right. This song could have been in Em, and been great. But it's just better in F#m, and maintaining the ring of the open chords. Glen Phillips is a straight up baritone. It's not like either would have been out of his range.

     
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  8. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    BigDaddyLH, I'm guessing you don't use a capo much. . . ?
     
  9. Daddydex

    Daddydex Friend of Leo's

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    Sometimes it is just a matter of taking the side of my hand and applying downward pressure to all the strings right across the sound hole. The capo will sometimes bind the strings like a bad nut and this can sometimes fix it without moving the capo.

    Dan
     
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  10. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    True, I'm more of a tuque guy.
     
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  11. dobrojoe

    dobrojoe Tele-Meister

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    Never. It is the guitarist's version of a crutch.
     
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  12. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    What exactly does that mean? I've always wondered.

    Are amps crutches? Picks? Unwound G's.

    Is playing guitar some sort of morality play or fitness competition?

    Inquiring minds want to know.
     
  13. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

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    Maybe I was lucky, but from the time I started playing I was taught barre chords. I have no problem with anybody else using capos, but I've really never felt the need for one. But I do keep one around to speed up vintage style truss rod adjutments, just to keep the strings in position.
     
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  14. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Playing a chord of all fretted notes sound very different from a mix of open and fretted notes. I venture that most people who use capos are also versed in barre chords, triads and the like, up and down the neck.
     
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  15. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    I use a capo on my acoustic and electric guitars as needed for all the reasons stated above. I also use it at the fifth fret to change the tone of the guitar. A capo is also useful when changing keys to give the vocalist, guitarist, and other instruments like a piano easier keys to play in. Think about the garage band guitarist who wants to play in “E”. The key for the tenor sax is six sharps. Capo to the first fret and problem solved. Easier for the organist too.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
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  16. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Holic

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    Acoustically, bluegrass cries out for that open G or G5 sound even when the song is in A, saves you from barr chording F#m. Electrically, I play in the praise and worship band and we we work in some strange keys. Sometimes you need some altered forms of cowboy chords so you can include drones and extensions. The secret is to always place the capo as close to the fret as you can without being on top of it and muting the open strings. Secondly, only use as much pressure as necessary to ground the string on the fret. That calls for an adjustable tension capo, another Shubb fan here. Both of these strategies have the goal of minimizing stretching of the string and altering the pitch, easy to do with electric strings. IMO, that's the downfall of the one-handed, spring operated capos that have become so popular- it's easy to pull the string all the way down to the fingerboard, changing the pitch and necessitating retuning when you take it off.
     
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  17. King Creole

    King Creole Friend of Leo's

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    Barre chords and other closed-position chords sound different than open chords. I can play barre chords just as easy as open chords, and I can play Freddie Green voicings all over the neck, but when you want a ringing open sound in the key of Db, no matter how good you are, you need a capo.
     
  18. Luis Mendo

    Luis Mendo TDPRI Member

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    Thanks. I'll try that next time
     
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  19. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    I thought this but was unsure how to verbalise it - cheers

    But you will understand I will not use the phrase 'rut buster'. It sounds like an aggressive suppository for the Australian market
     
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  20. NewKid

    NewKid Tele-Meister

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    I use it for pop songs like Here Comes the Sun (7th fret) and Thunder Road (3rd fret). I never use it when playing jazz chord progressions.

    I have a G7th capo and its the best one I've ever used.
     
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