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Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by P Thought, Apr 30, 2019.
An elegant solution to an age old capo problem.
I have no issues with tuning using a capo on acoustic with 12's and don't bother retuning. Can't say I use a capo on my tele though. I'm sure I have at some time just cant remember. If I had to more often stringing with 11's would probably solve the dodgy tuning problem. I'd hate to try use one with 9's.
Exactly. In fact, IME beginners often shy away from capos because they haven't grocked transposing and move-able chords yet. A capo is foreign to a player who hasn't grasped barre chords.
All the time on acoustic. Barely ever on electric, mind.
There’s more to open chords than cowboy chords.
I learned that trick from the Steve Earle tune Tennessee Blues. The other nice thing about it is you can finger a regular G IV chord shape vs jumping up 2 frets to play the bass note in regular drop D.
It's often less about excess pressure, then it is about placement of the pressure. When the capo clamps down, if any of the strings are clamped in a bend, however slight, it will be off. Same with fretting a string "too hard", particularly in the 1st fret. This is easily remedied by making sure that you clamp down the capo uniformly on the strings, at the same time. You can also adjust the capo back and forth in the fret to compensate, or even slant it a bit toward the treble or bass side. I've never had to tune with a capo on. It just doesn't make intuitive sense to me.
I guess I bought into the "cheater" thing years ago, being immature and trying to be macho. I hardly ever use one on electrics, and only rarely on acoustic. I keep thinking I should get into capos more, but it hasn't happened yet.
Do you guys say "kay-po", or "kah-po"? I say "kay-po".
As several have stated, I use these to shift the key on a song I've already learned and don't feel like retraining the muscle memory. I sing as part of a duo and sometimes we decide to change who is singing what part, and since my partner sings in a higher range than me, this comes in very handy.
Another great use for a capo is when you are trying to add chord inversions for sound, but want use of the full six strings. This was a popular technique in a lot of 90's music and it gives a totally different sound than just playing standard inversions.
The Schubb capo's are my favorite. Easy on/easy off and I don't find them pulling the guitar out of tune like some of the others. I hate the Kyser clip tuners. I have one and I keep it for emergencies, but I've been tempted to throw it in the trash more times than I care to mention.
I get annoyed when people criticize use of the capo. It's a tool that can be used for a beginner or advanced guitarist. How you use it all depends on your level of ability and I don't think it's wrong to use one. I don't agree with using it though to strictly avoid learning how to play other types of chords. You need to learn open chords, power chords, barre chords, inversions, etc.
Capo, capo. Potato, potato.
How do you even know where to put it, or why? I can't wrap my head around it.
I'm thinking it would just screw me all up! It makes open chords different, but if you play a barre chord up the neck it stays the same?
I seriously have never heard using a capo is a 'crutch'. I mean, of all the things to thump chest about. Capos. Seriously? Is mansplaining capos really a thing?
Maybe they have little girly hands, and have trouble putting them on their guitars?
I only use one as a tool to make neck adjustments.
Do you know your triads all over the neck? Once you do, the capo thing makes intuitive sense.
You just think, oh, that E triad on the GBE at the fourth fret, if I want that to be an open E chord, I capo 2.
You're just moving the nut up the neck. Whatever barre chord you play is still gonna be the same barre chord, regardless. If there are no open strings or 1st position chords to be played, there really is no need for a capo.
Uh, yeah, no, I don't know what triad is. I'm just gonna stop right here.
I know that a D chord shape at the 4th fret is a E chord-ish. Is that what you mean?
Yes. But without a capo, you would have to fret the D string at the 2nd fret to add the bass root note (E). Use a capo, and you now can finger an open D but you are actually playing an E.
Okay, so why not just play a normal E with no capo?
I keep my acoustic tuned down a half step since a lot of the songs I like to play are tuned down. So, yeah, I use a capo a lot when I want to play something in standard tuning. I use Kyser capos and on my main acoustic I don't have any issues with tuning, other than maybe angling the capo a bit depending on the fret it's on. My cheap Squire that I keep in my office at work I pretty much have to put the capo right on the fret wire or it goes severely out of tune. That thing needs a new nut and saddle though, the strings are cutting deep groves in the soft plastic.
Because you may want a different voicing. Or you want to play the song how it was originally played, but in a different key.
EDIT: And open chords sound different than barred chords. Sometimes you want that ringing sound, but you want the song in a key other than E, A, D, G, C, Am, or Em.
Try playing Here Comes the Sun in the same key as the original (A), but not capoed at the 7th fret. Play it capoed, and it's a very easy and common chord and hammer-on pattern in D. Either way, if you want it to sound right, you need to play it how Harrison played it. Capoed.
I forgot another Keef classic, Sweet Virginia.
Capo 2 and cowboy G shape (now at fifth fret) becomes an A, the cowboy A7 is now B7, and the D shape is the E.
All the walkup and hammer-ons are easy and sound right.
My buddy doesn't see the need for capos or open tunings. I'll play a Stones song using either or both and he'll play it back to me his way and say that no audience would ever notice. He's 100 times the player I am, but the songs, IMHO, just sound better the way Keef plays them.