Do You Use a Capo?

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

  1. Octorfunk

    Octorfunk Tele-Meister

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    True. A trick (if you can call it that) that I learned was the apply the capo, then gently/moderately tug on each string about halfway between the capo and the bridge. Capos tend to grab and pull the strings a little sharp, so by tugging on them after putting the capo on, it releases most of the string that is being pulled on by the rubber of the capo. As long as the guitar is well-intonated, this usually pulls everything back in tune without having to actually tune the strings.
     
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  2. Daddydex

    Daddydex Friend of Leo's

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    I was just gifted a Glider Capo. I think it is a real game changer for me. Rolls behind the nut for storage. Guitar stays in tune when in use. Can EASILY switch position during song even though I probably won't do that. No dead spots. All notes ring true.

    I am curious to see how it will hold up. Great capo.

    Dan
     
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  3. Henry Mars

    Henry Mars Tele-Afflicted

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    Years ago when I studied classical guitar a capo was a tool that you needed. Some pieces are unplayable without them and were written around the use of one. There are some cases where you need one if you are playing open turnings or are using "open voice" chords. a good deal of the time it is just a substitute for guitar lessons. .... The first time I played in a church band I showed up and asked for keys .... Capo 3 isn't a key, it is a crutch.
     
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  4. muudcat

    muudcat Tele-Holic

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    I use a half capo on some songs and on one of my own, a full capo on the first fret and half capo on the third with a drop D. Capo is just another guitarists tools
     
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  5. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    Some songs need it, like 'Here comes the Sun'. It isn't always just about the key: for some songs, a certain voicing is a necessity.

    Other times, it's a useful tool for when I'd rather pay in A than Bb (partly laziness, partly preferring the sound of open chords...)

    The only use I really dislike is when it's used as an excuse for a guitarist to only be able to play in the keys of G or C.
     
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  6. Slowpoke

    Slowpoke Tele-Afflicted

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    I never used a Capo on my electrics, just barre chords if necessary. But due to age and arthritis I now use them on my acoustics, but I don't shout about it.. S
     
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  7. popthree

    popthree Poster Extraordinaire

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    You still a fan of the glider? How can it not affect the guitars tuning? Moving it around up and down the fretboard with no tuning adjustments? And behind the nut doesnt put pressure on the strings? Seems impossible.
     
  8. Daddydex

    Daddydex Friend of Leo's

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    I still like the glider. I don't know how or why but it really does do a good job of keeping the guitar in tune up and down the neck without having to fuss with it. I don't really slide it much. When you try to slide it long distances it will stray from center.

    I do not store the glider behind the nut unless I am playing one particular song where I slide the capo up to the first fret for the last verse. I do keep it as close to the nut as possible because I believe it does pull the strings out of tune when stored behind the nut unless placed carefully.

    As someone stated earlier in this thread, when placing any capo of reasonable quality on your guitar make sure you put the capo as close to the fret as possible. The closer you get to the fret, the better the relative tuning will be.

    Also as stated earlier, once you capo is in place give the strings a tug. I do it like Tommy Emmanuel suggests. I just push down on all the strings above the sound hole at once.

    The glider seems to work no matter where you place it.

    Dan
     
  9. Shuster

    Shuster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I tried a few, just never liked my tone once clipped on?!?!

    enhanced-26597-1425311004-1.jpg
     
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  10. P Thought

    P Thought Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Now you're starting to bore us.
     
  11. howlin

    howlin Tele-Afflicted

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    Deleted
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
  12. howardlo

    howardlo Tele-Holic

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    I use them often on my acoustics to put the song in a better key for singing or for finger picking in a more comfortable key. A lot of use when playing with a bluegrass band so you can use the G chord patterns to play in A.

    Never have once used one on an electric where barre chords are better anyway.
     
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  13. Harry Styron

    Harry Styron Tele-Afflicted

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    I have nothing against capos, but rarely use them, because I don’t use cowboy chords much. Tomorrow I am going to jam with dear friends who play almost exclusively with first position chords. If I play a song in Bb, I’ll lose them if I don’t put a capo on fret 3 and use shapes they can follow.
     
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  14. burtf51

    burtf51 Tele-Meister

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    There are times I never want to take my capo off, work on several genres, mainly traditional to jazz and I love cowboy chords. What a great tone on my acoustic with capo in 4-6 fret. Even with mandolin I'm wanting an Octave mandolin bad for the tone, yes tone.
     
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  15. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

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    Nobody insults a horn player for wanting to play in Bb, Eb, or F. So a capo helps you to do the same thing on guitar. We aren't showing off here, we are making music, so if you can play in a natural key for guitar - or use the same shapes with a capo , then it's silly not to.
     
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  16. chillybilly

    chillybilly TDPRI Member

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    Lots of pages - I promise to read them all. :twisted: But really, I will.

    I once received a book 'Play Guitar Today.' I already played guitar albeit in a beginner/student manner so the 'today' part wasn't necessarily the hook. But Mom meant well.
    [​IMG]

    Even at that young and inexperienced age I could tell...the book and the authors were full of !@#$*#$&@!

    There was advice to color my nails with different colored felt tip pens presumably to aid in learning chords. Sorry but I'm not Marc Bolan or Lou Reed and that ain't happening. What is also not happening is wearing bell-bottom jeans, sitting uncomfortably on the edge of a chair, using a footstool and fingerpicking on a Gibson J-200 the size of an Airstream trailer.

    Granted the book was a product of the times but the fanboy authors were clearly fixated on the folky singer-songwriters eg Tom Paxton. Tom Paxton may be a wonderful songwriter, singer and/or musician but Tom Paxton was never going to be my cup of tea.

    They had a section on the use of capos and one of their phrases stuck with me: 'Capos are ignored by rock specialists.'

    Then, as now, I'm not sure what the hell a 'rock specialist' is but there is plenty of very effective capo use in rock especially among those who - bless them - rely on open/drone strings and chords in their guitar parts/music.

    With the advent of perfect digital tuning and perfect digital recording (ie consistent speeds) one hears perfectly-tuned music most of the time. But musicians and non-musicians alike may not realize how often they're hearing the same A, G, C, D, E chords at concert pitch. It often leads the same kind of aural boredom/exhaustion as autotuned vocals. And it isn't just the chords but the notes/intervals within the chords that become numbingly familiar.

    Part of the distinctive sound of Del Shannon's 'Runaway' is the tape speed increased to make the Am song into a Bbm (or thereabouts) song. The tunings on Tom Petty's 'Long After Dark' are all over the shop, even random by design (probably) or accident. That album might be my favorite of his but playing along to it is frustrating as hell with all the in-between tunings that differ from song to song and a tuner is of no use.

    Capos, then, are an excellent way of stirring things up especially in the digital era by playing in different keys and different chord shapes (especially those involving open strings, suspensions, etc.). When I was in a trio format (guitar/bass/drums) I used a capo frequently especially as the bass player at that time was an inveterate root-noter so any power/barre chords produced the inevitable garage-band chug whether we (read: I) wanted it or not.

    I gravitated toward capo-using guitarists before I even knew they were using capos - prime example John Squire and the Stone Roses. I painstakingly worked out the part to 'Waterfall' without a capo and actually got it sounding decent. Then I watched the famous performance of the song on 'The Other Side Of Midnight' (where Squire is playing his big George Harrison Gretsch and Mani is playing his paint-splattered Ric 4005 bass) and had one of many guitar epiphanies. But I also blamed the 'Play Guitar Today' authors who made it seem that electrics and capos were incompatible. Suddenly all the arpeggios a) were easier and b) sounded better. There is capo on nearly every song on the Roses' first album. While music critics trot out descriptions like 'psychedelic' and '60s-influenced,' guitarists knew (or learned) the rather basic secret sauce. Johnny Marr, Noel Gallagher....it makes you wonder if capos were standard issue in Manchester. :lol:


    [​IMG]

    I've tried all the fancy pants capos and have generally been underwhelmed. Kysers may squeeze 'too tight' and throw some guitars out of tune but they work and can be attached/removed quickly hence the name. I have a perfectly intonated Gibson that gets wonky (mostly the low E) with a Kyser but a Strat that doesn't.
     
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