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To Capo or not to Capo

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by callasabra, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Actually, playing guitar is a contest.
    Anyone whose been in a room of other guitarist will soon find that out...
     
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  2. callasabra

    callasabra Tele-Afflicted

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    Great responses guys. Thanks.

    @allen082, I searched and didn't find that threat. Sorry for the duplicity, I will check out that thread.

    @ebb soul, I was always told capos were 'cheating' and a crutch. I am learning they can be a tool.

    I agree with Nick, Troy, Ballcaster, and others, that different voicings of the same chords is nice. When I first started playing with this group I was trying to fit in to the rhythm and it was challenging to follow someone with a capo. Now, I play lead and just fillin. I rarely play full chords now.

    @joy-z, the singer plays an acoustic-electric, 2nd guitarist plays rhythm on a tele, so I play lead. when they asked me to join because I 'owned an electric' I didn't realize they were asking me to play lead. Many of the contemporary songs we play have several guitars and some are heavily effected, too much at times IMO, but I have the effects and can usually get close.
     
  3. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Randy, is that YOU?
     
  4. Mrbob135

    Mrbob135 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    My first music teacher taught me that capos were for cheaters. He was a big band conductor, and taught me how to play closed voicings all over the neck. A great skill to have, no doubt. But just try to play Anymore by Travis Tritt, with those "open" strings ringing out without one. Sure you can hit the notes, but without those open strings ringing, it just is not the same. A tool to achieve a certain end...
     
  5. Eddie Bray

    Eddie Bray Tele-Meister

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    A fair bit of late 50s early 60s rock and roll guitarists used capos, Buddy Holly is just one that comes to mind quickly.
     
  6. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    There's a majic that happens on fourth fret open voicings for me, that won't work any other way.
     
  7. Bellacaster

    Bellacaster Tele-Afflicted

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    It completely blows my mind that there is a stigma to using a capo. Half of the open G stuff on Exile on Main Street uses a capo...Tumbling Dice anyone? All sorts of blues musicians, as illustrated by Muddy above, have used them. I really don't feel the need to justify using one, but refusing to use one because only sissys do...uh, seems to limit ones self to the possibilities of the instrument.

    I once was minding my business at Guitar Center, just noodling away on a guitar I couldn't afford into and amp I couldn't afford, when an older fellow came up to me and said something like, 'You look like you'd use a capo.' I said, 'Sure. There are times when it's called for.' And attempted to explain how they work and why you'd want to use one. Not sure what he was implying or if he was bracing himself for a head but.
     
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  8. jmclaren

    jmclaren Tele-Holic

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    I'm one of those guys who invested the time to thoroughly learn the fretboard and can play in any key without thinking about it. I find that using a capo restricts my playing by eliminating frets and positions. I never use a capo when playing electric guitar.

    On the other hand, I occasionally use a capo on acoustic guitar to capture the ring of open strings, especialy when playing in alternate tunings.
     
  9. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    That was a reference to sexual preference, methinks...
    Ask me how I know..
     
  10. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    The guy that can follow a cappoed guitarist without one is the one who's' invested the time to thoroughly learn the fretboard.
     
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  11. Bellacaster

    Bellacaster Tele-Afflicted

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    That's what I was thinking! Some people, man.
     
  12. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    ....and that's why playing guitar is a contest.....
     
  13. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    How about this approach? Play it the way that makes you happy and let everyone else worry about their approach. Jimmy crack corn, boys and girls, it's a just a tool. Like me.
     
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  14. Ash

    Ash Tele-Meister

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    I love capos. It's not about chords, it's about being able to use fewer fingers to make a chord, thus freeing up fingers to do other stuff a la Keith Richards:

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    Never new a band that would use capo or open tuning covering a Stones song. Ever.
    I've got this one guy who only sez, "the stones play out of tune".
    So many don't get the voicing thing.
    It's sad.
     
  16. Jack S

    Jack S Friend of Leo's

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    If I am playing an electric guitar, i never use a capo, however, sometimes on acoustic or with certain songs I might use one. It is not to make the chords easier as much as it allows more interesting voicings. For example, if I capo at the second fret and leave the bottom string open I can play in E and have the low E string, as if I was playing in drop D without having to re-tune the string.

    I also like to leave the bottom string open with capo on second fret when playing in A for bluegrass, this allows me to have a nice deep fifth bottom note when I want to use it and it does not alter the way I would finger most chords (anything barred is unchanged). The G shape (for A) is unchanged. If I play the Em chord shape (actually F#m), or C shape (D) I just avoid hitting bottom string. This is a very nice full sounding way to approach playing in A.

    I have one song I wrote in E that I capo on second fret because I like singing it in E, but the solo section lays out so nicely when I play it out of the D shape. It has a nice high harmony that sounds more crisp in a key one step higher than if it is sung in D.

    For years I did not use a capo at all, but there are interesting ways to take advantage of them. I am not someone who gets too weird. I have seen guys use multiple capos, and all kinds of alternate tunings to get interesting sounds, but I think it then just gets a little too crazy for me.
     
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  17. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm secure in my sexuality enuff to use a capo.
    If you're not......
     
  18. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    I use a split shub capo.
     
  19. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    I showed my 'half capo' to a bluegrass professional.
    He thought it was a capo for mandolin...
     
  20. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Like others here, for years I resisted using a capo, and thought of it as “cheating.” I use a capo rarely, and almost always for one of two reasons: to match a recording, or to “cheat”. An example of the first reason? When I play George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun.” An example (confession?) of the second reason? A singer I played for fielded a request for a song I knew and played in E. She (the singer) wanted it in the key of A flat. I must confess that rather than transpose on the fly, I just used a capo.

    Unless I’ve missed it, in comments thus far, we’ve yet to discuss the subject of a capo’s use for open tunings, or partial capo techniques. You could hardly call this type of capo usage “cheating”, as it requires a thorough knowledge of the fretboard to pull it off. Phil Keaggy is a master of this technique. (But then again, Keaggy is a master of guitar. Period.)

     
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