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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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    Hold on, I referenced split capo twice already!
     
  2. callasabra

    callasabra Tele-Afflicted

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    @LGOberean, yes, great example of using the capo with amazing skill, igor presnyakov is another guy that uses a capo in amazing ways.

    Although I was told it was cheating to use, I am learning that it can be more of a tool, depending on how you use it.
     
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  3. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've got one that I sawed the A string 'out' of.
    This will do the Nick Drake stuff.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2016
  4. Calisan

    Calisan TDPRI Member

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    For some of the P&W stuff we play at my church I sometimes am using a drone note along with the lead line. There are a couple of Tomlin songs that come to mind... And to get the right drone and still be able to slide your other notes up and down the neck a capo is very helpful. You could figure out a way with out it, but I don't think it would sound the same. I mostly play with out a capo, but occasionally use one for stuff like that. When I first started playing electric instead of acoustic rhythm I tended to capo everything because of a lack of skill... It was definitely a crutch when I first started and I had to consciously force my self out of it!
     
  5. dkmw

    dkmw Poster Extraordinaire

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    I was gonna say the same thing. I'd love to be in the room when someone told Keef he didn't need to use a capo. One can only imagine his response...

    One of my friends always tells me "I can show you how to play all that stuff in standard tuning without a capo''. I keep saying ''why?''. Then he plays it for me and it doesn't sound the same.

    I really want to learn the whole fretboard and use it for most things. But there's definitely times to use a capo.
     
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  6. Ringo Dk

    Ringo Dk TDPRI Member

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    Thats me with my little band, playing a Stones song in open G with capo (The guitar is out of tuning I know ;) , it was a hot night )



    The Amp is a Fender Mustang 111 with a Fender Floor into the return ;)
     
  7. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    That's why I threw in my caveat "Unless I've missed it..." :oops: I guess the "split capo" reference didn't catch my eye when I was thinking in terms of "partial capo."
     
  8. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Not at all. But I'd hate for someone who is less experienced to see comments like yours and take them as Gospel. Shutting themselves off to alternatives and making themselves less useful if they do hook into a band. The inherent suggestion that knowing the neck and using a capo are mutually-exclusive is silly, that's all.
     
  9. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Why?
    I stand by my statement.
    Gospel?
    Me?
    Anyways, by all means, capo up and Kumbaya away!
     
  10. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Neither even played chords.
     
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  11. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Yep, and Albert with a Tele tuned to Fm no less.o_O
     
  12. thesamhill

    thesamhill Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    In the interest of letting the OP know who uses them and why:

    I use them. Mostly when I'm fingerpicking or playing open chords and I (or someone singing along) wants to sing in a different key. There's no reason to try to use bar chords or alternate chord structures in order to play Angel from Montgomery in Bb.

    I don't use them much for electrics but for example I'm the singer and sole guitarist in a trio. We play a few shuffles that I can't sing in A, I want it D. But I like playing the shuffle patterns with some open strings and using power-chord forms for the I, IV and V. So I capo on the 5th.

    One of the ways I cemented my understanding of the fretboard was through capoing in weird places. "Wait, if I play Am-C-G when I'm capoed on the 7th fret, that's the same as playing Em-G-D?" I knew it rationally, but the capo helped me get it intuitively. It sounded cool to capo up the neck, and then transposing helped me develop an understanding of notes and how they relate to each other.

    Every once in a while it's kind of cool to capo across the bottom 5 strings, so you can maintain standard tuning and still get a drop-D sound out of an open D.

    And I guess by default this also answers the question of whether I think using a capo is cheating. Which is a conversation that I always feel free to ignore whenever it comes up :)
     
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  13. bricksnbeatles

    bricksnbeatles Tele-Afflicted

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    I'll use a capo when I'm playing something that requires it to be possible. For example when I play stuff by the smiths, it was originally recorded in F# standard, and it utilizes a lot of open strings combined with stuff above the 7th fret. If you need proof, try playing "barbarism begins at home" in the original key WITHOUT a capo. It's probably impossible. I also use a capo in my own compositions for chord voicings that would otherwise be impossible (ex. 2-11-10-8-2-2 would be impossible with out a capo)
     
  14. Jack S

    Jack S Friend of Leo's

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    I have a shubb capo, but it does not work well on my Collings, so I have one of the clamp capos (maybe a Dunlap?) that works much more cleanly with that guitar. I do use the Shubb on another guitar and can use it as I described on that guitar.
     
  15. drlucky

    drlucky Tele-Holic

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    I tend to use a capo more on acoustic than I do on electric. The other guitarist in my band tends to use a capo more than me, mainly to get different chord voicings. I say give 'em a whirl...
     
  16. Stringbanger

    Stringbanger Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If you really want to confuse people, tune the guitar a half step down, then tune to open G, then slap the capo on there.:D

    I use the capo on acoustic. It's just a handy little devil when you need those different voicings.
     
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  17. OlRedNeckHippy

    OlRedNeckHippy Friend of Leo's

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    I use one often, but I'm the singer.
     
  18. kelnet

    kelnet Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I use it on a couple of songs we do in our band. One song is in G, but I find it hard to play the Chuck Berry rock 'n roll rhythm thing in that position, so I put the capo on the third fret.
    The other song is in Bb, and I'd rather just play open chords, so I put the capo on the first fret.
    It's my guitar. I'll play it any way I damn well please.
     
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  19. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    I use capos on guitars, mandolins and mandolas. I never had a problem with them. Life is too short.
     
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  20. Stingfan73

    Stingfan73 Tele-Afflicted

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    I rarely do. If I'm trying to perform James Taylor songs with correct keys as-recorded, and correct fingerings, resonances, feel, notes, picking patters, etc, then playing with a capo seems almost a necessity, and has little to do with just not wanting to play an F chord, or Bflat chord, etc...

    Ditto with Nick Drake or others with alternate tunings that demonstrably use capo, if I want to be accurate, I'll use capo if they did.

    If the song was always a capo song, I will move the capo up/down depending on singer, or leave where it was, as-recorded, in terms of capo placement.

    When I'm playing with another guitarist that is using a capo, I surely never use one, so that there are different resonances between what each of us are playing.

    I think capos can be used for create and feel-based reasons that have nothing or at least very little to do with "being too lazy to just play without capo and learn the 'right way' to play the song."

    There can be an art to using capo. I've not invested a tremendous amount of time exploring that art, but I am at least aware of it, and am not reflexively dismissive of it.
     
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