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  #16  
Old 03-21-2017, 04:54 PM
paulzoom paulzoom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by murrmac123 View Post
You never caught Django Reinhardt or Les Paul using a capo ...
So what does that prove? I can name you a hundred famous guitarists that do.
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  #17  
Old 03-21-2017, 04:56 PM
Auguy21 Auguy21 is offline
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I use them VERY frequently, more for the use of finding different "emotions" and voices when playing a song, no matter the key. Once you learn how to transpose in any key, your tone pallet opens up dramatically. Here are two good videos for reference:

https://reverb.com/news/using-capos-...ltiple-guitars

This guy gives GREAT lessons: https://youtu.be/Ky8uOOfI2tY
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  #18  
Old 03-21-2017, 05:04 PM
Dreadfulnaught Dreadfulnaught is offline
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I play in a band with another acoustic guitarist who uses a capo a lot. Usually it is done so the two guitars have two different voicings. Look at old Peter, Paul, and Mary videos on YouTube and you will see them do that a lot. Sometimes I use a capo myself to play higher on the fretboard for Never Going Back Again or Here Comes The Sun.
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  #19  
Old 03-21-2017, 05:09 PM
musicman1951 musicman1951 is offline
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[QUOTE=Riverwolf;5276548]
I do not understand how ones voice can be in a specific key.

I think I can answer this one. When you write a song in the key of C (for example) there are no rules about which notes go in your melody. Most melodies have phrases that end on chord tones, but that's not even a rule.

So you could write a song in C that only goes as high as 3rd space C (first fret on the B string) and/or you could write a song in the key of C that goes up to the G on top of the staff (third fret on the E string). Same with the lowest notes. Most people have a rather limited range where they sound the best singing and the capo allows them to find that sweet spot for each song.

So it's not really about the Key (for singers), but more about the range. I don't have a singing key, but I sure don't want to have to sing high G's in any key!

The key does matter for having some open strings (most acoustic guitar players would prefer the sound of keys with some open strings as opposed to all bar chords - or barre, if you prefer). That would be the other main reason to use a capo.
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  #20  
Old 03-21-2017, 05:10 PM
Dreadfulnaught Dreadfulnaught is offline
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I play in a band with another acoustic guitarist who uses a capo a lot. Usually it is done so the two guitars have two different voicings. Look at old Peter, Paul, and Mary videos on YouTube and you will see them do that a lot. Sometimes I use a capo myself to play higher on the fretboard for Never Going Back Again or Here Comes The Sun.
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  #21  
Old 03-21-2017, 05:14 PM
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Ed-in-Ohio Ed-in-Ohio is offline
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Many good reasons already mentioned. Here's another I really like: It is much more exciting to play F by playing D with a capo at three, and throwing in the various suspended chords.
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  #22  
Old 03-21-2017, 05:17 PM
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Using a capo for me is in order to have a different sound. That can be a source of inspiration when composing music. Way up the neck the guitar can sound music box like. Some tunes sound better with mellow low tones, for other tunes it sounds better with every note in the high register. Rarely I might capo a couple of frets just to make a particular stretchy chord more doable.
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  #23  
Old 03-21-2017, 05:22 PM
campy campy is offline
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I have been playing for just about a year and a half and I will be happy when I'm at the point where I know what everybody is talking about. I'm 66 and so much to learn and so little time.
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  #24  
Old 03-21-2017, 05:25 PM
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I use one to provide for my vocal range. I use another 1/2 capo to get into an alternate tuning. Of course, then there's the raising of the pitch just for the grins. Some people tune down and then capo to concert pitch just to access open fingerings on a sightly wider part of the neck to accommodate their pudgy fingers (like I did). Otherwise, I think it's a law to own at least one Shubb.
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  #25  
Old 03-21-2017, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by campy View Post
I have been playing for just about a year and a half and I will be happy when I'm at the point where I know what everybody is talking about. I'm 66 and so much to learn and so little time.
Campy, here's an easy way to look at it: whatever fret you put the capo on is the number of half steps you add to the chord shape, so:

Put the capo at three, make the E major shape, and you're playing G major:
E plus 3...
+1 = F
+2 = F#
+3 = G
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  #26  
Old 03-21-2017, 05:30 PM
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Another reason...The D shape played with a drop-D capo (leaves the low-E string open) at two is arguable the most badxxx E chord there is!
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  #27  
Old 03-21-2017, 05:46 PM
tonyo tonyo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed-in-Ohio View Post
Another reason...The D shape played with a drop-D capo (leaves the low-E string open) at two is arguable the most badxxx E chord there is!
For me it has to do with adjusting the song to suit my limited vocal range and capability as a singer. If I find I can't get the vocal volume on the lower notes in the song, I put the capo on. It means I sing in a higher key and I can get the volume I need in the lower notes.

If it was more accomplished as a singer, perhaps I'd be able to adjust more readily. Not sure really, don't care. The capo solves the problem for me.
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  #28  
Old 03-21-2017, 05:55 PM
PiousDevil PiousDevil is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulzoom View Post
So what does that prove? I can name you a hundred famous guitarists that do.
You also never caught Django using four fingers. Guess I better pull out the diagonal cutters if I want to do things right.
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  #29  
Old 03-21-2017, 06:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riverwolf View Post
…I have been playing 4+ years and just don't get this part at all…
…So enlighten me you guitar music wizards.
Hi Rw

Capos are not a one-trick-pony. They serve several functions.

Shifting voicings to change the flavor of the song…
They allow you to play in a different apparent key than the actual key which shifts the voicings of the chords. For instance if you tune to Dropped D, capo at the second fret, and play in key of D relative to the capo you are playing in E major.

Or you could stay in standard tuning, capo at the 4th fret and play in key of C relative to the capo. You'd still be playing in key of E, and the voicing of the chords and connecting runs will be different than E played in open position or in D capoed at the second fret.

The chords of the capoed versions will be voiced differently than if you played in standard tuning with no capo. They will have a very different 'flavor'. When you shift the apparent key, you change hammer-ons and pull-offs significantly, as well as the connecting runs between chords.

If a song is in the key of A, and you capo at the 2nd fret and play in G relative to the capo, the voicing of the chords will shift the root note both to the bottom string and top strings when you play the root chord. And chords played in the key of G sound different than they do in key of A.

Expanding voicings…
I often see duos where both players are playing the identical chords with the same strumming patterns at the same time…boring.

My gigging partner and I often capo one guitar and play that guitar in a different apparent key from the one without then capo so we're not playing identical chords, and patterns. This makes the sound more interesting…and often more full.

It changes the flavor of songs when you shift the apparent key.

Matching a guitar to the range of a singer…
When there is the song someone wants you to accompany, and you show up for the gig and discover it's too low for their range, you capo up till it fits their range. Or if it's too high for their voice, and you may need to both capo and change the apparent key you are playing in to lower the range.

What is range…?
It is the accompanist's job to showcase the singer's voice. They are the focus, not the guitar…and we are expected to make it easy for them.

Range involves knowing the top and bottom notes in the melody of a song. Many songs often have a 14 note range, but some have a 16 note (or even 18 note) range. A singer has to be able to sing the lowest with good power, and highest note easily enough to not sound strangulated or strained. On songs with a wider-than-normal range, it often takes creative capo work and re-arranging to accompany them.

Ranges don't automatically fit into keys of C, A, G, E or D.



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  #30  
Old 03-21-2017, 06:24 PM
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Why use a capo?

... to put the song in your voice's range, while still using the chord shapes that you prefer.
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