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Old 11-23-2014, 07:26 AM
richard1 richard1 is offline
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Default why the dislike for capos

I was watching a you tube video in which Neil Finn of Crowded House plays an acoustic version of ' Fall At Your Feet ' ( great song, and great version too ) but in the comments section below the video screen someone had commented that he was using a capo to play the song, and seemed surprised and maybe a little disappointed.
I used to play with some other guys, and one ( an electric guitar enthusiast ) used to habitually make derogatory comments about my using a capo on certain songs. He seemed to regard it as some kind of cheat, like I couldn't really play the song properly, so I resorted to the devil's device.
Some songs only sound right if you use a capo on them, and I think that using it is not cheating at all, but utilizing a tool to achieve a sound that I am looking for.
I have seen people watching live acts also making remarks about performers using capos like they are just second class musicians, and it bothers me.
Is the capo a device of the Devil ?
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:33 AM
Bingoccc Bingoccc is offline
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I've heard them called "cheaters", even by people that use them. Too many greats, from James Taylor to Eric Clapton, use them so don't sweat it.
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:36 AM
clintj clintj is offline
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Absolutely not. Some chord voicings are darn near impossible to achieve without one. Second, they let you mix two guitars without ending up with a sonic mess. Capoing puts one of them in a higher register so you're not battling for the same frequency range.
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard1 View Post
.......Some songs only sound right if you use a capo on them, and I think that using it is not cheating at all, but utilizing a tool to achieve a sound that I am looking for.
I have seen people watching live acts also making remarks about performers using capos like they are just second class musicians, and it bothers me.
Is the capo a device of the Devil ?
You have it right.

A capo is a useful tool, not a "cheater". Anyone who says it is, is speaking from ignorance.
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:42 AM
Pick guard Pick guard is offline
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You can find similar comments from people who advocate using all four fingers to pick against those who only use three, as if three fingered players are not worthy.

They should tell that to Phil Keaggy who sometimes not only uses one capo but two at a time.

I think the people who don't like capos must really enjoy playing those Linda Manzer Pikasso guitars.
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:42 AM
jjordan47 jjordan47 is offline
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Don't let someone elses arrogance get in the way of you getting the job done. A capo is a tool to be used.
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:45 AM
Puddleglum Puddleglum is offline
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They should tell that to Phil Keaggy who sometimes not only uses one capo but two at a time.
I saw a vid once with Phil addressing the capo thing. Someone said it's cheating to use one; Phil said frets must be cheating too then. Good point.
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:51 AM
kaos kaos is offline
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I do use a capo ... but sparingly. I would much rather transpose. My opinion is the farther up the neck you go, the worse the guitar sounds. I see some players use them on every single song and up high on the neck ... and it sounds terrible ... especially when strummed hard.
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:52 AM
zabdart zabdart is offline
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Capos are useful. Because of the way their strings are set up and tuned, guitars just naturally are more suited and comfortable for the player to play in those keys indicated by sharps (E, A, G, D and so forth). Capos provide the player with a convenient way to play in keys indicated by flats. For example, put your capo on the third fret and play chords in G and you're actually playing in B-flat; play chords in C and you're actually playing in E-flat. It's a very convenient little device.
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:53 AM
richard1 richard1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaos View Post
I do use a capo ... but sparingly. I would much rather transpose. My opinion is the farther up the neck you go, the worse the guitar sounds. I see some players use them on every single song and up high on the neck ... and it sounds terrible ... especially when strummed hard.
But some songs just don't lend themselves well to transposition, and also make them practically impossible to play.
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:54 AM
s2y s2y is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard1 View Post
I used to play with some other guys, and one ( an electric guitar enthusiast ) used to habitually make derogatory comments about my using a capo on certain songs. He seemed to regard it as some kind of cheat, like I couldn't really play the song properly, so I resorted to the devil's device.
Ah, yes. A know-it-all guitarist. Perhaps he could also share his opinions on how bass should be played while he's at it.

Capos can also change the overall timbre of the guitar.
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:56 AM
Pick guard Pick guard is offline
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Originally Posted by Puddleglum View Post
I saw a vid once with Phil addressing the capo thing. Someone said it's cheating to use one; Phil said frets must be cheating too then. Good point.
Well they are, no question about it. If we were all to be truly proficient, we'd be playing sans frets. As it is, we're all autoharp players whether we will admit it or not. Capo on!
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:58 AM
richard1 richard1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s2y View Post
Ah, yes. A know-it-all guitarist. Perhaps he could also share his opinions on how bass should be played while he's at it.

Capos can also change the overall timbre of the guitar.
Strangely enough he did play bass too, with another band. That band used to slag him constantly for keeping bad timing. I wonder if it was this experience that made him feel he needed to pick on someone, to make himself feel better.
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Old 11-23-2014, 07:59 AM
kaos kaos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard1 View Post
But some songs just don't lend themselves well to transposition, and also make them practically impossible to play.
Exactly why I do occasionaly use them.
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Old 11-23-2014, 08:02 AM
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I've never heard anyone disparage the use of a capo.

Anyone who understands musical keys would never disparage a capo.

A capo can serve three purposes:
  1. Change the key of a song (to match your voice etc)
  2. Change the voicing of a guitar by changing the scale length
  3. Make certain chords easier to play


There is no difference between that and playing in alternate tunings.

Anyone who chooses to have an opinion about it is someone who doesn't know enough about music to have an opinion.

It's like getting defensive when my garbage man's toddler tell's me I'm "doin it wrong". Just because you can talk, doesn't mean your qualified to share your opinion.
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