Thursday, 17 April 2014

Getting the most from your Capo.

  Virtually every acoustic guitarist has a capo. You know, that clampy thing that lives in your guitar case. 
  Every once in a while you'll get it out when your singer's complaining that the Oasis song he wants to sing "Isn't in his key". And let's face it, the poor lamb's only got one to chose from!
   So you slap it on at the 2nd fret and transpose up a tone and suddenly Wonderwall is in F# minor - a key the Gallagher brothers haven't even heard of let alone written in! 
 Well that's only a part of what you can do with a capo. We studio hounds know a few tricks for creating those lush acoustic textures you hear on the records - Here's one of them. 


It's all down to how the guitar is tuned. Here's the theory in short.

How it works:

Capoing at the 5th fret use the open chord shape found one string down from where you are. 

So D major is now an A major shape.

Capoing at the 7th fret use the open chord shape found one string up from where you are. 

So D major is now an G major shape.

The only thing to remember is the tuning break between the G and B strings. You need to add one note in that case.
e.g. 
Capoed at the 7 fret a G chord would be C shape not a B shape. 

It doesn't take a lot of practice to get used to doing this quickly. After all there's a finite number of possibilities. 

This trick is a great way of creating arrangements and variety when playing with another guitarist. There's rarely any point you both playing the same open chord shapes and if anything it'll cause problems.

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