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Capo Understanding


Bill T
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Can any of you explain very simply the use of a capo? I get the idea that it shortens the neck or moves the nut and then you can play open chords further up but is there more to it than that? I have obviously never used one but see so many people on different stages using them. Does it simply slide whatever key you want to play in up according to where the capo is? Slightly confused on what I know must be a super simple thing. Thanks!

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Hello,
One reason to use capo is to get up in pitch. If a song is too low for your voice, you can use capo to better suit your voice in a higher pitch. You still play the same chord as if it were without capo. But be aware that, for example, a C with capo on the fourth fret becomes an E. Something that your band needs to take into account.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I usually explain capo  as an easy way to change key.

A "G" chord pattern played with the capo on the second fret becomes and "A" chord.

I know a pro Mandolin player who thinks Capo's are the "Devil's" tool. 
I think he thinks this because he can't look at a guitar player and know what chord.

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